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    Deze analyse bespreekt uitvoerig de argumenten van voor- en tegenstanders van het wetsvoorstel ter versoepeling van de Belgische abortuswetgeving (2019-…). Het fel bediscussieerde wetsvoorstel beoogt het zelfbeschikkingsrecht van de zwangere persoon uit te breiden en abortus te destigmatiseren. Door vrijwillige zwangerschapsafbreking als gezondheidszorg te kwalificeren geven de indieners van het wetsvoorstel tevens de voorkeur aan een gezondheidsrechtelijk traject op maat van de zwangere persoon als patiënt. De inkorting van de wachtperiode-en het schrappen van abortusspecifieke informatieverplichtingen geven in die zin blijk van vertrouwen in de zwangere persoon, in het kwalitatief handelen van de zorgverlener en in de waarborgen die het gezondheidsrecht reeds biedt. De wetgever dient met andere woorden uit te maken (1) welke regels hij in de context van abortus nodig acht, (2) of deze regels reeds worden gewaarborgd door de algemene gezondheidswetten- en deontologie, en (3) of de vooropgestelde regels hun doel bereiken. Een uitbreiding van het zelfbeschikkingsrecht van de zwangere persoon wordt tevens bewerkstelligd door de termijnuitbreiding van twaalf naar achttien weken voor abortus op verzoek. Een keuze voor een termijn is steeds in zekere mate willekeurig, doch reflecteert een beleidsethische keuze waarbij wordt gezocht naar een evenwicht tussen de bescherming van ongeboren leven en het zelfbeschikkingsrecht van de zwangere persoon. Praktische bekommernissen vormen hierbij geen fundamenteel bezwaar tegen een termijnuitbreiding maar dienen, in overleg met de betrokken sector, te worden geanticipeerd en maximaal te worden opgevangen door middel van organisatorische (niet-noodzakelijk juridische) initiatieven. Ten slotte beogen de indieners van het wetsvoorstel opheffing van alle strafsancties voor vrijwillige zwangerschapsafbreking. Op rechtstheoretisch vlak blijven echter vragen bestaan omtrent de manier waarop dit voorstel een volledige depenalisering doorvoert. Hoewel het tuchtrecht enige rol kan spelen bij gebrek aan strafsancties, creëert de vooropgestelde depenalisering van ongeoorloofde zwangerschapsafbreking door een arts een rechtsonzekere situatie.
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    This analysis extensively discusses the arguments of supporters and opponents of the legislative proposal to relax the Belgian abortion legislation (2019-…). The heavily debated proposal primarily aims to expand the pregnant person’s right to self-determination and to destigmatise abortion. By qualifying consensual termination of pregnancy as health care, the supporters of the proposal also prioritise an individualised, health-oriented approach towards the pregnant person as patient. In the same vein, the diminished waiting period and the removal of abortion-specific information duties express trust in the pregnant person, in the qualitative conduct of the health care provider, and in the guarantees that the health law already provides. In other words, the legislator must determine 1) which regulations it deems necessary in the context of abortion, 2) whether these regulations are already guaranteed by general health laws and ethics, and 3) whether the proposed regulations achieve their intended purpose. An expansion of the pregnant person’s right to self-determination is also achieved by the extension from twelve to eighteen weeks as a limit for abortion on request. Although a time limit is always arbitrary to some extent, it mainly reflects a policy-ethical decision in which a balance is sought between the protection of unborn life and the pregnant person’s right to self-determination. Practical concerns do not establish a fundamental objection to the extension of such limit, but must, in consultation with the medical profession, be anticipated and dealt with as much as possible by means of organisational (not necessarily legal) initiatives. Finally, the proposal lifts all criminal sanctions currently applicable to consensual termination of pregnancy. On a legal-theoretical level, however, questions remain about the way in which the proposal implements full depenalisation. Although disciplinary law can play some role in the absence of criminal sanctions, the depenalisation of unlawful termination of pregnancy by a health care professional produces legal uncertainty.


