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Legislative drafting assistance to the Attorney General's Office in Seychelles

This project's purpose was to strengthen the legislative drafting capacity of the Attorney General's Office (AGO) and to draft key legislation.

Country: The Republic of Seychelles
Host: Attorney General's Office
Start date: 22/01/2012
End date: 21/07/2016 
Policy area: Rule of Law
Policy expert: Mark Guthrie
Project manager: Pauline Campbell

Background

The Seychelles’ Attorney General’s Office (AGO) was facing a number of capacity constraints to the exercise of its drafting mandate. The position of Principal Legal Draftsperson, who would usually lead the country’s legal drafting efforts, was vacant at the time. Further the Legislative Drafting Division faced a lack of capacity at the level of its more junior staff and had relied on expatriates to fill the top drafting positions, which was an unsustainable means of institutional strengthening.

The human resources issues were compounded by a marked increase in the Legislative Drafting Division's workload, including drafting requirements resulting from the introduction of the International Monetary Reform Programme, a new constitutional amendment bill and the Seychelles' membership to the WTO, which at the time was still under discussion.

The results of these capacity constraints was a backlog of enactments and an unsatisfactory quality of drafted enactments.

The AGO thus required assistance in the development of its capacity to fulfil its drafting mandate, through the provision of short-term drafting assistance, complemented with training and on-going mentoring to build the long term institutional capacity in the area of legislative drafting.

Goal

The purpose of the project was to strengthen the AGO's legislative drafting capacity and to draft key legislation. This was expected to contribute to the enhancement of Seychelles’ capacity for legal drafting and the operational effectiveness of drafting facilities.

Impact

The improved legislation drafting capacity facilitated the Seychelles’ pursuit of a number of MDGs, enabling its citizens to exercise claims for the rights enshrined in these goals to be upheld.

The primary beneficiaries of this project were the drafting personnel at the Attorney General’s Office, who benefitted from capacity building in the area of legislative drafting, as well as through the expert’s provision of drafting services. Representatives of ministries requiring legislation also benefitted from training in drafting standard, high quality instructions. Secondary beneficiaries of this project were the Seychelles' legal community and population as a whole (87,972), who benefitted from a swifter passage of bills, affecting their ability to exercise their legal rights, and good governance through implementation of state policies.

Outputs
  1. Drafting of key legislation and various other pieces of legislation assigned by the AG: Drafted Public Finance Management and control Act, 2012, Public Enterprises Monitoring Commission Act, 2013, Hire Purchase and credit Sale Act, 2013, Financial Leasing Act, 2013, Financial Services Commission Act, 2013, Small Business financing Act 2013 and other various pieces of legislation.
  2. Draft manuals produced on legislative drafting (for drafting staff) and on preparation of drafting instructions (for line ministries).
  3. Mentoring and guidance in drafting provided to one junior drafter within the AG's office. The training and mentoring assisted the junior drafter in the drafting of National Aids Council Bill, Insolvency Bill, Trust Bill, Financial Services Commission Bill and Disaster Management bill.
  4. Three drafters sponsored to attend the Commonwealth Legislative Drafting Skills course at the Ghana School of Law