Those interested in democracy and good governance should be alive to both the risks and the opportunities posed by the coronavirus pandemic – their voices could make the difference between setback and progress.
Franklin DeVrieze, Senior Governance Advisor
One of parliaments’ key roles is to make laws which meet the needs of a country’s citizens.
Beyond the primary function of adopting legislation, parliaments should be able to evaluate whether legislation achieves its intended outcome.
Earlier this year, Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) started working with parliaments across South-Eastern Asia to help develop their ability to review how a new law works in practice.
In January, we organised a series of workshops on ‘post-legislative scrutiny’ in the Burmese parliament. Our primary aim was to review contemporary approaches to assessing the efficacy of legislation. We also wanted to define which practices are most relevant to Burma and support the development of a Burma-specific approach.
Experts from the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Indonesia shared their experiences in overseeing the implementation of laws. It emerged how the Indonesian parliament is leading on post-legislative scrutiny within Asia. This provided a basis for peer-to-peer exchanges with the Burmese parliament. During our initial workshops, the Secretariat leadership of the Burmese parliament showed strong interest in post-legislative scrutiny and saw opportunities for greater adoption. It was noted how it could help make parliamentary committees more active and functional. It could also maximise use of the Secretariat’s existing structures and resources.