|Overview : |
The Government of Botswana is seeking to build national law reform capacity to ensure law reform processes are nationally led and to support the achievement of national strategic priorities. In 2010, Cabinet approved the establishment of a Law Reform Division at the Attorney General’s Chambers. In October 2017, Cabinet decided to proceed with the establishment of a Law Reform Unit under the Legislative Drafting Division at the Attorney General’s Chambers. The Law Reform Unit is essential for the realisation of Government’s large and complex law reform projects which underpin the National Development Plan 11 (NDP 11) and achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and as such, it’s establishment is a Government priority.
The Attorney General’s Chambers has requested UNDP to provide technical support to establish the Law Reform Unit Under the auspices of a project being implemented by UNDP and the Government of Botswana, “Support to the Fulfillment of Human Rights, Access to Justice and Empowerment of Youth and Women Project” (2018 – 2021) (the Project).
The establishment of a Law Reform Unit with capacity to conduct high quality, nationally-led law reform processes will contribute to:
- ensuring that Botswana’s laws are modern, complete and reflect Botswana’s unique legal context and national policy objectives;
- improved capacities to plan for delivery, identify and resolve implementation challenges and account for the delivery of quality interventions to deepen democracy outcomes and strengthen governance institutions (UNSDF 2.4);
- realization of NDP11 and SDG 16 targets related to effective, accountable and transparent institutions and responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making; and
- creating an enabling environment for sustainable economic growth through sound legal frameworks that are necessary to achieve a range of other NDP11 and SDG targets.
Law reform is a process that involves many actors from civil society, Dikgosi, Parliament, media, Government agencies and parastatals, academic institutions, international organisations and so on. Effective law reform is conducted in a system where the roles and responsibilities of various actors is clear, the community is actively engaged and aware of the law and proposals for reform and there are clear pathways for presenting reform proposals and acting on them. The Government has committed to the establishment of a Law Reform Unit in the Attorney General’s Chambers as the central forum for law reform (and likely statute law revision) in Botswana. The Law Reform Unit will not, however, operate in a vacuum. A Law Reform Strategy is therefore required to set out the roles and responsibilities of institutions and key stakeholders in reforming law in Botswana, identify and respond to the capacity gaps and plan the way forward (though a detailed action plan) for the effective functioning of the law reform processes in Botswana. The Strategy will also include a budget and a monitoring and evaluation framework that integrates NDP11 and SDG targets
A three day Law Reform Strategy Development workshop will therefore be convened in Botswana from 19 – 21 September 2018. The workshop will be designed and facilitated by the Technical Adviser (Law Reform) in coordination with UNDP and the Attorney General’s Chambers.
The objective of the Law Reform Strategy Development workshop is to develop a common understanding of the role of law reform in the broader justice and regulatory system and the contributions of various stakeholders (government, civil society, academia, international organisations) in law reform, and to agree the structure and functions of the Law Reform Unit in Botswana. The workshop discussions and recommendations will inform the Law Reform Strategy which will be finalized by the Technical Adviser (Law Reform) in coordination with UNDP and the Attorney General’s Chambers.
The development of the Law Reform Strategy will be guided by several key documents including Botswana’s Eleventh National Development Plan; Changing the Law: A Practical Guide to Law Reform (2017) http://www.calras.org/pub/Main/LawReform/Changing%20The%20Law.pdf and Final Report – Consultancy for the Establishment of a Law Reform Agency in Botswana (2009), a copy of which will be provided to the selected consultant.
The Attorney General’s Chambers is therefore requesting the appointment of an eminent international law reform specialist as a short-term consultant to prepare and present two papers at the Law Reform Strategy Development workshop (“Law Reform in its Broader Context” and “Key decisions in establishing a Law Reform body – International Comparative Experience” or similar topics as agreed with the retreat organisers), to act as a resource person to guide and inform discussions throughout the strategy development workshop and to review and comment upon the draft Strategy document.