AGC holds ‘share and discuss’ session
Hakim Hayat

THE Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) organised a ‘share and discuss’ session on a law-making process and its legalisation with an invited expert yesterday, as part of its initiative to encourage active discussion and viewpoint sharing on legal issues of common concern among the chamber’s officers.

Gracing the session held at the Golden Jubilee Hall, Law and Courts Building was Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Muta-Wakkilah Hayatul Bolkiah.

Under the topic ‘Why is law-making time consuming and is legislation always the answer?’, the session was presented by an expert in legislative drafting, Roger Neville Rose, who has with him directorships of studies of legislative drafting and other law courses from the Royal Institute of Public Administration International London (RIPA).

In the session, Roger Neville emphasised challenges that lawmakers face in the process of drafting laws. He said more often than not, law-making process itself takes a great deal of time since it comprised of the policy making and legislative drafting.

“It is well known in the legislative drafting world and indeed understandable that the administrators fail to appreciate and most of the times underestimate the intricacies of legislative drafting. Legislative draftspersons face challenges of various sorts but one that prevails is the failure to obtain clear and consistent policy decision. Detailed planning and clear policy stand is prerequisite to determining whether any draft legislation can be prepared effectively,” he said.

However, he said solutions to pending issues should not be confined to legislative means because legislation is not always the avenue to achieve the intended objectives of the government policy. “The implications of legislation may sometimes make administrative options more attractive, providing the flexibility for administrators to adapt their policy for different scenarios. Furthermore shifting focus on strengthening enforcement activities can enhance the effectiveness of the policy,” he added.

As an expert in legislative drafting with numerous experiences from conducting legislative drafting courses and seminars in many countries to drafting model legislation in various subject matters for the Commonwealth secretariat, and also drafting legislation in various subject matters for Commonwealth jurisdictions including advising on the suitability of legislation, Roger Neville provided an understanding and consensus to the common challenges faced by legislative draftspersons which are certainly not just unique to Brunei.

Meanwhile, the AGC in a press release said the share and discuss sessions are frequently held, and has since expanded to cover other non-legal issues with speakers not only restricted to officers of the chambers but have included other prominent speakers.

Roger Neville is also in Brunei to conduct a three-day workshop on legislative drafting. The participants of the workshop will embark on various specific subject matters encountered in the drafting of legalisation such as dealing with concise and plain language drafting, drafting repeal provisions and the use of punctuation in drafting.

Also present at the event yesterday was Dyg Naimah binti Mohd Ali, Solicitor General and officers of the AGC. - Borneo Bulletin (29 October 2013)