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n Journal for Juridical Science - Some insights into statutory lawmaking in Botswana

Volume 27, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0258-252X
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Abstract

This paper examines the law-making process in Botswana, one of Africa's best examples of vibrant parliamentary democracy. Although the whole process is modelled on the British Westminster system, it has, however, been shaped and influenced by some local realities. An example of this is the existence of a House of Chiefs that has no legislative powers and plays only an advisory role in certain specified matters. After examining the pre-legislative stage, which arguably, is the most important stage in the law-making process, and the legislative stage itself, the paper highlights some of the important lessons that can be drawn. Two main points stand out. First, it is now clear that parliament as the people's representative needs to play a more active part in the law-making process especially at the critical deliberative pre-legislative stage. Secondly, there is a need to abandon the much criticised British system of drafting statutes in highly technical, obscure and complex language that can hardly be understood either by legislators or ordinary citizens in favour of the emerging trend towards texts drafted in plain language. To be both relevant and effective, legislation must respond to human needs, aspirations and convictions in a language that they can both understand and identify with.

<b>Insae rakende die (statutêre) wetgewende proses in Botswana</b> <br>Hierdie artikel ondersoek die wetgewende proses in Botswana, een van Afrika se beste voorbeelde van 'n lewenskragtige parlementêre demokrasie. Alhoewel die hele proses gebaseer is op die Britse Westminster stelsel, is dit nieteenstaande gevorm en beïnvloed deur plaaslike omstandighede. 'n Voorbeeld hiervan is die sogenaamde <i>House of Chiefs</i>, wat geen wetgewende bevoegdheid het nie, maar slegs 'n adviserende rol in gespesifiseerde aangeleenthede speel. Na bestudering van die aanvangsfase (wat heel waarskynlik die belangrikste fase in die proses is) en die wetgewende fase self, beklemtoon die artikel sekere belangrike aspekte waaruit iets geleer kan word. Twee hoofpunte staan uit - eerstens is dit nou duidelik dat die Parlement, as volksverteenwoordiger, 'n meer aktiewe rol moet speel in die wetgewende proses, veral tydens die aanvangsfase. Tweedens ontstaan die behoefte om weg te doen met die Britse stelsel, wat kritiek uitgelok het as gevolg van die opstel van wetgewing in hoogs tegniese en komplekse taal (wat onverstaanbaar is vir beide wetsopstellers en die man op straat), ten gunste van die tendens om wetgewing in gewone en verstaanbare taal op te stel. Om relevant en effektief te wees, moet wetweging voldoen aan menslike behoeftes, aspirasies en oortuigings, in 'n taal wat hulle kan verstaan en mee kan identifiseer.

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/content/juridic/27/1/EJC55475
2002-06-01
2016-12-10

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