Third workshop for Civil Society Organisations and the Human Rights Commission of the Republic of Maldives

The online event focused on “Legislative Policy and Intent”

The Max Planck Foundation held a combination of live and offline activities on its LEARN platform between 22 November and 1 December 2020 for participants who actively work in either drafting or reviewing legislation for the Maldivian Human Rights Commission and civil society organisations.

The event started with a live conference, where the Foundation’s research fellows gave introductory presentations entitled “The role of policy in law-making” and “Choosing the right legislative instrument”. These paved the way for the first exercise, where the participants were given a small fact pattern. They were then asked to individually identify and correctly define the given problem and subsequently analyse its root, causes and effects. This was followed by a live conference where they had the chance to discuss their preliminary findings in groups and finally bring the results to the main plenum for debate and exchange of views on the matter.

The workshop activities continued with an introduction of the various means of achieving legal effect, the building blocks that make a piece of legislation functional and efficient along with some mechanisms of enforcement and compliance. The participants then had the opportunity to check their progress by taking a quiz on the corresponding material. Other topics included law and policy design, achieving legal effect and legislative intent.

The final topic was an introduction to statutory interpretation. This covered the general rules of interpretation, presumptions and aids to statutory interpretation provided by the Interpretation Act 4/2011, complimented with additional rules, presumptions and aids used in other common law jurisdictions. These were presented to serve researchers and reviewers when commenting on laws or participating as stakeholders in drafting related activities.

The event concluded on 1 December with a live discussion in which participants reviewed excerpts of laws pertaining to a case. They were then tasked to work in groups in interpreting these excerpts according to the rules, presumptions and aids of statutory interpretation in relation to the case and report their findings to the larger plenum. The participants engaged in lively discourse, answering questions posed by their peers and by the Foundation’s research fellows.

This series of workshops delivered for the Human Rights Commission and Civil Society Organisations were made possible with the kind support and funds provided by the German Federal Foreign Office as part of the ongoing “Strengthening the Rule of Law in the Maldives” project.