Both Inge and Peter completed their internship for 2019-2020 in the Office of the Clerk of Tynwald with additional challenges due to COVID-19.
Inge took on a review of the internal processing of secondary legislation. Secondary legislation forms a large part of the work of Tynwald Court each month. Secondary legislation can be used for a wide range of purposes. Often it provides the technical details that make the primary legislation work in practice.
"I have especially enjoyed working on the sourcing and publication of secondary legislation. In past years, the numbers of statutory documents made has varied from around 300 to more than 1,000. The Office of the Clerk of Tynwald endeavours to make all secondary legislation, as originally made, available to the public in electronic format on the Tynwald website. My task has been to source missing documents from previous years, as well as to ensure that all documents moving forward are made available in a timely manner. This project has allowed me to use my knowledge of databases to adapt the way in which secondary legislation is recorded to allow for greater data analysis and to facilitate future manipulation of the data to suit software changes and research needs as they arise."
Both interns were assigned parliamentary committees acting as Assistant Clerks to support the work of each Committee. Each intern is supported by the Clerk of the Committee, usually the Clerk of Tynwald, the Deputy Clerk of Tynwald or the Third Clerk of Tynwald.
Peter worked for the Constitutional and Legal Affairs and Justice Committee and the Tynwald Select Committee on Poverty.
"The variety of topics discussed and debated has been immense and working as an Assistant Clerk has really opened my eyes to the plethora of issues and governmental decisions that are effectively scrutinised by Tynwald committees on a regular basis. The unique opportunity to engage in Committee work has been a real highlight of my time here in Tynwald and the skills I have learnt from providing the supportive role as Assistant Clerk will be carried forward in my future employment."
Inge worked with the Social Affairs Policy Review Committee and the Environment and Infrastructure Policy Review Committee.
"With the Social Affairs Policy Review Committee I was able to be involved in the final stages of a substantial inquiry into suicide prevention in the Isle of Man. This inquiry not only allowed me to gain an insight into the process of hearing oral evidence, but also the process of producing committee reports. Having these experiences from the very start of my internship gave me the opportunity to develop the necessary skills that would allow me to approach later inquiries with confidence."
Each academic year, the office look at ways Tynwald can engage in education outreach across all Island schools. All island schools are contacted and invited to visit the building on a pre-arranged tour or if we can arrange a citizenship workshop style event. At the start of his internship, Peter took the opportunity to visit his previous high school and with support from teachers, arranged a one-off workshop and student discussion to engage students in an awareness of political decision making and their role.
Following on from a previous initiative, Peter also presented a weekly parliamentary workshop for Year 12 and 13 at St Ninian’s High School. Over five half-hour sessions, students learnt about the Manx legislative process. Workshops covered voting and elections, the work of Tynwald committees and debates. The final workshop should have concluded with a debate in the House of Keys but COVID-19 restrictions meant the final session could not go ahead. The outreach work with students in school is a key part of the work of Tynwald as in the Isle of Man, 16 year olds can vote in national elections.