Workshop on electoral law and litigation for the Constitutional Court of Mali

From 31 August to 2 September, the Max Planck Foundation successfully held a three-day workshop in Bamako for the benefit of the members of the Constitutional Court of Mali. This workshop entitled “Methodology and legal techniques available to Constitutional Courts in the field of electoral litigation” was the final workshop of a first series devoted to the topic of electoral law and litigation within the framework of the project “Support to the Transitional Process in Mali”, generously funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.

The workshop was officially opened by the President of the Constitutional Court of Mali, HE Amadou Ousmane Toure who lauded the renewed partnership between the Constitutional Court of Mali and the Foundation. The President underlined in his inaugural speech the relevance of the workshop topics covered during the workshop in light of the upcoming general elections which are crucial for the future of Mali and during which the Court will play a key role. The important role of the Constitutional Court in the upcoming elections was further emphasised by Dr Kirsten Staudt, Chargée d’Affaires at the German Federal Embassy in Bamako who also attended the workshop opening, which was broadcasted on national television.

The workshop comprised various sessions focused on different issues pertaining to electoral law and litigation from a Malian and a comparative legal perspective. The first session was dedicated to Constitutional Courts’ powers to reform or rectify electoral results with a specific emphasis on French-speaking jurisdictions, the case law of which was thoroughly analysed. The second and third sessions broached upon more technical subjects including the methodology of judgment drafting, the motivation of judgments in electoral matters, and the methods of communication of Constitutional Courts with the media and the general public in the framework of elections. Best practices and experiences of Constitutional Courts within the subregion and beyond were explored during the various presentations provided for by the Foundation’s research fellows while Mrs Ba Haoua Toumagnon and Mr Demba Tall, two judges at the Constitutional Court, shared their presentations with insights on Malian electoral law. The workshop also provided a forum for lively and fruitful legal discussions between all workshop participants on the topics covered.

The workshop was officially closed by the President of the Constitutional Court who acknowledged that the Court’s expectations from this first series of workshops dedicated to electoral law and litigation have been fully met and for which the Court conveyed its gratitude.