PAP Regional Caucuses Commence Review of the Draft Rules of Procedure
The Bureau of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) and the Regional Caucuses have commenced meetings to consider and make proposals for amendments on the draft Rules of Procedure of the Pan-African Parliament presented by the Committee of Rules, Privileges and Discipline. The Rules of Procedure are central to the normal functioning of a Parliament as it aids the organization of its work. Like any living documents, the Rules and Procedure are expected to be periodically reviewed to ensure their sustainability, currency, relevance and effectiveness. This provides an opportunity for alignment with the PAP Protocol, other policy decisions and facilitates the application and interpretation of the Rules.
Furthermore, the review of the Rules of Procedure provides an opportunity to codify consistent institutional practices recorded over the last ten years since the last amendments, with due consideration of best practices from comparable legislative bodies Giving his opening remarks, the President of PAP, Hon. Senator Chief Fortune Charumbira, urged the Regional Caucuses to get actively involved in the review of the Rules and Procedure process to enhance the work of the Parliament.
According to him, members should own the process and share their views to make the Rules and Procedure meet the expectations of rebranding the PAP.
He indicated that experts made up of lawyers, the Clerk and former Clerks, are available to support and guide them during their deliberation process to ensure a good work is done. The Caucuses made up of the following blocs: Southern Africa, West Africa, Eastern Africa, Northern Africa and the Central Africa; have up to two days to complete their individual review process, after which they meet as joint caucuses to align their individual recommendations.
The draft Rules of Procedure is an outcome of a consultative workshop help on 5th and 6th September 2022, and attended by members of the Committee of Rules,
Privileges and Discipline, the PAP Secretariat, external legal experts, the AUC Legal Counsel’s Office, and the African Union Commission on International Law (AUCIL). The workshop considered the updated version of the Paper on “The Review of Gaps and Areas of Improvement of the Rules of Procedure produced by the Pan-African Parliament”, and the zero draft of the Revised Rules of Procedure produced by the PAP Secretariat in line with the instruction from the March 2021 workshop of the Rules Committee.
The Pan-African Parliament is an organ of the African Union established through the Constitutive Act of the African Union, which provides for the overarching
mandate of the PAP, which is to ensure the full participation of the African people in the development and economic integration of the continent.
To operationalize this mandate, the Protocol to the Treaty establishing the African Economic Community relating to the Pan-African Parliament (PAP Protocol) and the PAP Rules of Procedure (PAP Rules) defined the functions, organs and the procedures for operations of the PAP. The Protocol is instructive that PAP must develop its own rules of procedure to guide its business.
Initially adopted on 21 September 2004, the PAP Rules were amended on 10 October 2011, to ensure a more effective execution of the mandate of the PAP, and to adjust to the prevailing political and institutional exigencies.
Story By: Gilbert Borketey Boyefio