Reflections on Sudan’s Constitutional Trajectory, 1953–2023
Constitution-building processes in Sudan have been continually manipulated by military and civilian governments and supported by narrow elites. A brief historical survey reveals this unfortunate reality—which has continued even after the peaceful 2018 revolution.
The purpose of this Report is to improve the knowledge base for those seeking to understand Sudan’s constitutional trajectory—present and future—by reflecting on its past, including Sudan’s previous experiences with transitional constitutions. It examines the history of constitution-making in Sudan, charting developments from the time of the colonial condominium (the Self-Government Statute of 1953) to the various short-lived constitutions (those of 1956, 1964, 1973, 1985, 1998, 2005 and 2019). This historical inquiry is followed by an examination of current constitutional developments, including the Constitutional Document of 2019, with a view to drawing lessons on how to move forward to overcome Sudan’s chronic constitutional stalemate.
The Report concludes that all previous constitutional designs in Sudan are not suitable to provide answers to Sudan’s current constitutional crisis.
1. Colonial rule 1898–1956 and Self-Government Statute, 1953
2. Constitutional developments after the colonial period (1956 to 1998)
3. 2005 and 2019: The duality of constitution-making and peace agreements
4. Concluding remarks
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