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Commonwealth helps Seychelles strengthen its legal frameworks

7 June 2018

The legal frameworks and mechanisms of Seychelles have been strengthened further, following capacity building and technical assistance from Commonwealth experts.

Members of the country’s Constitutional Appointments Authority (CAA), the body which oversees the efficiency and effectiveness of constitutional appointments, were helped with draft administrative guidelines.

The measures will enable the CAA to more effectively carry out its constitutional mandate in handling complaints from members of the public, such as alleged misbehaviour by constitutional appointees.

In this regard, the draft guidelines, produced by the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Rule of Law Section, in consultation with the CAA, set out the administrative roles of the body. They also take into account the manner in which they are to be carried out, the procedures the body must follow, specifically in assessing complaints.

The Rule of Law Section also delivered training for legislative drafters in the Attorney General’s Chambers, which will assist in strengthening Seychelles’ legal frameworks. As the Attorney General, Frank Ally, noted, even though Seychelles has a higher number of draft legislators per capita than many other Commonwealth nations, the training would enhance the support lent by his Chambers to the three branches of government. The capacity building is a core part of the Secretariat’s work with small Commonwealth countries.

In her opening remarks at the beginning of the training, Segametsi Mothibatsela, Legal Adviser in the Secretariat’s Rule of Law Section, said, “A country’s ability to produce simple, clear, concise and comprehensive laws which promote and strengthen the rule of law, is only as good as its legislative drafting capacity. The rule of law cannot thrive where laws affecting access to justice, accountability and fairness, the regulation of economic, social and environmental development, amongst other things, lack clarity and conciseness.”

Given the pivotal role they play, Ms. Segametsi went on to encourage drafters to be passionate about their work in order to achieve the best results.

A dialogue with policy decision-makers was also undertaken. The session brought together Seychelles’ Permanent Secretaries to brainstorm ways in which they can boost collaboration with the Attorney General’s Chambers to improve the quality and efficacy of draft legislation, in addition to enhancing the legislative process.

The Commonwealth also delivered a workshop on science, technology, innovation governance and intellectual property rights. The two-day session, which was hosted by the Seychelles National Institute for Science, Technology and Innovation (NISTI), focused on the island nation’s ten-year strategy, which runs from 2015-2025.

Permanent Secretaries, CEOs and other representatives from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Agriculture and Fisheries, Environment, Energy and Climate Change, and Youth, Sports and Culture, as well as other stakeholders and external experts, all attended the meeting.

Speaking at the training Elizabeth Bakibinga-Gaswaga, Legal Adviser at the Commonwealth Secretariat, emphasised the importance of understanding how different stakeholders merge to deliver the science, technology and innovation agenda in Seychelles to ensure that the right policies and legislation are in place. This included the relationship between the three branches of government, how they interact, and the implications for technology transfer.

The workshop also examined the particular challenges and opportunities confronting Seychelles, such as software management, particularly in the context of the Blue Economy.