The Senior Dean at Jinnah University organized a round-table for the members of the legislature and civil society taking part in ICLAD’s e-Learning course Legislative Drafting for Democratic Social Change, as well as for the head of a leading Economic Research Institute, and the Dean of the Jinnah University Law School. Dean Tahir spearheaded early efforts to establish an ICLAD-affiliated university Center for research and training relating to the use of law for good governance and development.
Sponsored by USAID via DAI’s Legislative Strengthening project, an ICLAD Certified Trainer consulted with legislators, the legislative staffs, and representatives of civil society in the four provincial capitals and Islamabad. In interviews, workshops, and roundtable discussions, the participants discussed how best to introduce an ongoing, self-reliant program to strengthen the capacity of Pakistan’s legislators to carry out their primary tasks: (1) to assess and, when necessary, initiate legislation; (2) to monitor and evaluate government’s implementation of laws once enacted; and (3) to develop communications to increase their constituents’ knowledge of, and participation in, the Pakistani law-making process.
Participants in the process identified a number of widespread, pressing social problems, including poverty and unemployment, inadequate schooling, limited healthcare and water purification facilities, insufficient environmental protections, gender inequality, and constraints on human rights. They also underscored the failure of the law-making process to produce effectively implemented legislation to help resolve these social problems.
Some participants initially questioned whether governmental law-making constitutes a necessary addition to Islamic law in producing the “public good.” Others viewed punishment as the most effective use of law to solve social problems. A small number even doubted that a problem-solving methodology grounded in facts and logic could change the power relationships that currently dominate Pakistan’s law-making processes.
Participants concluded, however, that a project to strengthen elected legislators’ capacity to enact detailed, effectively implemented laws, grounded on facts and logic, could help to overcome persistent social problems. Such laws would address the causes of social problems, rather than simply imposing punishments. Anyone, no matter how poor, could introduce more persuasive evidence as a basis for making revisions to improve the bill’s likely contribution to the “public good.” Those with power could only object if they could provide other facts to demonstrate that another solution would probably prove more effective; rejecting the bill out of hand would only undermine their own legitimacy.
The discussions generated a proposal for instituting an ongoing two-year learning program in order to strengthen elected legislators’ capacity.
Again sponsored by USAID via DAI’s Legislative Strengthening project, two ICLAD Certified Trainers launched this program with a two-week legislative drafting workshop in Pakistan. This workshop was attended by members of the Pakistani National Assembly, Senate, Punjab Assembly, Balochistan Assembly, Sindh Assembly, NWFP Assembly, PILS, university personnel and civil society organizations.
A number of participants completed the e-Learning course, Legislative Drafting for Democratic Social Change. They went on to incorporate legislative problem-solving theory and methodology into their university courses and used it to frame pending legislation.
Disaster Management Act
Drinking Water Act
Hepatitis Monitoring and Control
Home-Based Workers Protection Act
Improving the Quality of Private Education
Increasing Enrollment in Primary Education
Law on the Law-Making Process
Managing the Allocation and Distribution of Irrigation Water
Prevention and Prosecution of Aerial Firing
Professionalization of the Police Force
Reducing the Transmission Rates of Thallassemia
Rehabilitation of Rag Pickers
Technical Education/Job Preparedness
Treatment of Under Trial Prisoners
Volatile Substance Abuse
Wasteful Expenditures for Wedding Functions
Women’s Protection Act