Academics from three prominent universities in Chile participated in a one-day roundtable discussion.
On 15 April 2021, the Max Planck Foundation convened the first in a series of activities aimed at supporting the work of the Chilean Constitutional Convention. The event was attended by academics from the Universidad Autónoma, Universidad Cathólica and Universidad de Chile. The discussions focused on the procedural concerns that the Convention will have to address upon its election including its internal structure and processes.
The roundtable discussion, which was convened via video conference, was opened by the German Ambassador to Chile, Dr Christian Hellbach. It consisted of four substantive sessions. These addressed options available to the Convention for its internal structure, processes, public participation programmes, and deadlock-solving mechanisms respectively. Representatives from the Foundation started each session by presenting comparative examples of approaches to each of these topics employed by constitution-making bodies around the world and posed questions to the participants about these might apply in the Chilean context. The participating academics then shared their ideas and proposals in robust and engaging discussions.
The primary objective of the event was to further the debate around rules of procedure prior to the election of the Convention. In furtherance of this goal, the Foundation compiled a conference paper outlining comparative experiences and the lessons that could be taken from these and a lengthy research paper that provided participants with more detailed information about each foreign constitution-making body studied.
The roundtable discussion was closed by Professor Wolfrum, scientific expert at the Foundation, and Johannes Krusemark-Camin, one of the Foundation’s Managing Directors. It formed part of the project entitled “Supporting Chile’s Constitution Making Process”, funded by the German Federal Foreign Office. It will be followed by future public and closed-door events with academics and other stakeholders critical to the Constitutional Convention’s success.