2016 Melbourne Forum

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Constitution Building in States with Territorially Based Society Conflict

The Melbourne Forum on Constitution Building 2016 brought together practitioners and scholars from across Asia and the Pacific to share their experiences of constitution building in societies in which there is territorially based conflict.  All speakers at the Forum have been directly involved in the processes of constitution-building in their respective states and polities, and spoke about the ways in which states and polities in the region have sought to accommodate territorially based conflict in their constitutional systems.

The Forum considered both the substance and the processes of constitution building in contexts of territorially based societal conflict, including issues as to:

  • The nature of the societal conflict and the political/cultural impediments to solutions.
  • The form and principal design features of federalism, devolution and/or local autonomy and how effective it is, or is likely to be.
  • Arrangements for ‘shared rule’ in central governing institutions and constitutional provisions for shared ownership of the state, and how effective these are, or are likely to be.
  • The principal features of the process that was/is being used for constitution building; whether these processes might themselves foster a sense of collective ownership of the constitution and the state; and any problems that have or might arise with the process.
  • Challenges that arise in constitutional implementation.
  • The insights that can be drawn for constitution building in conditions of societal conflict elsewhere in the region and globally.

The Forum provided an opportunity for understanding the experiences of different states, in depth discussion of shared issues and challenges and meaningful comparison across the region.

The Melbourne Forum on Constitution Building was jointly organised by the Constitutional Transformation Network and the Constitution Building Program of International IDEA. This year's Forum was hosted by Melbourne Law School.

Concept note Forum program Final report

From the 2016 Melbourne Forum