Commonwealth parliamentarians help local MPs and clerks to differentiate between good and bad laws
A delegation from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association’s branch in the United Kingdom arrived earlier this week in Namibia for a three-day training programme to improve the ability of Namibian parliamentarians and parliamentary clerks to scrutinise legislation.
Lead by Sir Peter Bottomley, the UK delegation comprises Baroness Barker from the House of Lords, Dr Rupa Huq, a Member of Parliament, Mariam El-Azm, the Deputy Head of International Outreach in the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Yashasvi Chandra, the association’s Africa Programme Manager, and Nick Walter, a Justice Committee Clerk in the House of Commons.
The British High Commission in Windhoek said that by the end of the training, participating National Assembly members will have improved their technical skills to examine legislation by making comparisons to the UK system. During the training, local lawmakers are taught how to examine the process of making and scrutinising legislation in Parliament, addressing questions such as what constitutes good legislation and how must it be scrutinised.
The programme is part of a longer term Parliamentary Partnership Programme between the UK and the Namibian Parliament expected to run until 2019.
Sir Peter commented, “Legislative scrutiny is one of the cornerstones of good democracy. It provides detailed scrutiny on government laws and improves legislation for the benefit of the country. Effective legislative scrutiny is a key part of an elected member’s job. We are delighted to work with Members and Clerks of the Namibian Parliament to deliver this programme.”
Some Namibian Members of Parliament soon will attend the Westminster Seminar on Parliamentary Practice and Procedure and the Westminster Workshop on Public Accounts Committees in London to improve their skills and knowledge. This visit is also coordinated by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK.
In a statement, the association said it works to encourage parliamentary diplomacy and build parliamentary capacity on behalf of the UK Parliament across the Commonwealth.
Pictured from the left, Mariam El-Azm, Deputy Head International Outreach, CPA UK, Yashasvi Chandra, Africa Programmme Manager, CPA UK, Baroness Barker, House of Lords, Nick Walter, Justice Committee Clerk, House of Commons, Sir Peter Bottomley MP, House of Commons, and H.E. Jo Lomas, British High Commissioner to Namibia.