Joint Retreat of the Somali Constitutional Review and Implementation Oversight Committee and the Independent Constitutional Review and Implementation Commission

Foundation facilitates joint retreat, developing joint review suggestions for Chapters 1–5 and 10–14 of the Somali Provisional Constitution

From 28 December 2015 to 9 January 2016, the Max Planck Foundation facilitated a working retreat of the Constitutional Review and Implementation Oversight Committee (OC) of the Somali Federal Parliament and the Independent Constitutional Review and Implementation Commission (ICRIC) in Nairobi, Kenya. For two weeks, OC and ICRIC were provided with the unique opportunity to discuss the review suggestions prepared by both institutions separately and to develop joint review suggestions for engagement with the broader Somali public and ultimately submission to the Federal Parliament. The Speaker and First Deputy Speaker of the Somali Federal Parliament, the Prime Minister of the Somali Federal Government as well as the Minister of Constitutional Affairs also attended some of the sessions.

With the support of Somalia project staff of the Max Planck Foundation, OC and ICRIC agreed on joint draft constitutional amendments for a total of 10 (out of 15) Chapters of the Somali Provisional Constitution. First, review suggestions for Chapters 1–5 (Founding Principles, Fundamental Rights, Land and Environment, Electoral System and Federalism) were developed. Taking advantage of a new momentum created by bringing both Somali constitutional review bodies together to work as one team and in consideration of the tremendous progress achieved during the first week, the retreat was extended by another week so as to allow OC and ICRIC to develop joint review suggestions for Chapters 10–14 (Independent Commissions, Civil Service, Federal Member States, Public Finance and Peace and Security).  

This represents an important milestone in the Somali constitutional review process. As per their constitutional mandates, OC and ICRIC will now start presenting these review suggestions in a broader public outreach and political consultation campaign so as to acquire public support to their suggestions. Ultimately, the draft constitutional amendments prepared by OC and ICRIC will need to be approved by the Somali Federal Parliament with a 2/3 majority.