F. De Meyer
Fien De Meyer doet doctoraatsonderzoek naar regelgeving inzake abortus aan de Universiteit van Antwerpen.

C. De Mulder
Charlotte De Mulder doet doctoraatsonderzoek naar het statuut van ongeboren leven aan de Universiteit van Antwerpen.
Article

Access_open ODR Redress System for Consumer Disputes

Clarifications, UNCITRAL Works & EU Regulation on ODR

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2014
Keywords consumer redress, B2C v/ B2B, ODR, UNCITRAL, EU Regulation
Authors Mirèze Philippe
AbstractAuthor's information

    Despite the evolution and the experience in the field of ODR, it appears that some aspects remain to be clarified in order to attempt to determine which type of procedure would be best adapted to consumer disputes. What does online arbitration mean and is this ODR? What is the profile of the users making use of ODR? What mechanisms are adapted to business disputes and to consumer disputes? Are procedural issues for disputes resolved through mediation similar to those resolved through arbitration? The article discusses about indispensable clarifications which may have an impact on the choice of procedure: mediation or arbitration. It then raises issues related to the UNCITRAL ODR WG discussions on a redress system for cross-border consumer disputes and questions whether types of disputes and potential mechanisms are not confused. Finally, the European Union which adopted a Regulation on ODR for consumer disputes may have found a solution.


Mirèze Philippe
Special Counsel at the Secretariat of the ICC International Court of Arbitration.
Article

Access_open The Right to Have Rights as the Right to Asylum

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2014
Keywords Arendt, asylum, refugeeship, right to have rights, statelessness de facto and de jure
Authors Nanda Oudejans
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article argues that the right to have rights, as launched by Hannah Arendt, is relative to refugee displacement and hence translates as a right to asylum. It takes issue with the dominant view that the public/private divide is the locus classicus of the meaning of this primordial right. A different direction of thought is proposed, proceeding from Arendt’s recovery of the spatiality of law. The unencompassibility of place in matters of rights, freedom and equality brings this right into view as a claim at the behest of those who have lost a legal place of their own. This also helps us to gain better understanding of Arendt’s rebuttal of the sharp-edged distinction between refugees and stateless persons and to discover the defiant potential of the right to have rights to illuminate the refugee’s claim to asylum as a claim to an own place where protection can be enjoyed again.


Nanda Oudejans
Nanda Oudejans is an independent researcher in philosophy of law and political philosophy.
Article

A Thorny Path to the Spotlight

The Rule of Law Component in EU External Policies and EU-Ukraine Relations

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2014
Keywords rule of law, rule of law promotion, European Union, European Neighbourhood Policy, Ukraine
Authors Olga Burlyuk
AbstractAuthor's information

    The rule of law and its promotion abroad is currently at the core of EU external policies, specifically in the European neighbourhood. But has it always been the case? This article traces the rule of law component of EU external policies in general and EU–Ukraine relations as a case study, and reveals that in the last two decades the rule of law has followed a thorny path to the spotlight, emerging from a rather peripheral place in the 1990s to its currently central one. The article argues that this is a result of three processes: the legislative mainstreaming of the rule of law in the EU itself, the growing ambitiousness of EU–Ukraine relations, and the increased visibility of systemic shortcomings in rule of law application in Ukraine due to the trials of opposition politicians since 2010. The article concludes by suggesting that rule of law components of other EU bilateral relations in the European neighbourhood and beyond are subject to similar processes.


Olga Burlyuk
Recently awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in International Relations, Brussels School of International Studies, the University of Kent.
Article

The Values of the European Union Legal Order

Constitutional Perspectives

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2014
Keywords European Union, constitutional values, jurisprudence, rule of law, treaty objectives
Authors Timothy Moorhead
AbstractAuthor's information

    At the heart of the European Union legal order lie values directed collectively to the idea of European integration. As a body with significant governmental and lawmaking powers, the Union also presents itself as an institution based upon the rule of law. The Union ‘constitution’ therefore expresses both regulatory powers direct­ed towards European integration as well as rule of law principles whose scope of application is limited by the terms of the Treaties. In this article I consider how this distinctive amalgam of values operates as a constitution for the European Union, by comparison with domestic constitutional values within the Member States. I also consider how Union constitutional demands condition and inform the legal practices of the Court of Justice. Here I identify the interpretive effects of superior Union laws –‍ the core Treaty objectives as well as rule of law principles found within the General Principles ‍– as of particular significance in developing the legal influences of the entire Union project of integration.


