2019 Melbourne Forum

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Inclusion and Participation in Constitution-Building Processes

The fourth Melbourne Forum on Constitution Building in Asia and the Pacific will be held in Yangon, Myanmar from 21-22 October 2019. The topic of the 2019 Melbourne Forum is "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. The many questions raised by inclusion and participation in constitution-building will be explored during the 2019 Melbourne Forum, drawing primarily on the experience of constitution-building in Asia and the Pacific.

The Forum is jointly organised by International IDEA and the Constitution Transformation Network.

Concept note Forum program MF-19 Interim Report

Melbourne Forum 2019 participants