In Indonesia, few foreign consultants are hired in the drafting of legislation, though there are exceptions such as where foreign aid programs are involved, the Department of Finance's long relationship with Harvard University and Bank Indonesia's with a major US law firm. Indonesian consultants, on the other hand, are used often.
Article 28 of Vietnam's Law on the promulgation of legal instruments provides that a drafting committee can consult legal experts, but neither the Law nor Decree 101 provide details on their engagement. There does not appear to be any standard procedure, so it is not clear how use of the DIALogue facility would (if available) be used by drafting committees. However, foreign experts have been playing a significant role in assisting in the drafting of significant Vietnamese laws, such as the recent banking laws (IMF and World Bank assistance), Commercial Code (UNDP assistance) and Law on Foreign Investment (experts at foreign law firms).
In Pakistan, legal consultants are engaged for drafting and law reform work, but the procedures for doing so are ad hoc, and it is not clear how the use of the DIALogue facility would fit into these procedures.
In Mongolia, there has not been any practice of engaging foreign consultants for drafting of laws. The problems of legal drafting in Mongolia have been analysed extensively in the `Legislative Drafting' section (http://www.asiandevbank.org/law/mongolia/drafting.html) of the Asian Development Bank report Developing Mongolia's Legal Framework - A Needs Analysis. The need for a legislative drafting office and training in legislative drafting was identified.
In India, foreign consultants have been engaged in some significant projects in the last six years, including restructuring of the State Electricity Boards, a report on restructuring Indian industries, and a report on the reforms in the Indian capital market. There is no formal procedure for engaging foreign legal consultants.
In the Philippines there is relatively little use of foreign legal consultants except in areas of international law by the Departments of Foreign Affairs, Labor and Trade.
In contrast, the Indonesian primary audience surveyed had a generally negative reaction to the DIALogue proposal, in the sense that they did not feel that they would use it even if it was free. Our survey assistants suggest that the difficulties of communicating in English via e-mail (which could tend to reduce enquiries to a very general form), and the general lack of ability and willingness to use computers among senior decision-makers, are significant inhibiting factors. This contrasts with the same respondents' strong enthusiasm for the DIAL Index facility.
Philippines respondents were mixed, with most being positive toward the proposed facility but some saying they would not find it useful.
Indian lawyers involved in corporate law, particularly those with international clients, were seen as likely to be interested in DIALogue as a means of expanding their contacts and expertise so as to better service clients, and would be willing to pay moderate fees once the value of the facility was proven. Access to information about competitive bidding for international legal projects was of particular interest (and is provided in part through LAW-DEV at present).
Pakistani private lawyers, particularly those working in fields with international ramifications (eg intellectual property) expressed interest in access to the facility. Foreign lawyers in Vietnam would be interested in access to DIALogue, but local lawyers would not be. In China, this facility was seen as greatly reducing the time and effort in locating or contacting law specialist in a particular field, and there was a willingness to pay some fee for its use. Philippines respondents were positive, but said they would like to test it before considering payment of fees.
Indonesian private sector lawyers were seen as more likely to use such a facility than their government counterparts (although the English language barrier would still cause problems). Such lawyers are more likely to want advice on specific legal problems than on law reform or drafting issues, but it is quite possible that they would find such a facility valuable to find experts outside the areas of the usual personal contacts or those of any international law firms with which they work.
Any conclusions must be regarded as tentative, not only because of the limited number of respondents and countries involved, but also because it is unlikely that those who have not yet become familiar with e-mail use, and in particular the use of `list' facilities, can make a realistic assessment of its potential value.