The Foundation delivers a Workshop to Maldivian Line Ministries on the Role of Policy for Law-making

The first workshop in a series to equip ministerial staff with the tools to develop legislative proposals.

From 16 – 18 November 2021, the Max Planck Foundation conducted an in-person workshop in Malé for legal and technical officers from various Ministries, to support the Strategic Action Plan (2019-2023) of the Government of Maldives. This was done by assisting participants in conceptualising and developing effective and high-quality legislative proposals. The workshop series aims to equip Ministerial staff with theoretical and practical knowledge about policy development, legislative drafting standards and techniques, and the legal and practical considerations for transforming policy into legislation.

The opening day introduced participants to foundational topics for developing legislative proposals. It covered the politics and process by which Bills are enacted, the role, functions and tasks that ministerial Staff perform during this process, particularly, the methodology for developing the operational details and substantive content of legislative proposals. In addition, it addressed the stages of the drafting process and provided a framework within which Ministries can prepare drafting instructions as the link between policy and legislation as well as the basis to understand the need for legislation.

The second day of the workshop focused on approaches to the policy development process, guiding participants on the tools to identify and develop a range of policy options to address a specific problem, to achieve intended regulatory objectives at minimum costs and with minimum number of unintended negative consequences. It addressed the challenges and issues to implementation that need to be addressed during the policy design stage, including the viability and assessment of potential costs, benefits and impacts of options in reaching intended policy objectives.

The final day of the workshop introduced participants to the legal considerations for transforming policy into legislation. Through comparative illustrations, it highlighted the need to assess how policy proposals and their corresponding legislative provisions interact with the constitution, laws of general application, Islamic Shari’ah and international law. Participants were encouraged to incorporate a rule of law approach to the formulation of policy and legislation and, in this context, they considered the impact of legislative drafting and explored drafting guidelines that can contribute towards preserving the rule of law.

Throughout the workshop, the participants shared insights about the drafting processes within their respective ministries and also applied the knowledge and tools gained from the workshop through practical exercises. These exercises encouraged the active sharing of best practices and experiences between staff of the different ministries.

The next workshop will be held during the first quarter of 2022, and it will coincide with the second Training of Training workshop for senior drafters from the Drafting Division of the Attorney General’s Office. This series of workshops has been developed as part of the German Federal Foreign Office funded project, Stabilising the Rule of Law by Supporting the Reform Agenda of the Republic of Maldives”.