Launch of the منتدى الشرق الأوسط الدستوري – Middle East Constitutional Forum: Bringing expertise to the citizens of the Nonviolent Revolution

13/02/2012

RN is pleased to announce the launching of its Middle East Constitutional Forum (MECF), an online project designed and implemented by RN 2012 associates Tobias Peyerl and Joslyn Massengale. RN is deeply appreciative of their generosity of both time and spirit. This is a special contribution not only to our work but also to that of others in the region. We would also like to acknowledge the key technical and program support provided to the initiative by our coordinator in Beirut, Ivana Assy.

The objective of the MECF is twofold: First, MECF has collected and is making available reliable constitutional material in multiple regional languages for each of 27 countries across the broader Middle East. The objective is to provide an easy, central online site that helps inform the active constitutional debate and amendment processes triggered by the ME nonviolent revolution. Bringing together the constitutional texts and amendments in original languages and available translations into one platform, the site also provides a geographic perspective, and a RSS feed system that highlights timely constitutional news items for 8 select countries. Readers can benefit from the collective constitutional efforts in the Middle East beyond the specific jurisdictions where constitutions are being shaped or amended. Relevant court decisions when available electronically, and a choice of secondary material in the shape of sites, articles, bibliographies and press articles, will also be provided. Current work is underway to develop interactive timelines to organize bibliographies by country and by issues as additional research tools for legal scholars, activists, and historians.

Second, and more importantly, the project intends to be interactive with the input of regional human rights and constitutional activists, along with their supporters worldwide. All citizens are concerned by constitutions, yet expertise is needed to sift through passing interests to identify important, constitution-making landmarks. The MECF provides a unique collaborative space for the exchange of ideas on the transitional processes in the region. There are missing links that research has not allowed RN yet to complete  - these are noted within each country page – and we rely on our readers and colleagues in the region and beyond to supplement the information. As the MECF develops and is enriched, timely contributions from participants and observers in constituent assemblies and committees will transform the Forum into a central reference tool for the massive ongoing efforts to replace power politics with regulated constitutional processes. This is key to our belief as Right to Nonviolence that a working constitution is the next, crucial stage to the ending of dictatorship by the nonviolent movement now spreading to the whole planet.

RN members have been at the forefront of constitutional thinking and reform in Iraq, Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon, and Israel-Palestine over the past decade. The site brings this expertise to a world forum that cares about the constitutional architecture of the nonviolent revolutions of the Middle East.

Join us in MECF at www.righttononviolence.org/mecf.

Contact in Beirut: RN Director Trudi Hodges 

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