Legislative Drafting Guidelines for Africa

Akoma Ntoso and the “APKN Legislative Drafting Guidelines” were presented on the occasion of the international conference on “Law Reform and the Law Making Process”, held on 16 and 17 July 2012 in Abuja, Nigeria. The event was attended by Speakers and Members representing several African National Parliaments, as well as members of the ECOWAS Parliament and members of the Nigerian ‘Senators Forum’.

The meeting was organized by the National Institute for Legislative Studies in conjunction with the National Judicial Institute, the Nigerian Law Reform Commission and the International Law Institute Washington DC. It aimed at analysing the challenges that nowadays law making faces in democratic societies. With a view to providing lawmakers with new and useful tools and improving their capacity to overcome such challenges, renowned practitioners and scholars were invited to share valuable best practices and lessons learnt in this field.

During the session on Standardization of Legislative Drafting, the Africa i-Parliaments Action Plan presented Akoma Ntoso XML standard, meant to better support the digital exchange and re-use of parliamentary documents, and the “APKN Legislative Drafting Guidelines”, that define common structural elements of legislation according to principles of good legislative drafting. Participants expressed their appreciation for these tools, meant to provide African parliaments and lawmakers with a better and shared approach to drafting that may better support harmonisation of legislation in Africa.