Implementation of the Third Workshop for the Afghan Constitutional Studies Institution in 2018

The Max Planck Foundation successfully implemented the third workshop for the ACSI, 14–17 December 2018 in New Delhi, India, dedicated to the topic of Constitutional Review in Afghanistan

From 14 to 17 December 2018, the Max Plank Foundation implemented a workshop on Constitutional Review for the Afghan Constitutional Studies Institution (ACSI), held in New Delhi, India. The ACSI is made up of state employees, legal academics and civil society members who are all united by their desire to improve the Afghan constitution and its implementation.

During this workshop, the ACSI continued working on a potential model of constitutional justice for Afghanistan. Dr Aleksei Dolzhikov, associate professor of constitutional law at the Faculty of Law, Saint Petersburg State University, who acted as an expert, started the workshop by discussing the interplay of constitutional review and a given political system. The democratic legitimacy of a constitutional court was also discussed in this context. He then turned to the matter of jurisdiction of constitutional courts from a comparative perspective. In this regard, he presented different approaches from selected jurisdictions as to composition, procedure for the establishment and duration of powers of a constitutional court. After this introduction, participants continued working on their position paper on a model for constitutional review in Afghanistan. In this context, the option of individual constitutional complaints was controversially debated.

In the course of the workshop other, no less contentious, issues, as for example the balanced composition of the court, ethnical representation, qualifications and methods of appointments/election, were addressed. On the last day, apart from finalising the draft of the position paper, the ACSI members discussed their plans for the upcoming year 2019, especially the introduction of research papers and concrete suggestions for improvement to the relevant stakeholders in Afghanistan.

This workshop, funded by the German Federal Foreign Office, was part of the project ‘Strengthening the Implementation of the Constitution’, which assists Afghan state institutions and civil society in addressing constitutional issues.