The Centre for Human Rights, Multiculturalism and Migration (CHRM2) at the University of Jember, together with the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) and Yangon University, organized a two-day conference on post-legislative scrutiny (PLS) in Asia from 17 to 18 June 2019. This conference is a continuation of an intense collaboration between the Centre and WFD Indonesia since December 2018.

The Opening of this Academic Seminar was chaired by Ms. Sao Siri Rupa, the WFD Country Representative for Myanmar. She welcomed CHRM2’s Dr. Al Khanif as one of the welcoming speakers for the conference, who emphasized the Centre and WFD’s regional work with PLS in various provinces of Indonesia. With the WFD, CHRM2 has a vision for a universal establishment of a legitimate and effective multi-party representative democracy.

After the welcoming speeches, Mr. Kakha Kuchava of the Republic of Georgia presented the keynote address. Mr. Kuchava, as the Chairperson of the Committee on Environment of the Parliament of Georgia, presented his paper, “Post-Legislative Scrutiny (PLS) Steps Towards Generating Results-Oriented Laws.” In his address, Mr. Kuchava emphasized the role of public discourse and participation within the theme of PLS and outlined the challenges in enforcement. 

The thematic panels began after the keynote speech which included panelists, a respondent, and chairperson. Themes included: PLS and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), structures and resources shaping parliament’s ability to conduct PLS, and various country case studies.

The conference, which included parliamentary staff and committee chairs, provided insight into UK and regional parliamentary procedures through learning exchanges, policy advice, and thematic technical training. The technical skills were delivered by the House of Commons staff, working with the researchers and committee staff. Thematic advisory and technical support to committees and human resource manager were also provided. In all panels, active discussions about legislative processes were held, namely policies, procedures, and coordination.

Both post-legislative scrutiny and pre-legislative scrutiny, as well as advisory and technical support to strengthen parliamentary coordination at all levels, were discussed in efforts to implement institutional reform. Enabling factors for stronger legislative practices include a safe functional environment, strong English language skills, and outreach. Building assessment facilities and improvement plans can also help to elevate the processes.

Besides having 28 presenters, this academic conference was also attended by approximately 600 audiences, consisting of representatives of Myanmar parliament members, scholars, and practitioners across Asia, Europe, and Australia. The purpose of the conference is to contribute to this mission through supporting inclusive governance that strengthens policy-making, accountability, representation and citizen participation.

Both WFD and CHRM2 still need to work together after the conference mainly to review all papers prior to publication. After the review process, all papers will be published in the Journal of Southeast Asian Human Rights (JSEAHR) in December 2019 and June 2020 edition.



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