Barbados – On November 18th and 19th, 2020, the Canadian Government funded Improved Access to Justice in the Caribbean (IMPACT Justice) Project sponsored a two-day virtual workshop via Zoom entitled, “Sound Policy for Better Law”. The targets were Permanent Secretaries and other senior public officials who prepare drafting instructions and policy papers to strengthen their capacity in this area.
The facilitators of the workshop were Mr. Ian Macintyre, SC, Chief Parliamentary Counsel of Trinidad and Tobago and Mr. Albert Edwards, CD, former Deputy Solicitor General (Drafting) of Belize and former Chief Parliamentary Counsel of Jamaica. Support for the workshop was provide by The Honourable Jaundy Martin, Attorney General of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Mr. Maurice Suite, Permanent Secretary to the Prime Minister and Head of the Public Service of the Trinidad and Tobago. The workshop was attended by 76 participants, 20 of whom hailed from St. Vincent and the Grenadines and 56 from Trinidad and Tobago
Professor Velma Newton, CBE, SCM, Regional Project Director of the IMPACT Justice Project chaired the event and opened the proceedings with a brief overview of the IMPACT Justice Project and also provided some background to the workshop, which she noted received overwhelming support from Attorneys General and Chief Parliamentary Counsel during a planning meeting held by the Project in 2014, when the Project was developing its programming.
Topics covered during the workshop included: a Review of Policy Formulation; Contents and Information to be included in Drafting Instructions; instructions for Drafting Codes of Practice, Procedural Rules and Guidelines, as well as Gender and Environmentally Friendly Policy Guidelines and Checklists.
This workshop is the fourth such workshop hosted by the IMPACT Justice Project for CARICOM Member States. The first three were hosted in Belize in April, 2018; St. Lucia in July, 2019 and more recently in Barbados in October 2020. The Project hopes to facilitate a similar session for senior public officers in Guyana in the coming months.