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Constitution-Making in North Africa
The lecture will be presented by Professor Abdullahi An-Naim, the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
Constitution-making is a process of seeking to achieve the widest possible consensus among various segments of society. To the extent that such consensus is achieved over a "national settlement" which is in accordance with the principles of constitutionalism that society has a constitution, whether it is written like that of India or unwritten like that of the United Kingdom. In all cases to varying degrees, however, efforts should continue to improve the fit between national settlements and the principles of constitutionalism for each society in its own context. We should therefore expect that a legitimate and sustainable constitution will evolve over time, whether such developments are expressed in constitutional amendments or emerge through the practice of authoritative institutions like the Supreme Courts of India and the United States, or Constitutional Court of Germany. In the final analysis, however, the development and practice of constitutionalism are always achieved by citizens acting through their own normative and institutional resources in order to further develop and secure those resources over time. The lecture will conclude by applying these general principles of constitution making in North Africa, focusing particularly on the recent examples of Tunisia and Egypt.
For more information, please contact [email protected].
Organized by the Middle East Studies Program, College of Arts and Sciences