MelbForum2020: Launch of two new Constitutional INSIGHTS briefs

24 September 2020

The fourth Melbourne Forum on Constitution Building in Asia and the Pacific was held in Yangon, Myanmar from 21-22 October 2019. The topic of the 2019 Melbourne Forum was "Inclusion and Participation in Constitution-Building Processes". In the field of constitution-making, 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.

Many of the practical questions raised by inclusion and participation in constitution-building were explored during the 2019 Melbourne Forum, drawing primarily on the experience of constitution-building in Asia and the Pacific. Following on from that Forum, the Constitution Transformation Team, with support from International IDEA published two Constitutional INSIGHTS which discussed and summarised some of the key insights shared during the Forum in relation to (i) direct public participation and (ii) inclusion of combatants. These policy briefs were launched at the 2020 Melbourne Forum.

Constitutional INSIGHT No.4 is on "Consultation, Deliberation and Decision-Making: Direct Public Participation in Constitution-Building". Direct public participation is a feature of almost every exercise in
constitution-building in the 21st century. This issue of Constitutional INSIGHTS examines three different
forms of direct public participation in constitution-building—consultation, deliberation and decision-making— and identifies ways to promote inclusive and meaningful direct public participation.

Constitutional INSIGHT No.5 is on "Inclusion of Combatants in Constitution-Building". The inclusion and participation of combatants in constitution-building processes raises a number of distinctive issues. Constitutional INSIGHTS No. 5 examines the rationales for including combatants in constitution-building, the challenges this presents and some of the mechanisms that might be used to support their participation in constitution-building processes.