The focus of the seventh Melbourne Forum on Constitution Building in Asia and the Pacific is on the nature and quality of representation in legislatures from the perspective of those who are represented; in other words, representation from the ground up. It explored questions about the operation of constitutions in action and essential considerations if democracies are to work for the people:
What do people want from their representatives?
How do people get what they want from their representatives?
Do people have different attitudes to representation and expectations of it, at the point of elections and in between elections?
What prevents representation operating in a way that delivers on the needs and expectations of people?
How can representation be enhanced so to work better, from the standpoint of people?
How are the expectations of people and the responses of representatives shaped by the constitution and the institutional structure of government?
These questions were explored through the experiences of sixteen jurisdictions from across the Asia Pacific region, with the aim of considering constitutional principles and practices for effective representation, as well as the challenges to the quality of representation arising from political practices, state capture, and the global and intergenerational crisis of climate change.
The Seventh Melbourne Forum took place on 7-9 November 2022 in Melbourne Australia in hybrid format.