Timothy Moorhead
Associate Lecturer, University of Kent.
Article

From a Soft Law Process to Hard Law Obligations

The Kimberley Process and Contemporary International Legislative Process

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2014
Keywords Kimberley Process, soft law, international law, legislative process
Authors Martin-Joe Ezeudu
AbstractAuthor's information

    Ever since its creation and coming into force in 2003, the Kimberley Process has elicited a number of academic commentaries coming from different backgrounds. Legal scholars who have contributed to the commentaries, simply projected the regulatory regime as an international soft law without further analysis, based on an evaluation of the text of the agreement. This article in contrast, explores its practical effects and the manner of obligations that it imposes on its participant countries. It argues that although the regime may have been a soft law by classification, its obligations are hard and are no different from those of a conventional treaty. Those obligations enhance its juridical force, and are a factor by which the regime on its own tends to nullify the traditional criteria for distinction between hard and soft law in international jurisprudence, because it has elements of both.


Martin-Joe Ezeudu
PhD (Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Toronto, Canada); LLM (University of Birmingham, UK); LLB (Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria); Barrister & Solicitor, Nigeria; Solicitor, England & Wales. An articling student at the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General (Legal Services Branch of the Ministry of Consumer Services), Toronto, Canada. I am grateful to Prof Ikechi Mgbeoji who introduced me to this line of research. My thanks to Mr Tom van der Meer for his helpful comments on an earlier draft of this article. All errors and omissions remain mine. Dedicated to the loving memory of my brother, Chukwuemeka Innocent Ezeudu ‍–‍ a true brother and companion.
Article

Internet Trolling and the 2011 UK Riots

The Need for a Dualist Reform of the Constitutional, Administrative and Security Frameworks in Great Britain

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2014
Keywords UK riots, tort law, criminal law, dualism, Internet trolling
Authors Jonathan Bishop
Abstract

    This article proposes the need for ‘dualism’ in the legal system, where civil and criminal offences are considered at the same time, and where both the person complaining and the person responding are on trial at the same time. Considered is how reforming the police and judiciary, such as by replacing the police with legal aid solicitors and giving many of their other powers to the National Crime Agency could improve outcomes for all. The perils of the current system, which treats the accused as criminals until proven not guilty, are critiqued, and suggestions for replacing this process with courts of law that treat complainant and respondent equally are made. The article discusses how such a system based on dualism might have operated during the August 2011 UK riots, where the situation had such a dramatic effect on how the social networking aspects, such as ‘Internet trolling’, affected it.


Jonathan Bishop
Article

Implementation of Better Regulation Measures in the Internal Security Draft Legislation

The Case of Estonia

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2014
Keywords better regulation, internal security policy, impact assessment, participation, Estonia
Authors Aare Kasemets and Annika Talmar-Pere
AbstractAuthor's information

    The article analyses the implementation of better regulation measures in the internal security (IS) strategies, draft legislation and administrative routines of the Estonian Ministry of the Interior. The article includes the results of five substudies: (a) the research problem emerged from the studies of the explanatory memoranda of draft laws 2004-2009 according to which the Ministry has some deficiencies in fulfilling the better regulation requirements; (b) mapping of better regulation and internal security policy concepts; (c) content analysis of Estonian IS strategy documents; (d) systematization of Estonian IS laws; and (e) sociological e-survey of officials. Theoretical framework integrates the concepts of institutional theory, discursive democracy, realistic legisprudence and the adaptive strategic management.The main conclusions drawn by the article are as follows: the analysis of the knowledge of draft legislation and the excessive amount of laws in the IS field gives evidence of a lack of systematic regulatory impact assessment (IA); the concept of better regulation is not integrated into IS policy documents (insufficient planning and budgeting of IA); and a sociological e-survey of the officials of the Ministry indicates discontent with the management of the IA of policies and draft legislation. According to institutional analysis, this shows readiness for changes in the context of risk society challenges and adaptation with budgetary contractions.


Aare Kasemets
Estonian Academy of Security Sciences. Email: aare.kasemets@sisekaitse.ee.

