Attendants were selected members of the Federal Member State Legislative Assemblies in Somalia.
Under the German Federal Foreign Office funded project Capacity Building and Legal Advice for the Federal Member State Legislative Assemblies in Somalia the Foundation organised another round of workshops for members of the Federal Member State Legislative Assemblies of Galmudug, Hirshabelle, Puntland, and Jubaland. The topic of these workshops was Federal Member State Constitutions.
After a general introduction to the topic, the presentation addressed the question whether member states in a federal system do have their own sub-national constitutions, and if yes, why. Then the presentation covered five key important areas of convergence and divergence between the federal constitution and the member state constitutions from a comparative perspective. This part explored the approaches adopted in various countries with a federal system on issues such as system of government, the structure of the legislature, fundamental rights of citizens, local government, and foreign relations. While discussing the comparative perspectives on each of these issues, the presentation also addressed available information and related challenges in Somalia’s federal system. Then the final part of the presentation covered the available mechanisms of ensuring compatibility between the federal constitution and the sub-national constitutions from a comparative perspective. The presentation was then followed by a simulation-based working group exercise. The participants were grouped into three to tackle a constitutional dispute in a fictitious country. Through this simulation exercise, the participants were able to identify important issues related to the compatibility of the federal member states constitution with the federal/national constitution.
The Somali Legal Advisors trained by the Foundation during the first training-of-trainers workshop held under the project in December 2022 conducted the workshops with the remote support of the local Project Coordinator and Senior Legal Advisor as well as the project team. The first workshop on the topic was held in Kismayo for selected members of the Jubaland State Assembly on 3 January 2023. The workshop was held for selected members of the Legislative Assembly of the Hirshabelle State Assembly in Jowhar on 4 January 2023 and for selected members of the Galmudug State Assembly in Dhusumareb on 5 January 2023. On 9 January 2023, the workshop was held for selected members of the Puntland House of Representatives in Garowe. Only in South-West State, this workshop could not yet be held due to the prevailing political tensions in the state.
In all four locations in which the workshop was held, the topic was highly appreciated by the participants. Especially in those Federal Member State Legislative Assemblies, in which the Federal Member State Constitution is currently being reviewed, most notably Galmudug and Hirshabelle, participants were eager to learn about mechanisms to ensure greater coherence and compatibility of the Federal Member State Constitution with the Federal Provisional Constitution of 2012.