The peace process and the Constitution: Constitution making as peace making?
Free Public Lecture
Woodward Conference Centre
Level 10, Law Building
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
T: (03) 9035 7742
The 2016 Human Rights Lecture will be delivered by Manuel José Cepeda Espinosa, President of the International Association of Constitutional Law.
In 2015, the Colombia government entered into a transitional justice agreement with the FARC guerrilla movement that marked an important step towards ending decades of conflict in Colombia. This lecture by a member of the Commission negotiating this important part of the peace agreement brings a constitutional perspective to the peace process. The interface between peace making and constitution making and change is one of many challenges for contemporary international politics. While the relationship inevitably is context dependent to a degree the wide range of cases involving transition from conflict to forms of constitutional government make global experience a rich resource on which other states in conflict can draw. This lecture canvasses the experience of Colombia where, as the peace process unfolds, a consequential process of constitutional reform is underway. Some of the mooted changes relate to transitional justice for guerrilla forces and the military. Others concern broader developments, such as political representation and territorial autonomy. The lecture will focus on two questions in particular. The first is the way in which peace making has led to innovative institutional design. The second explores the way in which constitution making has been a tool to build peace at critical points over the last half century.
This occasion will launch the Constitutional Transformation Network, a special project of the Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies.