In the February newsletter, we share with you four original Voices from the Field and a number of updates on constitutional reform processes in different parts of the world.
In Tunisia, as the Constitution gains legitimacy, the delays in the establishment of the Constitutional Court, independent bodies and the organization of local elections, all attributable to political considerations, necessitate a shift in the mindset and modus operandi of the political class to advance the project of constitutional transformation. As Liberia’s president expresses support for changing the country’s citizenship laws, an opportunity is presented to reopen debates on constitutional reform broadly.
In India, the absence of a Uniform Civil Code has led to a subjugation of fundamental rights to personal law, which both disempowers women and perpetuates colonial legal frameworks. The Indian experience raises enduring issues of the constitutional recognition and regulation of personal law. The Gabonese constitutional reform process showed promising signs of public participation and institutional autonomy, although significant proposals were ignored and presidential powers were expanded rather than limited.
The remaining updates cover constitutional reform issues ranging from federalism to judicial review to the representation of women to presidential term limits spanning countries from New Zealand to Ecuador, Ukraine to Zimbabwe.