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Posts: 88
Reply with quote  #1 

posted by Ali

Yesterday at 10:00 AM  Reply with quote

I have read the full searchable Eritrean Constitution in


1 - Do you know of any writers of the Constitution? If you do please tell me some and what they did for it.

2 - Why there is no effective date in the Constitution? Have the writers  considered?


Posts: 16
Reply with quote  #2 


There are three related questions which I will answer together.  The first asks if the constitution was accepted.  The second asks who were the writers of the constitution and the third asks whether there was an effective date provided for in the constitution.



1.  I will respond to the first question from different angles. If the word "accepted" means 'was the constitution approved by a legitimate body,' the answer is yes.  As I described the process in my paper (posted), the Constitutional commission reported to the National Assembly, the body that appointed it.  The Commission submitted both the first draft and the final version of the constitution that it drafted, following two years of public and expert consultation.  The National Assembly approved the final draft with a few amendments.  The next step was to submit this approved draft tot eh Constituent Assembly, which also ratified it with some amendments. [In the posted paper, I explain the reason why there was a need to have another layer of approval after the National Assembly's approval.  Please refer to the paper].

If, on the other hand, the question being asked is to know if the constitution has been implemented, the answer is no.  Indeed, that is the burning question of the day among Eritreans.  A constitution that took three years of extensive public and expert consultation to make and that had been approved by the National Assembly and ratified by a Constituent Assembly is still awaiting implementation, nine years after it was ratified.  A process of constitution making that was hailed as exemplary by many international observers has been frustrated and a constitution that provides the right answers to questions related to the rights of peoples as well as the powers and responsibilities of government and the relationship between the two lies gathering dust.  It all defies reason and commons sense.


2.  Who wee the writers of the constitution?

The Constitutional Commission of Eritrea was, in general, charged with the   responsibility of drafting the constitution. According tot eh law that established the Commission, the Council of the Commission consisted of fifty members.  Ten out of these fifty were members of the Executive Committee that oversaw the day-to-day work of the Commission and otherwise managed and coordinated the process. I was Chairman of both the larger body and of the Executive Committee.  The final task of drafting the constitution fell on the Executive Committee, which of course submitted the draft to the larger body and beyond that to the National Assembly. Again, as a reading of the posted paper will indicate, the final draft as produced after extensive debates within the Commission and among the public.


3. Effective Date.

In all legal drafting, both of national laws and of individual contracts, the phrase "effective date" is important.  It means the day when the law (or contract) will come into force. In the case of a new constitution, before deciding on fixing an effective date and including it in the constitution itself, consideration must be given as to the fate of peexisting-existing laws that may not be in accord with the provisions of the new constitution. The reason is that if an effective date is fixed without providing for a transition under which the existing laws are either abolished or amended to be in accord with the constitution.  The Constitutional Commission of Eritrea considered such laws and, trusting that the government would take the necessary steps, clearing the way for the implementation of the ratified constitution, chose not to fix an effective date, and left to be determined by the government.  The Commission estimated that this would be done in a matter of six months at most.  It was not done.

For some of the technical implications of the problems involved as well as some of the steps that the government was supposed to take, please consult the posted paper or my book on the subject (2003).            


Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #3 

Dear: Prof. Berekt,


I would like to say thanks to Professor Bereket for sharing us about the whole process of our constitution. But I would like some clarifications if the constitution is participating the most part of our people and neglecting the opposition parties, do you think this constitution is acceptable in the post PDJF. Is there a way in the International court of justice to plead the regime to implement the constitution?. Because the whole people were participating and the constitution is kidnapped by the regime?



Thanks for the information you shared us, I want to ask you, do you think this constituation will be acceptable in post PDFJ If it is not acceptable why? If we will accept what measure amendements are important?

Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #4 

Thanks Professor Bereket - you are an icon of Eritrean constitution.


I would like to to know more on the following Issues

  1. In Article 17 Arrest, Detention and Fair Trial why there is no an effective remedy by the Competent Notional tribunals for acts violating the fundamentals right granted by the constitution.
  2. Article 19 Freedom of Conscience, Religion, Expression of Opinion, Movement, Assembly and Organization stated that : Every citizen shall have the right to form organizations for political, social, economic and cultural ends; and to practice any profession, or engage in any occupation or trade. Does it include an unethical Profession - few to mention prostitution, Lay midwifery, pornography?
  3. Why the need for Article 26 Limitation upon Fundamental Rights and Freedoms.
  4. Some political organization Like Eritrean Democratic Party (EDP) and Eritrean Democratic League (EDL) advocate for constitutional supremacy with the rectified constitution of Eritrea subjected for amendments should have supreme legal force and direct effect. What is your comment?
  5. What in the constitution cannot be amended?
  6. If you get another chance, what article would you like to see amended?
  7. Is the constitution available in all Eritrean Languages?
  8. Why the Constitution  fail to define the geographical limits of Eritrea?


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