Annika Talmar-Pere
Estonian Academy of Security Sciences.
Article

Judicial Case Management and the Complexities of Competing Norms Occasioned by Law Reforms

The Experience in Respect of Criminal Proceedings in Botswana

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2014
Keywords case management, Botswana, criminal proceedings, law reform, subpoena
Authors Rowland J.V. Cole
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Botswana judicial and legal system has undergone a wave of reforms over the past few years. These reforms include judicial case management, which was introduced to reduce unnecessary delays and backlog in the hearing of cases. The introduction of judicial case management necessitates a revision of the rules of court. While the rules of the courts principally relate to civil proceedings, criminal proceedings are principally regulated by the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act. However, the revised rules of court contain provisions that seek to bring criminal proceedings in line with judicial case management. A number of these provisions are inconsistent with the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act. This presents problems for the implementation of these rules as the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act is superior to the rules in the hierarchy of laws. Consequently, the implementation of judicial case management in criminal proceedings may prove to be an arduous task, and urgent harmonisation of the competing provisions is required.


Rowland J.V. Cole
LLB (Hons) (Sierra Leone), LLM (UNISA), LLD (Stell), Senior Lecturer, Department of Law, University of Botswana.
Article

The Costs and Consequences of US Drug Prohibition for the Peoples of Developing Nations

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2014
Keywords U.S. drug policy, drug prohibition, War on Drugs, human rights, U.N. Declaration on the Right to Development
Authors J. Michael Blackwell
AbstractAuthor's information

    The widespread production and use of illicit drugs is a social phenomenon carrying enormous social, economic, and political significance. The United States stands as a vocal and forceful proponent of prohibitionist drug controls in international policymaking. However, strictly enforced US prohibitionist drug controls largely fail to effectively reduce the consumption of narcotic drugs and ultimately create a significant number of negative consequences for many peoples throughout the world. The increased violence, government corruption and community sequestration that result from the war against drugs are deleterious to economic development among rural communities in drug producing countries. In response to these concerns, this article examines the purpose, effects and consequences of the prohibitive drug controls routinely employed by the United States. Special attention is paid to an oft-overlooked repercussion of prohibitive drug controls: the marginalisation of developmental human rights for peoples in drug producing countries.


J. Michael Blackwell
J.D. candidate, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, 2013; A special thanks to family, friends and Dr. Frank Emmert for guidance and support.
Article

Access_open Business Enterprises and the Environment

Corporate Environmental Responsibility

Journal The Dovenschmidt Quarterly, Issue 4 2013
Keywords Corporate Environmental Responsibility, Environmental Due Diligence, Environmental CSR, Business enterprises and the environment, Environmental complement to Ruggie Framework
Authors Katinka D. Jesse and Erik V. Koppe
AbstractAuthor's information

    In 2011, following his 2005 initial mandate of the UN Commission on Human Rights and his extended 2008 mandate of the UN Human Rights Council, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) on the issues of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises, Professor John Ruggie, issued the final text of the ‘Guiding Principles for the Implementation of the United Nations “Protect, Respect and Remedy Framework”‘. The 2008 Framework on Business and Human Rights and the complementing 2011 Guiding Principles consist of three pillars: the duty of states to protect human rights, the responsibility of business enterprises to respect human rights, and access to remedies for victims of human rights abuses. They currently qualify as the dominant paradigm in the corporate social responsibility (CSR) discourse, also because they now form part of various soft law and self-regulation initiatives. The Framework and Guiding Principles do not, however, specifically focus on environmental issues, but their systematic approach and structure do provide a model to address state duties and business responsibilities to care of the environment. This article is intended to complement the UN Framework and Guiding Principles on business and human rights with principles in the field of business and the environment. Hence, it is submitted that states have a customary duty to care for the environment; it is similarly submitted that business enterprises have a responsibility to care for the environment; and it is submitted that stakeholders must have access to remedies in relation to breaches of these duties and responsibilities.


Katinka D. Jesse
Dr. Katinka D. Jesse is post-doctoral research fellow at North-West University, South Africa.

Erik V. Koppe
Dr. Erik V. Koppe is assistant professor of public international law at Leiden Law School, The Netherlands. This article is partly based on research conducted by Jesse and Koppe as HUGO Fellows at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies in Wassenaar in the fall of 2011.
Article

Sir William Dale Annual Lecture

The Law Commission and the Implementation of Law Reform

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 4 2013
Authors The Rt. Hon. Sir David Lloyd Jones
Author's information

The Rt. Hon. Sir David Lloyd Jones
Chairman of the Law Commission of England and Wales.
Article

Donors without Borders

A Comparative Study of Tax Law Frameworks for Individual Cross-Border Philanthropy

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 4 2013
Keywords comparative, philanthropy, tax, deduction, international
Authors Joseph E. Miller, Jr.
AbstractAuthor's information

