Modernization relies on law as the means of transformation. In these great processes of transformation, day after day, many more demands for new legislation have been proposed as a reaction to different social, political, economic and environmental situations which seemingly develop independently or deliberately. Governments need effective laws to govern these processes of transformation, by which they achieve their political objectives and public policies. Such need may originate from different sources such as different ministries, a commission of inquiry, politicians, pressure groups, or sometimes from donors. At any moment in time, the government may face with various such drafting proposals on which it has preferences, but cannot attend all of them for lack of enough resources for drafting, enacting and implementing them all. For this reason, the need to make the order in which to draft, i.e. Prioritize with explicit criteria, becomes more and more imperative. Even though the subject of prioritization of drafting proposals is among the subject that have received little attention in legislative drafting, Seidman, Seidman and Abeyesekere have come up with the importance of prioritization and prioritization criteria. Seidman et al have identified four criteria for prioritization of drafting proposals: (1) the gravity of the social problem being addressed; (2) the legislation's anticipated social impact; (3) its do-ability; and (4) the available drafting resources and claim that without these explicit criteria or procedures the resulting prioritization decisions frequently appear haphazard.
In this essay, however, as a center of my hypothesis I will argue that prioritizing drafting proposals is dependent on the full discretion of the highest executive organ and hence, the Seidman et al prioritization criteria do not fit for international application. In order to prove my hypothesis I am going to look at the four criteria of prioritization of drafting proposals put forward by Seidman et al and make a comparative analysis between Ethiopia and Northern Ireland. By exploring the institution for prioritization of drafting proposals, I will particularly examine whether the Seidman et al criteria of prioritization are applicable or not in both jurisdictions. In doing so, the essay is divided into three sections. Section I explores prioritization of drafting proposals and argues prioritization of drafting proposals is dependent on the final decision of the highest executive. Section II first analyzes the two countries institution for prioritization. It then continues in describing the four criteria of Seidman et al into two folds followed by comparison and analysis of the criteria in both jurisdictions. Section III concludes.
I. Prioritizing draft proposals