Lesotho Clerk of Parliament Advocate Lebohang Fine Maema KC has expressed gratitude to SAPST for offering technical support on legislative drafting and analysis during a workshop held recently in Maseru.
Speaking at the workshop, Advocate Lebohang Fine Maema said the training will go a long way in improving skills on legislative drafting and analysis for Members of Parliament.
Participants who attended the two-day workshop said the meeting was an eye opener for them and as a result they would implement the skills in drafting legislature.
Participants included, chairpersons of Parliamentary portfolio committee clusters, Parliament secretariat and CSO representatives and the Political/Economic Officer with the US Embassy in Lesotho, Matthew Jamrisko, also attended the workshop.
The training workshop which was held under SAPST regional programme (Department of State, Bureau on Democracy, Human Rights and Labor DRL), is being implemented in Lesotho, Malawi and Botswana and seeks to enhance the recognition, promotion, protection and fulfilment of Social, Economic and Cultural Rights in the SADC generally, but in the target countries in particular.
The workshop covered the following areas:
- The principles guiding the drafting of statutes,
- The Interpretation of Statutes and Constitutional Interpretation Principles,
- Elementary drafting,
- Parts of a Bill or Act of Parliament,
- Drafting a Notice of Amendments,
- Legislative Analysis (The Good Law Checklist), and
- Some ESCRs International Instruments to which Lesotho is Party to and impact on Domestic Law
During plenary discussions a number of pertinent issues were also raised, reflecting on the relevance of the issues under the spotlight. Among other issues, participants were keen to learn:
- whether appropriation and finance bills in other jurisdictions were referred to other parliamentary committees as a matter of practice,
- at what stage of the process of drafting statutes should the public be consulted and whether consultation take place at the local levels
- the role judges and other judicial officers play with respect to the independence of the courts, and whether there a place for judicial activism in our systems,
- what influenced judges in their decisions making processes,
- how courts could enforce progressive principles of state policy that were not justiciable, and
- whether a deficient Act be saved by regulations made thereunder.
The workshop was a success, delivering on its training objectives, and providing skills to officers and MPs who would use them going forward, in improving the quality of legislation passed by Parliament.