Executive Summary

The 2012 OECD Recommendation of the Council on Regulatory Policy and Governance demonstrates that good regulatory management helps stimulate economic activity at both domestic and international levels. A well-functioning regulatory framework enables efficient markets and helps protect citizens against financial, economic and societal uncertainties. Law drafting techniques and procedures have a direct impact on the effectiveness of legislation and regulatory quality. Transparent and coherent legislative drafting procedures help promote public participation in the rule-making process, foster trust in the justice system, reinforce the rule of law and create an enabling business environment where citizens and businesses can identify their rights and obligations.

This report provides an understanding of how legislative drafting guides enhance legislative and regulatory quality. It provides evidence from the OECD and MENA countries on the preparation and implementation of legislative drafting guides and assesses the Egyptian Legislative Drafting Manual vis-à-vis OECD recommendations and international good practices. The report concludes with tailored policy recommendations for implementing the Egyptian Legislative Drafting Manual. In particular, it highlights the following key areas where further efforts could maximise the potential of the Egyptian Legislative Drafting Manual as a tool for obtaining better outcomes from legislation:

  • Ensure that the Manual is embedded into a broader “whole-of-government” policy for regulatory governance and supported by application of regulatory policy tools. Consideration could be given to tools such as the of ex post and ex ante regulatory impact analysis (RIA), public consultations and stakeholder engagement, review of stock of legislation, administrative simplification, transparency and communication, alternatives to regulation; and ex post evaluation as a whole across the government.

  • Ensure high-level political commitment and sustained support for the effective implementation of the Manual. All parties engaged in legislative drafting should also commit to follow them. Based on OECD experience, a formal announcement and commitment by the government calling for proper application of the legislative drafting instructions is critical for ensuring manuals can achieve their intended goals.

  • Design and publish a coherent and “whole-of-government” operational strategy for implementing the Egyptian Legislative Drafting Manual. The strategy should cover the key steps in the implementation of the Manual while allocating clear responsibilities across relevant stakeholders and introducing timelines. The strategy should help legal drafters understand how applying the Manual can help improve the quality of legislation. It should also include a communications strategy to raise awareness and ensure sustained support for the implementation of the Manual. The strategy could introduce short- and medium-term goals to facilitate the monitoring of the progress.

  • Commit to reporting regularly on the implementation of the measures outlined in the operational strategy and the Legislative Drafting Manual. The systemic application of monitoring and evaluation tools can help assess the effectiveness of implementation, reveal potential bottlenecks and encourage the formulation of appropriate responses.

  • Update and revise the Manual regularly, based on feedback provided by users on their experience of working with this tool on a daily basis. The experience of OECD countries demonstrates that legislative drafting manuals need to adapt to the dynamic legal and regulatory environment as well as to the daily needs of legislative drafters.

  • Establish solid consultation and feedback mechanisms as well as an institutionalised working party tasked with updating the Manual. Many OECD countries have introduced specific consultation and feedback mechanisms to help obtain constant feedback from manual users. Establishing a working party of relevant stakeholders can ensure the transparency of the process and enable collaboration across different institutions. Consultation methods need to be institutionalised for effective feedback, monitoring and evaluation. In addition, a network could be formed to help create buy-in to the Manual across different institutions and departments, and to keep the Manual up to date.

  • Pilot the Manual across different institutions and ministries; report user feedback to the working party to update and revise the Manual. The Legislative Drafting Manual is the first of its kind in Egypt. Expecting immediate systemic application of the Manual across the government could be unrealistic given the uneven capacities and skills across public institutions. Piloting the Manual in different ministries and bodies could be a useful way to introduce the Manual, test its applicability; and reveal potential challenges.

  • Ensure that the Manual is publicly accessible and widely disseminated. It is of vital importance that all parties engaged in law making have access to the Manual and could benefit from it. The Manual should be publicly available online as well as on the internal webpages of public institutions. Easy access to the Manual is crucial for raising awareness about its presence and to ensure its effective utilisation.

  • Introduce special software packages incorporating drafting guidance into the computer systems. Drafting assistance tools have been introduced across a number of OECD countries to apply legislative drafting manuals more effectively and easily. These software packages also provide legal drafters with practical help that corresponds to their daily needs.

  • Provide trainings, seminars and workshops on legislative drafting principles, use of the Manual and legislative drafting software tools to all stakeholders engaged in legislative drafting. It is essential to ensure that legislative drafters have adequate capacities and skills to benefit from the Manual and to produce quality legislation. Institutionalised legislative drafting training programmes in government, civil service training bodies or universities introducing legal drafters to the use of Manuals and legislative drafting software tools can contribute to raise awareness and build necessary skills among legal drafters.

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