Legal Nigeria

Application of ICT for legislative drafting will improve process, says Dr. Jaja

By Joseph Onyekwere

Tonye Clinton Jaja

The acting head of Bills & Legislative Drafting, National Institute For Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), Dr. Tonye Clinton Jaja, has declared that the application of Information Communication Technology (ICT) for Legislative Drafting can improve the overall legislative process.

This, he said, can be done through the introduction of tasks automation, relying on conventions and standards, eliminating multiple streamings by saving time and making content available to all.

Jaja, who is billed to deliver the keynote lecture at the East Africa Law Society (EALS) Institute Legislative Drafting Series, will speak on the use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) Tools in legislative drafting.

The programme will hold via Zoom on February 2, 2022 from 14:00 to 16:00 EAT (4pm-6pm Lagos time). Panelists include, the president, EALS, Bernard Oundo, who is also the host and the director, Legal Services, The Senate of Kenya, Dr. Johnson Okello as the moderator.

According to Jaja, in a statement to The Guardian, the primary objective of the webinar is to introduce lawyers and participants to the rudimentary skills for using ICT tools to perform legal research, Bill scrutiny and legislative drafting tasks.

He said: “Although, the Internet and other ICT tools are accessible to lawyers, they need to be taught the skills and “method to the madness” when using these ICT tools to perform legal research and drafting assignments.

“So the first step is to understand how to navigate the Internet while conducting legal research on drafting instructions to identify credible sources of information.

“Next, is the skill to identify credible sources of legislation and other legal information that would serve as precedent after a decision is made to draft a Bill.

“Finally, participants will be taught the skills and how to use simple Microsoft Word and other ICT tools to draft Bills and other legal documents.”

The lawyer, who holds both a Master of Laws (LLM) and PhD in Legislative Drafting degrees from the University of London, said the rudiments of Legislative Drafting such as the structure, syntax, and content of legislative sentences and how to use ICT to deliver them would be taught.

“Examples of real life legislation and Bills that are drafted using these ICT tools will be used to teach,” he assured.