    Under current United States tax law, individual gifts to foreign charities generally are not deductible from federal income tax as charitable contributions. A comparative study of analogous tax laws in Switzerland and the United Kingdom demonstrates that the Swiss approach generally reflects the same prohibition against tax deductions for individual gifts to foreign charities, while British law permits such deductibility for gifts to qualified charities in other EU member states, Norway, and Iceland.
    All three countries’ legal frameworks demonstrate that their respective notions of the ‘public interest’ significantly affect their approaches to deductibility for gifts to foreign charities. The British conception of public interest, enlarged by participation in the European Union and the nondiscrimination requirements of the EU treaties, is embodied in its more expansive deductibility rules. Swiss non-participation in the EU, by contrast, reflects a more isolationist notion of public interest and may inform its prohibition on deductions for gifts to foreign charities. The narrower Swiss approach parallels the United States’ approach, and it suggests that an American expansion of deductibility for foreign charitable gifts could be encouraged by American participation in the proposed TPP, TTIP, or other multilateral trade agreements or economic unions.


Joseph E. Miller, Jr.
Joseph E. Miller is partner at Faegre Baker Daniels.
Article

Drafting of Legislation in Compliance with Model Laws

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 4 2013
Keywords challenges, domestic legislation, model laws
Authors Lesedi Poloko
AbstractAuthor's information

    Lawmaking is an essential attribute of a state. Laws differ from one country to another, and compliance with different legal rules may create problems. Uniformity of laws is an end in itself, and its value lies in its practical benefits. Interest in the quality of legislative instruments is a major concern, especially as regards the effectiveness of the national legislation.


Lesedi Poloko
LLM in Advanced Legislative Studies (2011-2012), Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London. The author would like to thank Prof. Helen Xanthaki for her constructive comments and valuable suggestions. Any errors remain those of the author.
Article

Drafting Conventions, Templates and Legislative Precedents, and their Effects on the Drafting Process and the Drafter

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 4 2013
Keywords drafting conventions, templates, legislative precedents, drafter’s skill, necessary tools for effective communication of language of legislation
Authors Agnes Quartey Papafio
AbstractAuthor's information

    The aim of this article is to explore whether drafting conventions, templates and legislative precedents contradict or complement the drafter’s style and if they complement the drafter’s style, the various ways in which the use of these tools achieves it.


Agnes Quartey Papafio
The author received her LLM Degree from the University of London, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in 2012. She works at the Ministry of Justice and Attorney-General’s Office in Ghana as a legislative drafter attached to the Legislative Drafting Division.
Article

Access_open The Meaning of the Presumption of Innocence for Pre-trial Detention

An Empirical Approach

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2013
Keywords pre-trial detention practice, presumption of guilt, incapacitation, presumption of innocence
Authors Lonneke Stevens
AbstractAuthor's information

    The presumption of innocence (PoI) is considered to be an important principle for regulating pre-trial detention. The idea is that pre-trial detention should be a last resort. However, pre-trial detention practice demonstrates that pre-trial detention does not function on the basis of a presumption of innocence but rather from a presumption of guilt and dangerousness. It must be concluded that, with regard to pre-trial detention, the PoI has a rather limited normative effect.


Lonneke Stevens
Lonneke Stevens is Associate Professor of Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure at VU University Amsterdam.
Article

Access_open Retributivist Arguments against Presuming Innocence

Answering to Duff

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2013
Keywords broad presumption of innocence, retributivism, punishment of innocents, vicarious liability of car owners, drink-driving tests of non-suspects
Authors Alwin A. van Dijk
AbstractAuthor's information

    Factors justifying not presuming innocence are generally incorporated into the Presumption of Innocence (PoI). A confusing discourse has resulted: numerous guilt-presuming acts are deemed consistent with the PoI. I argue for an unusually broad PoI: any act that might convey to a reasonable actor that he is not presumed innocent of a punishable offence constitutes a PoI interference. Thus, academic debate need only be about the question what PoI interferences are justifiable or unjustifiable. This question must be answered using pro- and anti-PoI values. I analyse three PoI interferences in relation to Duff’s retributivist punishment theory: presumptions of guilt, vicarious liability of car owners and coercing non-suspects into proving their sobriety. Retributivists tend to castigate such procedures based on their (supposed) consequentialist rationale. I argue, however, that they might also be justified on retributivist grounds. The retributivist anti-PoI duty to punish the guilty may be the worst enemy of innocents.


