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Constitution Transformation Network e-newsletter
Newsletter Issue 2  |  February 2018

This is the second newsletter from the Constitution Transformation Network (ConTransNet) based at Melbourne Law School. We are a network of expert scholars sharing our latest research and exposure to the development of constitution-making processes, content and implementation.

On the Radar
Constitutional implications of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative?

The Belt and Road Initaitive (BRI), first mooted by the People's Republic of China in 2013, is a global development project of truly enormous proportions in its conception. At its heart are two corridors to be developed between China and Europe. The Silk Road Economic Belt runs through Central Asia and Russia and draws on historical memories of the ancient Eurasian Silk Road. The Maritime Silk Road runs through South-East Asia, South Asia, West Africa, the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean. Offshoots extend to the Pacific and potentially further afield: across the Arctic, with a Polar Silk Road and to Latin America.

Well over 60 countries will be directly affected by the BRI, many of them in economically depressed regions of the world. The numbers seem certain to grow. They have been estimated to comprise half the world’s population and almost one-third of the global economy.  The immediate focus of the BRI is economic, but inevitably, but the BRI may have constitutional implications as well, for all the countries along its paths. This CTN blog identifies some of the initial constitutional issues that the BRI raises. 

Read more
Presentation: "Tuvalu Comparative Constitutional Design Workshop"

In late February 2018, our Co-Convenors Cheryl Saunders and Anna Dziedzic presented at a workshop with the Tuvalu Constitutional Review Committee held in Sydney, Australia. Cheryl canvassed options for strengthening the parliamentary systems and improving executive and legislative relations. Anna identified constitutional reform options relating to the judicial sector. The workshop was organized by UNDP, Gilbert & Tobin Centre of Public Law and UNSW Institute for Global Development

Workshop: "Regional and Constitituional Structures in Tension Network"

In January 2018, Tom Daly, one of the Co-Convenors of the ConTransNet, attended a week of workshops for the Regional and Constitutional Structures in Tension Network. The Network is an international research collaboration aimed at examining how regional organizations are transforming the constitutional space of their member states.

Workshop: "Understanding how elections & constitutions interact in conflict -affected contexts"

In December 2017, Tom Daly attended the Fourth Workshop of the ‘Post-Conflict Constitution Building’ Series, hosted by the Edinburgh Centre for Constitutional Law and International IDEA. This ‘Fourth Edinburgh Dialogue’ focused on the interactions between elections and constitutions after conflict, in particular, the type and timing of elections.

Presentation: "Post-Soviet Super-Presidentialism"

In February 2018, Associate Professor and Co-Convenor of ConTransNet, Will Partlett traveled to Moscow to deliver a paper entitled “Post-Soviet Super-Presidentialism.” Will's paper examines an undertheorized, fourth type of formal constitutional design found in many of the former Soviet states: Super-presidentialism. It describes how many post-Soviet super-presidential constitutions are analytically distinct from presidential and semi-presidential ones.

Roundtable: "Recovering from Authoritarian Backsliding"

In December 2017, Tom Daly attended a Roundtable bringing together European and US experts with constitutional lawyers from Hungary and Poland, to discuss the current state of affairs in both countries and the possible constitutional and legal responses to the current democratic challenges they are facing.

Presentation: "An African Judicial Network - Building Community, Delivering Justice"

In November 2017, Tom Daly presented at the Third African Judicial Dialogue convened by the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) in Arusha, Tanzania. Tom was engaged by the ACPHR to propose a design for an African Judicial Network, to create a platform for formal collaboration between courts and other judicial bodies on the African continent. which he presented to participants, including regional and domestic judges from across the African Union.