EUPOL COPPS funds training for Diwan to improve quality of legislative drafting and provides IT equipment

Nine legal personnel from the Palestinian Legislation and Advisory Bureau (the Diwan) completed a training on legislative drafting delivered from 16 – 25 June. The training was delivered over 18 hours by a Palestinian expert and funded by EUPOL COPPS. It was the second of its kind and follows on from a similar training delivered between 12 Jan and 9 Feb 2020.

The aim of the training was to support the trainees to strengthen the quality of legislation being drafted in Arabic. In addition to the regular publication of legislation, Palestine has committed to transposing a number of international treaties and conventions into domestic legislation. For all legislation, it is important that the meaning and intent behind the legislation is clear – otherwise there may be serious misunderstandings.

“EUPOL COPPS has tailored this training based on a needs assessment of the legal personnel of the Diwan in order to enhance their knowledge, skills and techniques in legislation-making which they have already acquired during the first level of the training,” said Amjad Badran, EUPOL COPPS Legislative Drafting Expert. “The training was an interactive exercise where the expert trainer used several approaches to demonstrate his wide experience in the field which was very well received and accepted by the trainers”. 

The trainer offered the trainees real examples of ambiguous legal texts in Arabic, in order to identify possible problems that the legislation might create when implemented, and invited the trainees to correct the text. Particular attention was paid to legal terminology in Arabic as well the correct use of punctuation. Sometimes, the use of a comma or not can change the legal meaning of a text. The training also looked at strategies to address ambiguity.

In order to ensure the safety of the participants in the training, a spacious meeting room was provided by the Diwan, providing ample opportunity for the trainees to maintain a distance between each other. The wearing of masks was compulsory and sanitiser was provided.

“We would like to deeply thank EUPOLCOPPS for their continuous support to the Diwan, and would like to assure that this training was very successful and we believe it achieved its expected goals, whether in its first or second level,” said Ms. Iman Abdelhameed, the Head of the Diwan. “I believe the training enabled the participants to gain new and advanced skills pertaining to legal terminology, legislative drafting and the structure of legal texts. In addition, the skills to assess and analyse ambiguous legal text to ensure the usage of proper Arabic legal language and adherence to the clarity of the legal texts have been improved. This will certainly improve the quality of all legislation”.

The training is part of the ongoing support for the Diwan provided by EUPOL COPPS. On 30 June 2020, the Mission delivered IT equipment as well as printing materials to the Diwan during a meeting between EUPOL COPPS Head of Mission Kauko Aaltomaa and Ms Abdelhameed. The IT equipment included two desktop computers and one ProBook Mac which will be used by the legal personnel of the Diwan in their daily work. The ProBook Mac is very essential to enable the Official Gazette legal staff do their job in editing, formatting and producing the Official Gazette of the legislation more efficiently and more rapidly. In addition, EUPOLCOPPS funded the printing of two guidelines on secondary and primary legislation which will be used internally by the legal personnel of the Diwan when reviewing, editing and processing the draft legislation.