Melbourne Forum: Fourth Forum on "Inclusion and Participation in Constitution Building Processes"

21-22 October 2019

The 2019 Melbourne Forum was held in Nai Py Taw in Myanmar from 21-22 October 2019. The Melbourne Forum is an annual event co-hosted by International IDEA and ConTransNet. This year's Forum brought togther participants from more than ten countries in Asia and the Pacific, to discuss the theme of "Inclusion and Participation in Constitution Building Processes".

Inclusion and participation are familiar topics in constitution building. They can be interdependent - even the most broad-based participation, for example, may raise questions about who to include - but they also raise distinct issues as well. Inclusion typically raises questions about “who” is involved in constitution building processes. Often, these questions apply at key points in the processes of negotiation and decision-making. Participation, on the other hand, typically refers to processes of engaging a range of people from society at large at different points in a constitution-building process. There remains some ambivalence, both in the literature and in practice, about both the inherent value of inclusion and participation and the ways in which they can be made effective. Concerns fall into at least five categories asking: why, who, when, how and to what effect?  Experience offers insight into each of these questions, without finally resolving them.

Participants discussed these themes across two days. You can find the biographies of our participants on the Melbourne Forum Community page. We we are now very pleased to share with you the online Report of the fourth Melbourne Forum.