FLJS conference to assess prospects for constitutional reform from the Arab Spring

20 February 2012

A year on from the first wave of uprisings in what has since been named the Arab Spring, the Foundation for Law, Justice and Society will assess the prospects for constitutional reform, in a conference to be held at the University of Virginia this week.

The conference, entitled 'Constitution-making and the Arab Spring', will be held on 24th February, bringing together a number of experts who have seen events unfold on the ground to review the developments over the past year and look ahead to the prospects for genuine consitutional reform and democratic plurality.

Reviewing the situation in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and other Arab Spring states, the panel will consider a number of issues related to constitution-making, including the role of the military, the influence of Islam; how the judiciary will fit into the new regimes; and women's rights. The fact that constitutions are often forged at moments of revolution and the impact on the constitution-making process will also be discussed.

An Opinion Piece on the prospects for a pluralist democracy in Egypt by one of the participants, Professor Nathan Brown, was recently published in the Guardian. Professor Brown argues that fears about Islamist influence in the consititution-making process may prove a distraction from more fundamental issues of institutional development.

The article can be read in full on our Opinion Piece Section, where it appears alongside a piece written at the time of the uprising by Clark Lombardi, who will also be speaking at the conference this week.