Events

Meeting

The Impact of the COVID-19 Crisis on Constitutionalism and the Rule of Law in Anglophone Countries in Central and West Africa

28 May 2020
14.00-17.00 CEST

As the COVID-19 crisis worsens, its effects on the democratic development of African countries becomes a key priority. Much attention has been paid to the question of its consequences for electoral processes. Its impact on constitutionalism and the rule of law in these States has received relatively less attention.

Against this backdrop, International IDEA is organizing, in partnership with the Department for Political Affairs of the African Union Commission and Open Society Initiative for West Africa, a 3-hour webinar around the theme: The Impact of the COVID19 Crisis on Constitutionalism and the Rule of Law in Anglophone Countries in Central and West Africa.” 

The objectives of the exchange will be, from a retrospective and prospective practical analysis, to inspire decision-makers and feed the thinking of experts, academics, researchers, journalists, citizens around this theme. More specifically, the discussion will consider not only the challenges in terms of socio-political dynamics induced by the COVID-19 crisis as well as its impact on constitutionalism and the rule of law in Anglophone countries in Central and West Africa, but also the opportunities it presents for their democratic development. 

The webinar will be based on two premises. First, the need to go beyond the teleological approach of constitutionalism and the rule of law to consider them from their ultimate goals, which are to guarantee respect for the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens, both in normal situations and in those of exception. Second, the adoption of a holistic perspective allowing to consider not only civil and political rights, but also the economic and social rights of citizens in the context of the COVID19 crisis in the countries concerned. 

 

Issues to be discussed will include:

  • Overview of State of Emergency Regulations – including their conformity with constitutional provisions as well as regional, continental and international norms and standards. 
  • Socio-economic impacts of State of Emergency Regulations. 
  • Impact of Emergency Regulations on access to basic public services, particularly health services/systems. 
  • Impact of Emergency Regulations on vulnerable groups – particularly women, youth, children/elderly, Refugees and IDPs. 
  • Impact of Emergency Regulations on State-Citizens relations. 
  • Control of Executive under Emergency Regulations. 

 

The Webinar will take place on May 28, 2020, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Stockholm/Paris Time and can be viewed on International IDEA's Africa and West Asia Facebook page.

It will be moderated by Maurice Engueleguele, Melvis Ndiloseh and Mathias Hounkpe, and will have as Panelists: 

 

  •  Prof. Charles Fombad, University of Pretoria, Comparative analysis of the constitutional framework for controlling the exercise of emergency powers in Central and West Africa
  • H.E. Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, Former Minister in Nigeria and Former Vice-President of the World Bank’s Africa Division, Socio-economic impact of Emergency Regulations in Anglophone Countries of Central and West Africa,
  • Barrister Haddy Dandeh Jabbie, President of the Female Lawyer’s Association, Gambia, Impact of Emergency Regulations on vulnerable groups – particularly women, youth, children/elderly, Refugees and IDPs in Anglophone Countries of Central and West Africa
  • H.E. Tiawan S. Gongloe, Former Minister, Head of the Bar Association, Liberia, Impact of COVID19 pandemic and Emergency Regulations on security and peace in Anglophone Countries of Central and West Africa 
  • Prof. Kwasi Prempeh, Director, CDD Ghana, Impact of Emergency Regulations on State-Citizens relations in Anglophone Countries of Central and West Africa
  • Barrister Augustine Marrah, Legal Practitioner, Sierra Leone. Impact of Emergency Regulations on access to basic public services, particularly health services/systems in Anglophone Countries of Central and West Africa
  • Justice Gabriel Pwamang, Justice, Supreme Court of Ghana, Control/Oversight of Executive under Emergency Regulations in Anglophone Countries of Central and West Africa

The outcomes of the webinar will be captured in a report which will  be shared to officials of targeted countries and disseminated widely. IDEA and organizinTg partners will provide Technical assistance on implementation of recommendations made. 

For more information about this webinar, please contact Maurice Engueleguele at email m.engueleguele@idea.int, with copy to Melvis Ndiloseh at e mail NdilosehM@africa-union.org

Partner Organizations/collaborators: 
Department for Political Affairs of the African Union Commission and Open Society Initiative