From 25-29 November 2019, the Constitution Transformation Network (ConTransNet) was very pleased to host the 2019 Australia-ASEAN Women in Constitution-Building Capacity Development Program, which was supported by the Australian Government through the Australia-ASEAN Council of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The Program brought together eight women from four ASEAN countries – two each from Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines and Thailand – who have been engaged in democracy building and/or constitution-building in their home countries. The Program aimed to facilitate sharing of experiences across jurisdictions, as well as sharing the expertise of our own ConTransNet team. We have produced a short video, which captures the reflections of our participants on what they learned and its relevance for their own home contexts.
Our Course Program was a mix of workshops held at MLS run by our academics as well as practitioners from key institutions in our State, and included field visits to some of these institutions as well. Our opening dinner included High Court Justice Michelle Gordon as our chief guest. Our participants had the opportunity to visit the Parliament of Victoria, where they had a session with Victorian Attorney General Hon. Jill Hennessy, as well as meeting with two state legislators, Hon. Mary Wooldridge and Hon. Fiona Patten. They also visited the Supreme Court of Victoria, where they engaged in a session run by Supreme Court Justice Melinda Richards. During the week, we were also very pleased to include sessions with the Victorian Solicitor General, Kris Walker, and the Executive Director of the Human Rights Law Centre, Hugh De Kretser, both also MLS alumni.
Drawing on the experiences of our participants, ConTransNet also published a Policy Brief on Women and Constitutions in Action. The Policy Brief reflects the experiences shared by participants, and therefore specifically discusses gender and constitution-making with reference to Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand and Philippines.
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