Our October newsletter covers three original Voices from the Field and a range of updates on constitutional reform processes around the world.
In Nigeria, the National Assembly has approved a number of constitutional reforms that could limit executive discretion, enhance the autonomy of local governments and state legislative assemblies. Some crucial amendments proposing devolution and quotas for the representation of women in the highest echelons of power were rejected. Crucially, the reform process was conducted within the confines of the legislative chambers with no meaningful opportunity for popular and civil society consultation.
The Interim Report on reforms to the Sri Lankan Constitution proposes a number of novelties including a new electoral system, a second legislative chamber, and possibly a constitutional court. Nevertheless, divisions within the party of the President and the politics preceding the 2020 elections have undermined consensus on reforms relating to the executive presidency, the nomenclature of the state, and the constitutional status of Buddhism.
Beyond Catalonia, low levels of satisfaction with the existing constitutional framework and a sense of margination of distinct and territorially concentrated groups of people have triggered secession movements in Cameroon, Iraqi Kurdistan, Nigeria and Yemen. With the unlikelihood of independence in all cases, solutions to the problems will almost certainly focus on the reconsideration of current constitutional arrangements.
The remaining updates cover a range of issues from Taiwan to South Sudan and from Pakistan to Moldova providing an excellent overview of recent constitutional developments worldwide.