Legislative Production System and Drafting Manual Launched

Photo: Michael Sloley Minister of Justice, Hon. Delroy Chuck (left), joins Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Carol Palmer (2nd left); High Commissioner of Canada, His Excellency Sylvain Fabi (2nd right); and Chief Justice the Hon. Zaila McCalla, in perusing the Legislative Drafting Manual. The document, along with the Legislative Production Management System, was launched on June 8 at the Ministry’s Constant Spring Road offices in Kingston.

Story Highlights

  • The process by which the country’s laws are drafted is to be significantly improved with the introduction of the Legislative Production Management System and Legislative Drafting Manual.
  • Justice Minister, Hon. Delroy Chuck, launched the software system and manual at his Constant Spring Road offices in St. Andrew on June 8.
  • Minister Chuck explained that the system, which will be rolled out at the end of June, is intended to make the legislative drafting process more efficient, while also allowing for speedy amendments to Bills.

The process by which the country’s laws are drafted is to be significantly improved with the introduction of the Legislative Production Management System and Legislative Drafting Manual.

Justice Minister, Hon. Delroy Chuck, launched the software system and manual at his Constant Spring Road offices in St. Andrew on June 8.

They were developed under the Justice Undertakings for Social Transformation (JUST) Programme, which is funded by the Canadian Government and implemented by the Justice Reform Implementation Unit (JRIU) in the Ministry.

Minister Chuck explained that the system, which will be rolled out at the end of June, is intended to make the legislative drafting process more efficient, while also allowing for speedy amendments to Bills.

This, by linking the various entities and institutions that are involved in the development of legislation.

“It will enable knowledge-sharing among the ministries, departments and agencies, such as the Office of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel, the Legal Reform Department, Attorney-General’s Chambers, the Houses of Parliament, the Printing Office and the line ministries, which issue the drafting instructions,” he informed.

It is expected that with this software, instructions can be given electronically and amendments made in real time, without sending drafts of a Bill back and forth at the various stages of development. It will also eliminate the need for the time-consuming retyping of Bills and reduce the likelihood of errors.

Meanwhile, the manual will augment the drafters’ technical skills, and ensure consistently high standards and approaches to Jamaica’s legislation.

It is intended to standardise the development of sound policies and drafting instructions from which high-quality legislation can be achieved, and will help to standardise and improve drafting office practice and techniques.

“The cutting-edge software, coupled with global best practices, will now be a feature of the country’s legislature-drafting process and will play a significant role in creating a modern justice system that benefits all Jamaicans,” Minister Chuck said.

High Commissioner of Canada to Jamaica, His Excellency Sylvain Fabi, in his remarks, said the JUST programme is indicative of the strong partnership between the countries and a mutual commitment to justice system reform.

He noted that the drafting manual supports the push for increased efficiency without sacrificing quality. “It provides examples of different types of laws, and outlines procedures and best practices for the preparation and passage of Bills,” he said.

The introduction of the software, he noted, “will help legislators and drafters work at maximum efficiency to expedite the passage of laws in Jamaica, which is critical for the development and modernisation of the justice system”.

The ceremony included the handover of the Legislative Drafting Manual to the Supreme Court Rules Committee, Parish Court Rules Committee, Office of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel, Attorney General’s Department, Legal Reform Department and Clerk of the Houses of Parliament.

The JUST programme seeks to improve the organisation, management and service-delivery capacity of the justice sector.

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