Legal guidelines for government agencies
| Hakim Hayat |
THE Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) yesterday launched three publications, one of which aims to assist government ministries and departments in drafting laws. The publications are in line with the AGC’s Strategic Plan 2012-2017.
According to a press release from AGC, the launch was also part of its effort to achieve its vision to be the highest quality legal service provider for His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and His Majesty’s Government as provided under the constitution.
The publications were launched by the Attorney General, Datin Seri Paduka Hajah Hayati binti Pehin Orang Kaya Shahbandar Dato Seri Paduka Haji Mohd Salleh at a ceremony which coincided with the AGC Open Day at The Empire Hotel & Country Club.
Datin Seri Paduka Hajah Hayati commended the laudable initiatives and reiterated the importance of continuing good working rapport between the various ministries/departments and the AGC, which also assists them in fulfilling various responsibilities.
She said the publications will not only be used by officers from AGC, but can be utilised by ministries, departments and individuals who have relevant responsibilities in the country’s development.
The first publication, the Drafting Instructions Handbook, offers advice and guidelines to government ministries and departments on the legislative drafting process and the types of information required by the legislative draftspersons before they can embark on the actual legislative process. Among the handbook’s objectives is to produce a faster turnaround time for policies made by the government to be translated in law.
The second publication, Guidelines on Criminal Case Negotiations (CCN), aims to provide a code of practice to be closely adhered to on what is commonly known as ‘plea bargaining’. The guidelines contain information on the plea bargaining process for both Deputy Public Prosecutors and Defence Counsel in order to maintain a more consistent approach.
“The CCN encourages open and transparent discussions regarding evidence and disclosure without the formalities of court and to enhance good working relations between Prosecutors and Defence Counsel. It is hoped that the CCN will lead to prompt and just disposition of criminal cases thereby saving costs, time and resources,” according to the press release.
The third publication, the Brunei Darussalam Treaty Series, is a compilation of all multilateral treaties which have been ratified or acceded by Brunei Darussalam. The information provided in this publication includes the date of entry into force of a treaty, reservations or declaration, an executive summary of the treaty and the text of the treaty. The first edition of this publication covers three areas of international law, namely, Counter Terrorism, Intellectual Property and Law of the Sea and Maritime.
The Brunei Darussalam Treaty Series serves as a beneficial resource not only to practitioners in international law, but to policy-makers, lawyers, academics and every student.
The AGC Open Day included an exhibition by the various divisions at the AGC and was followed by a ‘Muzakarah’ session in the afternoon, part of an outreach programme organised to provide a better understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the AGC and provide a useful forum and dialogue for the various representatives from the government and other guests in order to assist the AGC to fulfil its roles more effectively.