—Lucas MacClure, Boston College
The Chilean Constitutional Convention has begun the work that will lead, one hopes, to the replacement of Pinochet’s 1980 constitution. In this piece, I summarize the Convention’s first week and highlight themes we comparativists often discuss under the banner of the optimal design of constituent assemblies.
The first week of the Convention began on Sunday, July 4th, 2021, when its 155 delegates met for the first time as a collective decision-making body. The next day, the delegates of the Convention attempted to hold a new session. It was abruptly cancelled and postponed for two days due to logistical problems discussed below. The delegates resumed their work on Wednesday, July 7th, and Thursday, July 8th.
In this short week, the Convention accomplished the following five official acts: First, the delegates inaugurated the Convention. Second, the delegates elected Elisa Loncon as president and Jaime Bassa as vice-president. Third, the delegates decided they will add seven members to the Board of the Convention, for a total of nine. Fourth, the delegates agreed to create a committee in charge of proposing rules to govern the proceedings of the Convention; they also agreed on a committee of budgeting and administration and an ethics committee. Fifth, the delegates approved a declaration that asked Congress and the President to transform how the criminal justice system handles protesters indicted for involvement in the often-violent 2019 demonstrations that originated the constitution-making process.Read the rest of this entry…