Sujit Choudhry Speaks at a Roundtable in Kiev Focusing on Semi-Presidentialism and Reflections on Constitutional Reform
Sujit Choudhry, the founding director of the Center for Constitutional Transitions, together with Thomas Sedelius of Dalarna University and Julia Kyrychenko of the Centre for Policy and Legal Reform, will speak at an international roundtable on April 20 in Kiev, Ukraine to focus on the country’s semi-presidential system of government as well as the challenges that its constitutional stability is facing.
The roundtable was titled “Semi-Presidentialism and Inclusive Governance in Ukraine: Reflections for Constitutional Reform.” It was moderated by Ihor Kogut, Chief of Party of the USAID RADA Program, Member of the Constitutional Commission who also spoke during the welcoming remarks in addition to Thomas Markert, Director and Secretary of the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission, Fabio Della-Piazza, Head of Political Section of the EU Mission in Ukraine, Ihor Koliushko, Head of the Board of the Centre of Policy and Legal Reform and Oleksandr Iakymenko, the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) Programme coordinator in Ukraine.
Professor Choudhry spoke during the first session of the roundtable, focusing on the architecture of a semi-presidential government. The second session featured Thomas Sedelius, with a focus on semi-presidentialism as a power-sharing mechanism in practice. Julia Kyrychenko spoke during the third session on topics relating to constitutional design considerations of specific relevance for Ukraine.
The meeting was hosted the Center of Policy and Legal Reform (CPLR), Ukraine’s major think tank and International IDEA, an intergovernmental organization whose focus is on supporting sustainable democracy worldwide, the Venice Commission and the Council of Europe.
This roundtable is following a report that Choudhry co-authored with Sedelius and Kyrychenko, with the same title. