Ensuring high quality regulation
MENA countries have improved legislative drafting capacities in recognition of their role in improving regulation. Given the volume of current regulatory activity, committed political and institutional will are needed to improve the quality of regulation in general, and legislative drafting capacity in particular. The four case studies presented in Chapter 5 explore the legislative drafting process, identify guidelines to ensure technical and procedural consistency in drafting, and outline training activities and programmes for legislative drafters.
In 2007, Egypt launched the Egyptian Regulatory Reform and Development Activity (ERRADA). This initiative has now completed its first stage, which involved a decentralised effort by a dozen ministries, guided by an intersectoral advisory council, to compile an exhaustive inventory of all legislation that affects Egyptian businesses. This initiative, now permanently housed within the Ministry of Trade and Industry, is also reviewing the inventory in conjunction with government and private sector stakeholders. This process demonstrates the value of an open approach to reviewing legislation and has paved the way for impact assessment on regulations affecting economic activity in Egypt.
Jordan’s National Agenda (2005-15) identified justice and legislation, political development and inclusion, and infrastructure enhancement as its strategic themes. In 2009, an inter-ministerial steering committee was created to implement the National Agenda in the context of the current economic trends affecting the nation. Two legal databases were developed to provide legislative drafting support, one by the government (the National Information Technology Centre, in co-operation with the Legislation and Opinion Bureau, the office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Justice, the Parliament, the Judicial Institute and the National Library) and the other by the private sector (the Adaleh Centre for Legal Information).
The Palestinian National Authority has implemented several interrelated measures to enhance legislative drafting capacity. Since the establishment of the authority in 1994 and the subsequent coming into operation of its legislature, the Palestine Legislative Council, there have been significant changes in the structure of its executive. These developments have led to the creation of several new bodies to support the drafting process. In 2007, the Council of Ministers established the higher National Committee on the Legislative Plan to develop a systematic plan for preparing government legislation. In addition, to enhance
standards and encourage consistency in drafting legislation, the Birzeit University Institute of Law, under agreement with the Ministry of Justice, has developed a three-month diploma programme on legislative drafting.
In 1996, Tunisia adopted a plan to upgrade its administration. This plan, initially implemented under the 9th Development Plan (1997-2001), reorganised primary and subordinate legislation; modernised the working procedures of the state administration, including a programme of computerisation; and realigned the relationship between the government and the citizen. Structural adjustment, begun in the late 1980s, is currently being carried forward within the 11th National Development Plan (2007-11), which includes a commitment to improve the business environment by modernising laws and regulations, revising
and simplifying their content, and training legal specialists in ministries.