National Assembly HRCM Members’ Kick-start Training on Constitutional Building in the Hague

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By National Assembly

Members of the National Assembly Select Committee on Human Rights and Constitutional Matters on Monday 19th August, 2019 began a weeklong intensive training on Constitutional Building process and the role of the National Assembly in it in The Hague, the Netherlands.

The training facilitated by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IIDEA) is aimed at providing the skills, knowledge and tools necessary for Hon. Members to participate in this process through the means available to the legislative branch of the government.

‘The training is significant because those involved in shaping constitutions require access to broad, multidisciplinary and practical knowledge about constitution-building processes and options and this workshop is designed to provide the basics for addressing these challenges through sharing of comparative knowledge and expertise”, says Hon. Mariam Jack Denton-Speaker of the National Assembly.

According to Sumit Bisarya, the head of the IIDEA constitution building programme, the training is to enable Hon Members discuss the ongoing constitutional building process in the context of the Gambia’s political transition and state building.

It could be noted that the National Assembly is mandated by the 1997 Constitution as the principal political stakeholder involved in the consideration, debate and approval for referendum of proposed changes to the Constitution.

In December 2017, the National Assembly passed the Constitutional Review Commission Act of 2017, which was assented to by the President on 11 January 2018. Under this law, the CRC is mandated to draft a new Constitution and prepare an accompanying report. The CRC has since embarked on broad public consultations and is expected to submit a draft constitution before the end of 2019.

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