15 -16 July 2021, Thalath, Vientiane Province- The Government sets clear principles and practice that must be complied with in the making of laws in Lao PDR to ensure the effectiveness of such legislation. A consultation workshop, co-hosted by the Ministry of Justice and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), on the draft amended Law on Law Making was hosted to ensure unified, consistent and effective processes to strengthen alignment of law making with international good practice. The draft of the Law on Law Making has already undergone a number of important consultations and revisions, yet the workshop provides another opportunity to consult with stakeholders for final changes, including technical guidance from UNDP and further feedback from members of the National Assembly for the Assembly’s consideration and later adopting, provisionally scheduled for the 2nd session of the 9th Legislature by the end of 2021.
The workshop was convened on 15 July in Thalath, Vientiane Province, and was chaired by Vice Minister of Justice H.E. Mr KongGee Yangchue. In embracing the move toward digital participation in the COVID-19 context, Ms. Ricarda Rieger, Resident Representative of UNDP, delivered her opening remarks online for the participants in the room, which included Director Generals, and Deputy Director Generals of the Ministry of Justice, joined by members from the National Assembly, UNDP technical experts. The workshop closely followed government guidance on hoisting of events with social distance maintained and a maximum of 20 people from across the represented organizations.
The primary objective of the meeting was to finalize the draft amended Law on Law Making among key representatives from the Ministry of Justice and the National Assembly. The participants also explored some options for developing guiding documents on the implementation of the law and some innovative practices for consulting on and assessing the impact of new laws from other countries, through a technical presentation from UNDP.
In his opening remarks, H.E. Mr KongGee Yangchue highlighted the important role of the National Assembly in finalizing the draft law: “One of the main purposes of the meeting is to get the feedback and comments from the members of the Legal Committee of the National Assembly.” Mr Yangchue was keen to encourage feedback from all participants to help the Ministry of Justice identify any areas of concern or ion need of strengthening in the draft law. Mr Yangchue shared is appreciation for the participation of all present at the workshop and to UNDP for their support, and added that he hopes “continue receiving support from UNDP the Draft Law on Law Making is successfully adopted by the National Assembly.”
Ms. Ricarda Rieger reflected on the draft law in her opening remarks, “a strong move toward international good practice in Lao PDR has been made through the draft with the incorporation and strengthening of key principles for legislation development such as the impact assessment, stakeholder engagement and ex-post review of the legislation.” She added however that the real impact of these changes law would need require greater focus at the implementations stage, highlighting that “the effectiveness of this law will be determined by the practical detail of the subsequent guiding laws”.
The workshop was co-hosted by UNDP and MOJ under the project, Strategic Support to Strengthen the Rule of Law in Lao PDR (3S-RoL), which aims to advance the rule of law in Lao PDR. UNDP has worked closely with MOJ on law development processes, including the publication of the 2015 ‘Law making process baseline study in Lao PDR’ report, which was the first ever comprehensive study examining practices in law-making processes in Lao PDR. The report included recommendations for law-drafters to provide the public access to draft legislation via online publication, organize public consultations, and develop explanatory notes and impact assessment reports, which represent key principles of international good practice and many aspects of which are reflected in the current draft of the law under discussion at the workshop.
For Lao version: ສຳລັບບົດຂ່າວພາສາລາວ
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