Constitution-Building in Africa Conference 2013

The conference, which took place on 6 September, was aimed at providing a platform for the critical engagement with current and past constitution-making processes on the continent, drawing on the comparative experience of academics and practitioners.The Conference is organised as part of the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition, hosted by the Faculty of Law (University of the Western Cape) and the Centre for Human Rights (University of Pretoria) from 2 to 7 September 2013.

2013 marks the 20th anniversary of the adoption of South Africa’s Interim Constitution. The Interim Constitution was the product of the negotiations between the apartheid government and the liberation movements, which had already commenced in the late 1980s.

It paved the way for the first democratic elections in 1994 and the adoption of the Final Constitution in 1996. The University of the Western Cape's Community Law Centre played an important role in the drafting of the Interim and the Final Constitution and it was proud to host a conference to mark the anniversary of the Interim Constitution.

The anniversary coincides with a trend towards greater constitutionalism in Africa: a number of countries are undergoing constitution-making processes. Some countries are in the process of writing or adopting a constitution (e.g. South Sudan) and others have recently adopted a new constitution (e.g Kenya, Zimbabwe) and are in the process of implementing it.

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