Introduction

This report is written for decision makers, policy makers, public officials and the international community working on better regulation and legislation. The report sheds light on the role of legislative drafting manuals in enhancing legislative and regulatory quality and promoting good governance; and provides evidence and good practices from the OECD countries in the preparation and implementation of the legislative drafting manuals. In particular, the report focuses on the first Egyptian legislative drafting manual1, which is prepared by the Ministry of Justice of Egypt with the support of the OECD. This report aims to assess the legislative drafting manual of Egypt, which was launched in July 2018 by the Ministry of Justice of Egypt, in light of good practice as outlined in the 2016 Charter and 2012 Recommendation; and provide recommendations for making these legislative drafting instructions more operational and effective. The report is prepared as part of the MENA Transition Fund Project “The Rule of Law in Egypt” of the G7 Deauville Partnership, implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Justice and the African Development Bank. The report is based on the findings of peer-to-peer exchanges, capacity-building activities, technical workshops and a series of study visits to OECD countries, including Canada, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain which have been conducted since 2014. The OECD would like to thank the officials from the Government of Egypt and the OECD peers for their support and commitment as well as the MENA Transition Fund of the G7 Deauville Partnership for the financial support.

Growing evidence demonstrates that well-designed regulations underpin inclusive growth, good governance, enabling business environment, transparency and accountability. While good regulation contributes to well-functioning markets and societies, poor regulation may undermine them by imposing undue costs on businesses and citizens.

The 2012 OECD Recommendation of the Council on Regulatory Policy and Governance (the Recommendation) is the first comprehensive international statement on regulatory policy. It stresses the link between regulatory policy and economic development; and provides guidance for countries on how to implement better regulatory governance. The Recommendation:

  • provides governments with clear and timely guidance on the principles, mechanisms, actors and institutions required to improve the design, enforcement and review of their regulatory framework to the highest standards;

  • advises governments on the effective use of regulation to achieve better social, environmental and economic outcomes; and

  • calls for a “whole-of-government” approach to regulatory reform, with emphasis on the importance of consultation, co-ordination, communication and co-operation to address the challenges posed by the inter-connectedness of sectors and economies (OECD, 2012).

Good quality legislation is a component of sound regulatory policy. In the MENA region, good regulation is increasingly recognised as a precondition for strengthening the rule of law and building more resilient societies. Poorly drafted legislation creates legal ambiguity and insecurity; and poses challenges to cost justified, cost effective and consistent delivery of intended policy objectives. The 2009 and 2016 Regional Charter for Regulatory Quality of the MENA-OECD Governance Programme provides a set of principles and good practice for regulatory management in countries of MENA region. The Charter stresses that law drafting techniques and procedures are key to ensure the effectiveness of legislation and regulatory quality (OECD, 2016) (see Box 1.). High-quality legal drafting processes and techniques enable effective regulatory systems, support open government, reduce regulatory burdens (including duplication or conflict of regulations); and strengthen economic development and the rule of law.

Box 1. The 2016 OECD-MENA Regional Charter for Regulatory Quality

[We endeavour to]:

  1. i. An explicit policy on regulatory quality that has the highest political support and recognition of regulatory policy as a whole of major government agenda;

  2. ii. The implementation of open government strategies and effective stakeholder engagement tools, including online, to provide the necessary input, feedback and buy-in for the implementation of policies, laws and other regulatory instruments;

  3. iii. Provide the appropriate Regulatory oversight of the implementation of the explicit policy on regulatory quality and make sure the good regulation should be clear, simple and practical for users through the relevant institutional arrangements that has the appropriate powers and levers;

  4. iv. Integrated evidence based policy making using an adopted version of regulatory impact assessments relevant to the administrative culture, which also take into account impacts on gender equality and other economic and social policy dimensions, but applying the most modern techniques that enhance regulatory quality;

  5. v. Regulatory reviews of existing stock of regulations to reduce unnecessary and burdensome regulatory burdens including administrative burdens as well as implementing an ex-post evaluation of new regulatory proposals;

  6. vi. Regularly publish performance evaluation of the implementation of regulatory policy to inform stakeholders of progress and developments and to encourage continuous improvement among regulators;

  7. vii. Embed good governance of regulatory agencies, when appropriate, to ensure efficient and effective regulatory delivery and user experience of regulatory policy, which is accompanied by efficient, accessible recourse and dispute resolution mechanisms;

  8. viii. Apply administrative and judicial reviews to regulatory policy to ensure justice and fairness in the regulatory process;

  9. ix. Give careful consideration to the appropriate risk strategies in developing policies, laws and regulatory proposals that are realistic and admit a responsible level of risk;

  10. x. Ensure regulatory coherence across all levels of government at the national level with the appropriate capacities and adoption of regulatory tools;

  11. xi. Regional regulatory cooperation across the MENA region to have consistent and coherent regulatory frameworks for better integration regionally and globally;

  12. xii. Inclusive policies in regulatory management that involves all relevant stakeholders, especially women and young people.

Note: The Regional Charter for Regulatory Quality was submitted for approval during the 2016 Ministerial Conference of the MENA-OECD Initiative on Governance and Competitiveness on 3rd and 4th October 2016. The endorsement of the Charter means an acceptance of general principles for regulatory quality in a non-binding manner. Each country is responsible for integrating those principles in its regulatory management system.

Legislative drafting manuals contribute to coherent law drafting and help align national regulatory systems with international standards and good practice. For instance, the Palestinian Authority has prepared two legislative drafting manuals to align reliable and consonant legislative drafting techniques across legal departments in the public administration. The legislative drafting manuals of Palestinian Authority have constituted a core component of its legal reform agenda (OECD, 2013).

In light of the 2016 Regional Charter for Regulatory Quality and 2012 OECD Recommendation of the Council on Regulatory Policy and Governance, the Arab Republic of Egypt has prepared a legislative drafting manual to strengthen regulatory quality and transparency in the rule-making process. The Manual was launched in July 2018 by the Ministry of Justice and ultimately aims at supporting the rule of law and creating an enabling business environment in Egypt.

References

OECD (2016) Regional Charter for Regulatory Quality, https://www.oecd.org/mena/governance/RegionalCharterEN.pdf\ (accessed 22 July 2019).

OECD (2013) Regulatory Reform in the Middle East and North Africa: Implementing Regulatory Policy Principles to Foster Inclusive Growth, https://doi.org/10.1787/9789264204553-en (accessed 22 July 2019).

OECD (2012) Recommendations of the Council on Regulatory Policy and Governance, https://www.oecd.org/governance/regulatory-policy/49990817.pdf (accessed 22 July 2019).

Note

← 1. The Egyptian Legislative Drafting Manual is accessible online on the website of the Ministry of Justice: http://www.jp.gov.eg/ar/Ministry_of_Justice_Design_of_Legislative_Guide.pdf (accessed 22 July 2019).

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