Interregional Conference on the Somali Constitutional Review Process

Foundation facilitates dialogue on draft constitutional amendments for Chapters 1 to 4 of the Somali Provisional Constitution.

The Max Planck Foundation, in cooperation with its local implementing partner, the Somali Center for the Rule of Law and Good Governance (SomLaw), supported the Somali constitutional review bodies, ie the Constitutional Oversight Committee (OC), the Independent Constitutional Review and Implementation Commission (ICRIC) and the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs in organising and facilitating an Interregional Conference with representatives from the Somali Federal Member States. The Conference aimed at presenting the suggestions for constitutional amendments on Chapters 1 to 4 of the Somali Provisional Constitution and collecting feedback and comments from the participants. The Interregional Conference was held from 26 to 29 February and brought together high-level delegations from the Somali Federal Member States, which included the Speakers, Secretary Generals, Committee Chairs and members of the Constitutional Affairs Committees of the Somali Federal Member State Legislatures, Ministers of Constitutional Affairs as well as other Ministers from the Federal Member States, the Benadir Regional Administration and SSC Khartumo. First Deputy Speaker of the House of the People, HE Madam Sa’dia opened and closed the Interregional Conference.

During the three-day conference, participants reviewed and commented on the draft constitutional amendments and accompanying drafting report that the ICRIC had developed based on political agreements concluded by the National Consultative Council and as per the instructions of the OC on Chapters 1 to 4 of the Somali Provisional Constitution. Participating delegations were divided into four working groups, one for each Chapter, to thoroughly discuss the proposed constitutional amendments and then report back to the plenary.

Prominent topics of these proposed constitutional amendments to Chapters 1 to 4 included: the role and status of Sharia law; Somali citizenship; human rights; and specifically women’s rights, including the proposal of a 30 percent women quota; natural resource sharing; and others. The feedback and comments of the working groups were collected for further processing and consideration by the OC and the ICRIC.

The participants of this first Interregional Conference greatly appreciated the opportunity to share their views on the draft constitutional amendments and to participate and contribute to the Somali constitutional review process.

The Interregional Conference was held within the framework of the European Union funded project `Strengthening the Role and the Impact of the Somali Federal Parliament in the Somali Constitutional Review Process`.