Capacity Building Workshop on Constitutional Law in Khartoum, 9 February 2015

In the first week of February the Max Planck Foundation convened a capacity building workshop on constitutional law in Khartoum

From 2–4 February 2015 the Max Planck Foundation held its 2nd workshop within its larger project Constitutional Support in Sudan: Trust Building Measures for an invite-only forum of about 30 Sudanese representatives of the various political parties and stakeholders taking place in Khartoum. Regarding the topic the workshop focused on elements and the substantive law of a Constitution giving the participants a general overview on a Constitution's content.

The workshop was academic and technical in its nature as three Sudanese experts as well as the staff from the Foundation delivered detailed comparative and technical presentations introducing the substance of a Constitution to the participants such as the separation of powers and human rights. However, besides this rather technical capacity building measure, the format of the workshop was further also designed to provide a collegiate atmosphere for dialogue and discussion between the various Sudanese groups and the presenters. Accordingly, the workshop was distinctly aimed at providing a neutral forum for a wide range of representative viewpoints in Sudan on the main ideas that exist regarding a future national Constitution of Sudan. It was attempted to imbed a spirit of communication, trust and commitment among the participants towards a peaceful constitutional process. Hence, the group of participants comprised an inclusive and representative group of officials, policymakers as well as state and non-state actors representing the main political and social groups in Sudanese society committed towards a peaceful constitutional process. Throughout the three days the participants shared their individual viewpoints on the different matters such as the managing of resources ensuing in a lively discussion.

The overall project aims to support Sudan in its National Dialogue. The Foundation intends to provide legal support and assistance to the far-reaching National Dialogue in Sudan through capacity building measures for an inclusive group of actors. Individual project activities include discussions on the elements and structure of constitutional processes as well as the design of a constitutional content. Ultimately, a successful National Dialogue can only be achieved through cooperation between participants and an inclusive process. Project activities thus use a comparative legal approach to promote and encourage discussions about options for constitutional arrangements between different interest groups. This requires building mutual trust on an on-going basis and increasing the confidence of participants in one another and the whole process through various activities, such as joint capacity building measures.

The overall project is implemented by the Max Planck Foundation with the support of the German Foreign Office and the European Union.