On 13 and 14 December 2013, Constitutional Transitions Director Sujit Choudhry and Director of Research Richard Stacey attended a two-day roundtable meeting in Cairo, Egypt, analyzing and offering commentary on the then-draft Constitution of the Arab Republic of Egypt. The roundtable was organized by the West Asia and North Africa office of International IDEA and hosted by the Swiss Embassy in Cairo. Participating in the roundtable were members of Egyptian non-governmental organizations, members of the Egyptian judiciary and legal profession, and international experts on constitutional law and constitution building.
The purpose of the roundtable was to critically review the draft Constitution, drawing on a wide cross-section of Egyptian and international expertise, prior to the January 2014 referendum. The roundtable identified and discussed dominant themes and trends in the draft Constitution, highlighting specific provisions as cause for concern about the prospects for success of the constitutional reform process. The discussion was broken into eight sessions over the two days, covering the Preamble, general principles and constitutional amendment, fundamental rights, economic and social rights, the judicial sector, separation of powers, decentralization, and independent agencies.
On 16 December 2013, two days after the roundtable concluded, International IDEA’s Senior Adviser on Constitution Building, Zaid Al-Ali published a critical analysis of the country’s then-draft Constitution. The article can be viewed here. International IDEA will also be publishing a report collecting the opinions and analyses of the roundtable.