First Training-of-Trainers Workshop

Training of Legal Advisors for the Legislative Branch of Government in Somalia

The Max Planck Foundation conducted the first Training-of-Trainers Workshop for legal advisors for the legislative branch of government in Somalia. The workshop was organized under the framework of the complementary projects funded by the EU and the German Federal Foreign Office and brought together the legal advsiors for the Federal Parliament (EU funded project) and the five Federal Member State Legislative Assemblies in Somalia (German Federal Foreign Office funded project). It was held in Nairobi, Kenya from 7 to 12 December 2022 and was officially opened by the German Deputy Ambassador for Somalia, HE Sascha Kienzle.

The six-day training program intended to share the experience of various countries on issues related to decentralization and federalism, the role and organization of parliamentary administration, and the relevance of rules of procedure for parliamentary support staff. The training looked also at the international standards applied to the constitutional protection of women’s rights and discussed possible ways of improvement of the representation of women’s interests in the Somali constitutional review and law-making processes. Another session was dedicated to the review of the constitutions of the Federal Member States of Somalia and their compatibility with the Federal Provisional Constitution.

During the workshop, the research fellows from the Foundation presented the training topics from the comparative perspectives of various countries followed by active discussions. The participants analyzed each issue and exchanged their views on their relevance and applicability to the Somali context. After the completion of each session, the participants were asked to examine factual scenarios on the training topics and come up with some suggestions on how to address particular challenges. These practical exercises led to intensive discussions on the issues related to decentralization, the good practices for organizing the parliamentary staff work, the importance of well-developed rules of procedure of the parliament, and the importance of ensuring women’s interests in the constitutional review and law-making processes.

The workshop also addressed several shortcomings in Somalia’s federal and state legislation that require further work and support from the Foundation. The Foundation’s Somalia project team will continue its support to Somalia’s Federal Parliament and Federal Member State Legislative Assemblies by providing legal research and advice. In this regard, the Foundation’s research fellows together with the local legal advisors came up with a work plan intended to be implemented in 2023.