CSVR Regional Working Group Session Enhancing the Synergy between Transitional Justice and Constitution-drafting Dates – May 26th 2022

CSVR Regional Working Group Session Enhancing the Synergy between Transitional Justice and Constitution-drafting Dates – May 26th 2022

As part of a year-long Global Initiative for Justice, Truth and Reconciliation (GIJTR) program focused on enhancing the synergy between transitional justice and constitution-drafting, the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) is hosting a virtual Regional Workshop on May 26th 2022, between 2pm-4.30pm SAST, with practitioners, policymakers and experts with experience in post-conflict constitutional drafting and transitional justice.

The objective of the workshop is to bring together experts in past or ongoing constitutional-drafting and transitional justice processes for an international, multi-track exchange on lessons learned from their experiences within these processes, including from their specific roles and conflict contexts, and to discuss best practices for enhancing the synergy between transitional justice and post-conflict constitution-drafting.

The findings from the Regional Workshop will contribute to the identification of best practices and to the improvement of transitional justice and constitution-drafting actors' abilities to establish robust, implementable transitional justice and constitutional frameworks that are responsive to the needs of the affected society, particularly victims' perspectives.

Outcomes

  • Pinpoint learnings and shortcomings from previous post-conflict and post-authoritarianism constitution-drafting and transitional justice processes in an effort to strengthen future processes, and to encourage sharing of lessons across regions.
  • Compile key takeaways from experts' experiences in transitional justice, post-conflict constitution drafting and peace processes, particular challenges they encountered, successful approaches they found, and practical advice that they have to offer other actors.

Participants and Methodology

To facilitate reflective learning and interactive discussions, the Regional Workshop will consist of short panel presentations from the workshop conveners and participants, followed by facilitated dialogue to identify the challenges and opportunities surrounding the synergies between transitional justice and constitutional drafting processes. Participants will be sent a series of materials, questions, and instructions in advance to ensure the efficiency and productivity of the workshop.

Participants will comprise a variety of different actors with experience in the post-conflict constitution drafting and transitional justice processes across Africa, including former commissioners, negotiators, members of mediation teams, legal professionals, civil society organizations and representatives of victim and survivor groups.  The workshop will be held on Zoom. The working language of the workshop will be English.

Program Background

This Regional Workshop is part of a GIJTR project titled "Enhancing the Synergies Between Transitional Justice and Constitution-Drafting", which seeks to examine the potential interactions that can exist between transitional justice and constitution-drafting in post-conflict and post-authoritarian settings and to understand how that synergy can be best harnessed to support better outcomes for peacebuilding processes.

Both post-conflict constitution-drafting and the establishment of transitional justice processes are critical moments to solidify the opportunity for a durable peace. As recognized by scholars and practitioners, the processes often have similar goals for achieving a transformed post-conflict society, ensuring adequate space for reform, promoting healing and justice through the creation of institutions, and solidifying norms and arenas for dialogue. Constitution-drafting and/or amendment processes contribute to the institutional/policy reform agenda – an integral component of transitional justice that contributes to guaranteeing non-recurrence of conflict and gross human rights violations – yet, more often than not, the two processes are envisioned as distinct tracks, not as synergistic components of peacebuilding.

The newly launched GIJTR project is designed to research this intersection and design a framework for best practices and a menu of options for stakeholders to transitional justice and constitution-drafting processes. The overall aim of the program is to improve the ability of transitional justice and constitution-drafting actors to establish robust, implementable transitional justice and constitutional frameworks that are responsive to the needs of the affected society, particularly victims' perspectives.

Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR)

Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation: CSVR is a South Africa-based NGO that was founded in 1989. Over the past fifteen years, it has engaged with international partners to promote effective transitional justice processes in a range of countries, through regional mechanisms as well as in global forums. CSVR has worked on numerous collaborative projects with African and other international partners to conduct research, engage in policy development, build NGO capacity, establish psycho-social support systems, facilitate community and national dialogues, and engage in policy advocacy and legal cases regarding victims' rights.

Global Initiative for Justice, Truth and Reconciliation (GIJTR)

Founded in 2014, GIJTR is a consortium of nine global organizations that work alongside communities to amplify the voices of survivors and inspire collective action in countries struggling to confront human rights abuses. This project is informed by the respective expertise of each partner organization in peace processes, post-conflict constitutions, and transitional justice implementation.

Contact Details

For further information about the Regional Workshop, the following personnel can be contacted:

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CSVR is a multi-disciplinary institute that seeks to understand and prevent violence, heal its effects and build sustainable peace at the community, national and regional levels.

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