Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

South Sudan consultation wrapping up

Amid continuing clashes in the disputed region of Abyei, the government of South Sudan is concluding a two-day public discussion of the Transitional Constitution, which will come into effect with the official birth of the state next month. The draft has been criticized by one political group, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-Democratic Change, for failing to deliver a credible federal system and for concentrating too much authority in the hands of the presidency.

The participation exercise in the South Sudan reflects a general normative trend in constitutional design. While there is widespread agreement that participation is important, the precise modalities vary and we do not have much concrete analysis of whether participation enhances the quality of the ultimate constitution. In an article in the Temple Law Review a couple years ago, Zach Elkins, Justin Blount and I found that more participatory constitutions tended to be associated with a higher number of elective offices, and more provisions for direct democracy, but there is much room for further analysis.

After the period of public consultation ends today, the Legislative Assembly will modify the draft constitution, which will be put to a referendum before its ultimate promulgation in July.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *