Fourteenth Workshop on Federalism for the Somali Ministry of Interior and Federal Affairs

Max Planck Foundation organises workshop on the role of courts in resolving inter-governmental disputes in a multi-level government system

The fourteenth workshop for the Ministry of Interior and Federal Affairs took place on the 7 September 2016. The technical workshop was held in Mogadishu under the guidance of Max Planck Foundation’s technical advisors and focused on the role of courts in resolving inter-governmental disputes in a multi-level government system.

The workshop highlighted the importance of dispute resolution mechanisms in countries with multiple tiers of governments. Coordination may not always be achieved in multi-level systems and clear differences of opinions may exist on the powers and responsibilities of each tier. This necessitates the need for institutional arrangements to resolve disagreements and disputes between and among the various levels of government. The fourteenth workshop focused on courts in particular and as such builds on an earlier training on conflict and cooperation in inter-governmental relations.

The workshop materials introduced comparative judicial models and outlined the composition and powers of the highest judicial courts in federal countries. Participants were also able to familiarise themselves with a selection of judicial decisions from a mixed sample of constitutional and supreme courts jurisprudence, including cases from the United States, Germany, Nigeria and South Africa.

The Provisional Constitution of Somalia establishes several mechanisms for the resolution of inter-governmental disputes as well as overarching principles to regulate intergovernmental cooperation. In addition to the courts, the Inter-State Commission under Article 111F is vested with powers to resolve “administrative, political, jurisdictional and other disputes between the different levels of government”.

With the recent adoption of the enabling law for the Constitutional Court of Somalia, it is anticipated that the Court can become an important feature of the federal system by acting as a judicial oversight of inter-regional relations and providing a dispute resolution mechanism.

The workshops for staff of the MoIFA are an integral part of the Foundation’s project “Support to the Somali Federalisation Process”, which is implemented with the financial support from the German Federal Foreign Office. The project supports key institutions in the Somali federalisation process with continuous legal assistance and capacity building.