Second Legislative Drafting Workshop for Staff of the Prosecutor General’s Office in the Maldives

The Foundation delivers workshop on the methodology for developing a legislative proposal

From 22 November to 26 November 2020, the Max Planck Foundation implemented an online programme on legislative drafting for 13 lawyers of the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Maldives. The programme focused on the methodology for designing a legislative proposal with a special emphasis on developing criminal legislation, ways of achieving legal effect and expressing legislative intent. The online programme comprised of presentations through video conferences as well as practical exercises for participants to apply the technical content covered during the video conference as well as on the Foundation’s LEARN platform.

On 22 November, participants examined the importance of statutory presumptions as well as the interpretive techniques and rules that they can rely on to clearly communicate the purpose and context of legislation to the target audience including how the courts and other legal authorities are likely to interpret and apply it. With specific reference to criminal legislation, participants applied their knowledge of statutory interpretation to determine the interpretation of ambiguous provisions and suggested changes in drafting language to clearly address how those provisions are to achieve the stated purpose.

Participants were introduced to the methodology for designing a legislative proposal on 24 November. The session focused on legislative design thinking which involved a discussion about identifying policy problems and an analysis of different options including possible implementation mechanisms which can address the problem that a proposal aims to address. On 26 November, participants explored ways in which they can elaborate on the different options or possible implementation mechanisms in order for a proposal to achieve the intended legal effect. This session focused on the general rules and drafting techniques to establish legal relationships including the creation of rights, duties, powers and obligations and measures to enforce these relationships.

To conclude the workshop, participants engaged in a simulation exercise on a relevant topic, where they were encouraged to apply the methodology for designing a legislative proposal.  This required the participants to develop different options as to how their respective legislative proposal could address the particular problem, and then to suggest provisions that would give effect to those options. Each participant was encouraged to review the feasibility of their proposals through lively discussions with their colleagues and with the Foundation’s Research Fellows.

This workshop is the second workshop of four on legislative drafting with the Prosecutor General’s Office as part of the German Federal Foreign Office funded project, “Strengthening the Rule of Law in the Maldives”. The Foundation plans to complete this series of workshops in 2021.