Saturday, 14 July 2012

Information on the Constitution-making process in Afghanistan

Constitution-making process in Afghanistan  

The process of adopting a new constitution lasted from October, 2002, to January 2004, around 14/15 months:

• Initial drafting process October 2002 through April 2003;
• Consultation with interested parties or stakeholders from May through July, 2003;
• Drafting Revision process of the draft from the summer of 2003 through October 2003; and
• Final debate and Tasweeb (Adoption), at a Constitutional Loya Jirga convened in Kabul from 14 December 2003 to 04 January 2004.

Constitutional bodies involved in the process - Support to the Constitution-Making Process in Afghanistan. [1]

The CLJ process was designed to draw in all stakeholders, including ordinary people, in the four segments. Therefore, it was accompanied by a nation-wide civic information and education campaign aiming at maximizing public awareness as well as representation.

Constitutional Loya Jirga (CLJ)

Decree of the President of the Islamic Transitional State of Afghanistan on the Convening of the Constitutional Loya Jirga dated: 24.04.1382 - (July 15, 2003)

The Decree regulated the main issues regarding the gathering of the CLJ, namely: the composition, the criteria and procedure for the election of members, the organization of the election managed by the Secretariat (Art.7), the establishment of the Executive Committee (Art.9) for monitoring the elections of members and convening of the Constitutional Loya Jirga and the designation of a Security Unit (Art.8) responsible for the implementation of security measures to ensure the safe, effective and regular carrying out of the proceedings.

Composition and number of members:

Five hundred members: Four hundred and fifty members shall be elected and fifty members shall be selected.
  • 50 experts appointed by the President, 25 of whom were to be women;
  • 344 delegates elected by the approximately 18,000 former Emergency Loya Jirga representatives;
  • 24 elected refugees from Pakistan and Iran;
  • 64 women elected by women—two women per province;
  • 9 elected Kochis (nomadic tribes);
  • 6 elected Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from three provinces; and
  • 3 elected Hindu and Sikhs.
A number of observers where also participating to the ballots. The observer members did not have the right to vote and express their views during the proceedings of the Constitutional Loye Jirga unless they were asked specific questions or requested to give explanations by the Loya Jirga members:
  •  (a) Members of the cabinet of the ITSA (33 persons)
  • (b) Chief of the Supreme Court (1 person)
  • (c) Chairman and members of the Constitutional Commission (35 persons)
  • (d) The chairpersons of the Judicial Commission and the Afghan Independent
  • Human Rights Commission (2 persons)
Other senior government officials including governors, deputy governors, district administrators,mayors, army, police and National Security Directorate personnel didn’t have the right to be voted and participate in the Constitutional Loya Jirga.;

Procedure for the election of the Loya Jirga members:

Representatives selected in connection with the Emergency Loya Jirga shall assemble in the provincial capitals. Detailed information on the process of election, criteria and procedure of the Loya Jirga will be provided. In the event of the death of a district representative, the remaining representatives from the same district shall elect another eligible person and send him to the capital of the respective province.
(b) In Sonbola 1382 (September 2003) district representatives shall assemble in the cities of Kabul, Jalalabad, Mazar-e-Sharif, Herat, Kandahar, Bamyan, Kunduz and Gardez and elect members of the Loya Jirga through secret ballot. Elections shall take place on a provincial basis.  The number of elected members from each province shall be proportional to the number of members from the same province in the Emergency Loya Jirga.

Documents of reference

·Documents written before the convening of the (CLJ):
Afghanistan’s political and constitutional development.Chris Johnson, William Maley, Alexander Thier and Ali Wardak 2003 – Section Designing and approving the constitution pp.15-18 (Jan.2003)

Paper containing recommendations for the correct carrying out of the CLJ proceedings and the fair selection and election of members (representation of women, minorities and disabled people)

Document containing references to the logic model, the concept note for the “Support for the development of a new constitution in Afghanistan” project. UNDP, UNAMA

Presentation entitled "The Making of a Constitution in Afghanistan" excerpt from the Panel IV: Re-Establishing a Legal System - State Reconstruction and International Engagement in Afghanistan held in connection with the Bonn Conference.

·Reports published after the convening of the Constitutional Loya Jirga:

The role of constitution-building processes in democratization – case study AfghanistanIDEA International – pp.11-22 Section dedicated to the Constitution-Making Process and the CLJ (Dec.2004):

Support to the Constitution-Making Process in AfghanistanFinal Report UNDP (2004):

Afghanistan:Building a State to Keep the Peace-Max Planck Yearbook of United Nations Law, Volume 9, 2005, p. 423-433:

Lessons learned, evaluation and comparative study - Constitutional Assistance in Post-Conflict countries. The UN experience: Cambodia, East Timor & Afghanistan (June 2005):