Public Consultations Meeting on the Somali Constitutional Review Process

The Foundation supports public consultations on the third draft constitutional amendment document

From 16 to 18 March 2021, the Max Planck Foundation supported the Constitutional Oversight Committee of the Somali Federal Parliament (OC), the Independent Constitutional Review and Implementation Commission (ICRIC) and the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs (MoCA) at a public consultations meeting. The meeting was held in Mogadishu and aimed at collecting feedback from representatives of Somali civil society organisations on the third draft constitutional amendment document.

On the first day, the OC, ICRIC and MoCA, with the technical assistance of the Foundation’s legal advisors, provided an overview of the historical background and the legal basis for the constitutional review process in Somalia. Thereafter, the three institutions reported on their work, the collaborative relationship that developed between them and the main challenges faced during the constitutional review period of 2017-2021. This was followed by a presentation on the third draft constitutional amendment document which incorporated submissions and feedback received during public consultations on the second draft. Finally, MoCA presented on the provisions and issues identified as contentious which require political resolution; and provided an overview of the various agreements entered into by the Federal Government and the Federal Member States regarding elections, natural resource sharing and the justice model.

On the second and third day, the representatives from various Somali civil society organisations in attendance were given the opportunity to comment on the third constitutional amendment document and made submissions aimed at informing the handover of this document to the 11th Parliament.

Finally, the participants supported the view that besides the 14 contentious issues collectively identified and agreed by the constitutional review institutions, the remaining 143 Articles of the third draft constitutional amendment should be submitted to the yet-to-be-elected 11th Parliament to consider without further delay.

The finalisation of the Somali constitutional review process was deferred to the next parliamentary term. The Foundation continues to support this important process and its transition from the 10th to the 11th term through the provision of technical and legal advice offered in the framework of the European Union-funded project “Legal Capacity Building and Technical Support for the Somali Federal Parliament”.