Alwin A. van Dijk
Alwin A. van Dijk is Assistant Professor of Criminal Law at the University of Groningen.
Article

The Pursuit of Clarity, Precision and Unambiguity in Drafting Retrospective Legislation

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2013
Keywords retrospectivity, clarity, precision, unambiguity, legislative drafting
Authors Elias Turatsinze
AbstractAuthor's information

    The hypothesis of this paper is that clarity, precision and unambiguity are the essential tools for expressing retrospective intent, which is a pre-requisite for quality and validity of retrospective legislation. The main objective of this work is to show that retrospective laws are valid, if the retrospective intent is expressed in clear, precise and unambiguous words within the statute. The term retrospectivity is used broadly to describe any legislation or decision affecting pre-enacting conduct. It encompasses statutes affecting the pre-enactment events, administrative regulations or decisions which look back in time and judicial decisions that overturn prior decisions. All these areas cannot be covered in this limited piece of work. Thus, the emphasis in this work will be put on retrospectivity of statutes at the drafting stage. Although it may be referred to generally, retrospective delegated legislation is outside the scope of this work. Particular attention will be directed towards the importance of clarity, precision and unambiguity in attaining quality and validity of retrospective legislation.


Elias Turatsinze
Elias Turatsinze graduated in Legislative Drafting (LLM) from the University of London- Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in 2012.
Article

The Drafter’s Role in the Drafting Process

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2013
Keywords drafter, drafting process, techniques, scrutiny
Authors Mico Augustin
AbstractAuthor's information

    Every government needs legislation to cover all issues transposing obligations in the manner required by the initiator and with respect to constitutional obligations and rules that provide for the conduct of society.
    Every legislative drafter should strive to achieve a law that is people oriented. The idea is to serve by extending legislative benefits to them in the best possible manner. Drafting is not a simple transcription or translation of administrative or executive guidelines, but is the command of legislative intent. It is a mixture of vision, mission and design, which brings out a workable proposition considering the background of a problem and foreseeing the ramifications of the legislative action. Drafting always supposes precision, brevity and clarity. Drafting should be compared to a focus of technical knowledge of a special kind that put together minds to produce a unity of thought enunciated as a command.
    In order to produce quality legislation, drafters need undergraduate law training, followed by specialised postgraduate training in legislative studies, combined with hands on experience in a drafting office with an experienced senior drafter.


Mico Augustin
Legislative Drafter and Advisor of the Rwanda Parliament/Chamber of Deputies. Email: micog2009@yahoo.fr
Article

Legislative Techniques in Rwanda

Present and Future

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2013
Keywords legislative drafting, law-making, drafting techniques, Rwanda, quality of legislation
Authors Helen Xanthaki
AbstractAuthor's information

    This report is the result of the collective work of 26 Rwandan civil servants from a number of ministries, who set out to offer the Ministry of Justice a report on legislative drafting in Rwanda. The work was undertaken under the umbrella of the Diploma in Legislative Drafting offered by the Institute for Legal Professional Development (ILPD) in Nyanza under the rectorship of Prof. Nick Johnson. The authors have used their experience of practising drafting in Rwanda, but have contributed to the report in their personal capacity: their views are personal and do not reflect those of the Government of Rwanda.
    My only contribution was the identification of topics, which follows the well-established structure of manuals and textbooks in drafting; the division of the report into two parts: Part 1 on the legislative process and Part 2 on drafting techniques; and the methodology of each individual entry to our report: what is current Rwandan practice, what are international standards, what is the future of Rwanda, and a short bibliography to allow the readers and users of the report to read further, if needed.
    The strength of this report lies both in the methodology used and in the content offered. The breakdown of topics, their prioritization and their sequence allow the reader to acquire a holistic view on how legislation is drafted in Rwanda, but there is nothing to prevent its use in the context of surveys on legislative drafting and legislative quality in other jurisdictions. The content offers a unique insight into the legislative efforts of a jurisdiction in transition from civil to common law: both styles are assessed without prejudice, thus offering a unique fertile ground for critical assessment and practical impact analysis.
    June 2013


Helen Xanthaki
Senior Lecturer and Academic Director, Centre for Legislative Studies, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London, Lawyer (Athens Bar).
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