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A Brief Introduction The Functions of the Ministry of Legal Affairs.

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1 A Brief Introduction The Functions of the Ministry of Legal Affairs

2 History Diwan of Legislation established in 1975, afforded legislative functions. DoL moved to the Ministry of Royal Diwan affairs in 1976. DoL moved again to Office of the Deputy Prime Ministry in 1979. Finally the Ministry of Legal Affairs was established in 1994 in replacement of DoL.

3 Structure of MOLA MOLA has three General Directorates: The General Directorate of Legal Affairs The General Directorate of the Official Gazette The General Directorate of Administrative and Financial Affairs

4 The General Directorate of Legal Affairs This General Directorate consists of three directorates with legislative functions: 1)The Directorate of Legislation- responsibilities include preparing and reviewing draft legislation. 2)The Directorate of Legal Pronouncements- responsibilities include issuing legally binding pronouncements relating to any issue referred to MOLA from any other governmental body. 3)The Directorate of Contracts and Treaties- responsibilities include reviewing government contracts and international treaties.

5 MOLA Competences in a nutshell Develop laws and legislative regulations. Prepare draft royal decrees and other legislation and to carry out procedures required for its issuance. Review draft royal decrees, legislation, regulations, and ministerial decisions and publish them in the Official Gazette. Study and review draft conventions and treaties that the government intends to conclude. Review draft contracts that impose a financial obligation exceeding half a million Omani Rials on any government entity prior to their becoming legally enforceable.

6 MOLA Competences in a nutshell(2) Issue legal pronouncements and official interpretations of royal decrees, laws, regulations and ministerial decisions as and when required. Safeguard the interests of the government in disputes arising out of the performance of contracts related to it. Issue the Official Gazette and determine the suitable content to be published in accordance with the law. Represent the government in international and regional organisations and conferences that relate to legal affairs. Any other matter referred to it by His Majesty the Sultan. Train and qualify Omani employees working at the Ministry.

7 Overview of the Legislative Process STAGE ONE: PROPOSAL The right to propose legislation rests primarily with the Cabinet. When the Cabinet decides that there is a need to enact new legislation it may: Delegate the task to the relevant ministry to initiate and follow through with the process using the broad policy guidelines provided to it by the Cabinet. Order a group of government entities to coordinate amongst themselves for the passage of legislation in accordance with the Cabinet’s instructions. Ministries and other government entities also have the right to propose legislation and regulations that are related to its functions.

8 STAGE TWO: DRAFT LEGISLATION REVIEW All draft legislation must be reviewed by the following governmental entities: 1- The Ministry of Legal Affairs 2-The Consultative Council (Majlis Al Shura) 3-The State Council (Majlis Al Dawla)

9 1-MOLA Reviews draft royal decrees, laws, regulations and ministerial decisions and lays it out in the appropriate legal format prior to it being sent for review to the Consultative Council. 2- The Consultative and State Councils Review all draft laws with the exception of: oAdministrative laws oProcedural laws oLaws that the Cabinet decides to submit directly to His Majesty the Sultan for the Royal Assent

10 STAGE THREE: ENACTMENT After the review stage, MOLA oversees the passage of the draft legislation into law. oDraft royal decrees require the Royal Assent for final passage. oDraft ministerial decisions need to be submitted to the government entity that proposed it in order for it to be signed by the appropriate official.

11 STAGE FOUR: PUBLICATION All legislation, regulations and ministerial decisions must be published in the Official Gazette within two weeks from their issuance.


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