detail - Rule of Law Programme Middle East / North Africa
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In recent years courts of law all around the world, including the Middle East and North Africa, have shaped electoral results. High courts of Tunisia, Egypt and Kuwait have recently acted to reform electoral processes by reviewing electoral laws according to the provisions established by the constitutions of the respective countries. By declaring a particular procedure, the counting of votes or the composition of electoral lists as unconstitutional and demanding remedy, constitutional courts have helped to shape rules and procedures governing elections and thus to redefine and modify electoral processes.
In cooperation with the Arab Association for Constitutional Law the Rule of Law Program Middle East / North Africa of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung organized a workshop titled “Constitutional Review of Elections and Electoral Disputes in the MENA Region” as part of a series of in-depth expert-meetings on constitutional control in the MENA region. The two-day event was held in Kuwait on April 10th and 11th, 2018 under the auspices of the Constitutional Court of Kuwait, which was represented by Hon. Ali Ahmed Bou Kmaz, justice at the said court.
The workshop gathered constitutional law experts, lawyers, university professors and judges from across the region to examine existing procedures for the review of elections and electoral disputes within the continuing constitutional practices in the MENA countries, their application and effects. Discussions focused on organizational and procedural settings of different electoral processes in Kuwait, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Iraq and Iran, and on means of improvement. A comprehensive and detailed analysis of the role of Constitutional Courts and Councils or Supreme Courts in managing electoral disputes gave participants the opportunity to compare and identify the strengths and weaknesses of different judicial/constitutional control mechanisms pertaining to elections, exchange experiences and sharing information on questions of joint interest.
Opening speeches were given by Hon. Ali Ahmed Bou Kmaz, Justice of the Constitutional Court of Kuwait and H.E. Karlfried Bergner, German Ambassador to Kuwait, followed by Hon. Faisal Al-Gharib, Counsel to the Minister of Justice of Kuwait, Mr. Hamoud Al Roudan, Representative of the Kuwait Bar Association, Dr. Anja Schoeller-Schletter, Head of the Rule of Law Program Middle East / North Africa, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung and Dr. Mahmoud Hamad, Secretary General of the Arab Association of Constitutional Law.
The workshop constituted Part IV of a series of workshops dedicated to "mapping" constitutional control in the MENA countries that the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung is conducting in cooperation with selected partners in the Arab region. Previous events included Part I: "Nomination and Appointment Procedures for Justices of Constitutional Courts and Councils" (Beirut, Oct 2017, together with AACL), Part II: "Role of Religious Law/Courts in the Constitutional Order" (Italy, Nov. 2017), and Part III: “Review Procedures for the Protection of Fundamental Rights” (Italy, March 2018). The outcome of the workshops will be presented at an international conference and selected papers will be published in a reference book on Constitutional Control in the MENA region.