Jan Amilcar Schmidt

Country Manager and Research Fellow

Jan Amilcar Schmidt

Project Activities


Other Activities and Research Interests

Comparative Constitutional Law, Comparative Federalism Studies, Constitutional Law and Constitutionalism in Africa, Political Decentralisation in Africa

Professional and Academic Background

Since 6/2013 Research Fellow Africa Projects and Project Manager Somalia Projects, Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law, Heidelberg (Germany), Nairobi (Kenya) and Mogadishu (Somalia)

1/2013–4/2013 Constitution Legal Adviser at the United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS), Nairobi (Kenya) and Mogadishu (Somalia)

11/2011–11/2012 Seconded Constitution Legal Adviser to the UNDP Somalia/UNPOS Joint Constitution Unit, Nairobi (Kenya)

12/2010–10/2011 Research Fellow Africa Projects at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Nairobi (Kenya)

9/2010–11/2010 Seconded Legal Consultant to the GTZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit) Juba (South Sudan)

8/2008–8/2010 Research Fellow Africa Projects at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Heidelberg (Germany)

4/2000–2/2008 Student Assistant and Research Fellow at the German Institute for Federal Studies, University of Hannover (Germany)

9/2007 Second State Examination in Law, Celle (Germany)

9/2005–8/2007 Civil and Judicial Training Programme, Celle and Speyer (Germany) and Nairobi (Kenya)

3/2005 First State Examination in Law, Hanover (Germany)

10/2002–3/2003 Dissertation for the Master of European Law on the topic “Devolution in the United Kingdom, a Federal Development?”, Hannover (Germany)

8/2001–6/2002 Research Studies of European Law at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow (United Kingdom)

10/1999–3/2005 Studies of Law and European Law at the Leibniz University, Hanover (Germany)

10/1997–3/1999 Studies of History and Literature at the Martin-Luther University, Halle/Saale (Germany)

  • Mission impossible? Opportunities and Limitations of Public Participation in Constitution-Making in a Failed State – the Case of Somalia, In: Abbiate, Tania/Böckenförde, Markus/Federico, Veronica (eds): Public Participation in African Constitutionalism. Routledge, 2018, pp 194-209.
  • Representation of Component Federal Units in Federal Systems (last updated: May 2016). In: Grote, Rainer/Lachenmann, Frauke/Wolfrum, Rüdiger (eds), Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional Law. OUP, Oxford 2017–.
  • Federal Developments and Increased Accountable Government Structures in Eastern Africa- A Critical Assessment. In: Ndulo/Muna, Gazibo/Mamoudou (eds): Growing Democracy in Africa: Elections, Accountable Governance, and Political Economy. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016, pp 184–198.
  • Somalia unter seiner Übergangsverfassung von 2004. In: Scholz, Peter/Naeem, Naseef (eds): Jahrbuch für Verfassung, Recht und Staat im islamischen Kontext. Nomos, Baden-Baden 2011, pp 105–136.
  • Somalia, Conflict (last updated: July 2013). In: Wolfrum, Rüdiger (ed): Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law. OUP, Oxford 2008–.
Participation in Conferences
  • 3-4 Dec. 2015 “Constitution Building in Political Settlement Processes: the Quest for Inclusion”, Second Workshop in the “Edinburgh Dialogues on Post-Conflict Constitution Building” Series, IDEA and University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom (Presentation)
  • 20-31 Jul. 2015 Summer School on Constitution-Building in Africa, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary (Presentation)
  • 20-21 Apr. 2012 “Elections, Accountability, and Democratic Governancein Africa”, annual symposium of the Institute for African Development at the Cornell University, NY (USA) (presentation)
  • 7-11 Jan. 2012 “Constitutional Expert Forum” on options for a new Constitution for Somalia, conference organised by the UNDP Somalia/UNPOS Joint Constitution Unit (organisation, presentation and panel chair)
  • 27-29 Nov. 2008 Federalism and Decentralisation – Options for Somalia, conference organised by UNDP Somalia (participation)