A stepping stone to strengthen Rule of Law (RoL) in Balochistan: UNODC conducts a series of Training Workshops on Legislative Drafting

16 December 2022, Islamabad - The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in collaboration with UN Women and Government of Balochistan (GoB) successfully concluded a series of capacity-building training workshops in Islamabad on ‘Legislative Drafting for the Criminal Justice Institutions of Balochistan’. This initiative is funded by the European Union to implement the Rule of Law (RoL) Roadmap to support criminal justice institutions in the province.

The 5 training sessions were held against the backdrop of a needs assessment carried out by UNODC under RoL, which identified amendments to the legislative frameworks that govern criminal justice institutions in Balochistan. As a result, a Manual of Legislative Drafting was developed consisting of 11 training modules that encompass technical areas of legislative drafting to meet key objectives and needs as laid out in the framework review. The Manual of Legislative Drafting was consolidated into three-day training programmes to lend assistance to relevant GoB institutions.

The workshops were held in November and December 2022 for 73 participants, including 13 women representing diverse criminal justice institutions in Balochistan. All trainees were awarded certification of participation and copies of the manual and training modules. This intervention aims to address current and future needs of the province; train drafters who are responsible for or connected with legislative and policy proposals, and drafting; and enhance capacity of the legislative drafters to review law proposals for gender responsiveness and align with Pakistan’s international commitments.

These capacity-building training sessions included didactic presentations of the Manual of Legislative Drafting, iterative engagement of participants on the contents of the manual, as well as practical exercises and group discussions. The training is designed to enhance participants’ knowledge of constitutional and legal system, and principles of interpretation of statutes; develop analytical skills together with strengthening understanding of methodologies and research processes including problems associated with legislative drafting.

Mr. Muneeb Zia, Advocate and Senior Legal Expert, UNODC introduced the Legislative Drafting Manual to the trainees. He said the participants showed keen interest in all the topics discussed with them, as the training offered an opportunity to share their institutional experiences in legislative drafting and allowed a dynamic discourse on real issues confronted by them whilst they explored options for resolution. “Overall, it was a successful capacity-building project for which the participants were thankful to UNODC, UN Woman and the European Union”, he added.

Ms. Khadija Ali, Gender Consultant, UN Women used a participatory approach to talk about gender and its ground realities in the context of Balochistan. She said, “When we talk about gender, we are essentially talking about social constructs and a system that defines gender differently”. She also emphasized on the need for legislation to have a victim-centered approach to be able to prevent crimes regardless of gender.

The participants found the training extremely helpful in developing understanding and practical knowledge of legislative drafting and affirmed to use it in relation to legislative development functions. They appreciated the iterative approach adopted for the delivery of these trainings that allowed them to have extensive discussions on a variety of issues. One of the participants, Ms. Nazia Naeem, Sub-Inspector, Balochistan Police appreciated the session on gender responsive legislation in particular, and expressed the need for advanced trainings on legislative drafting.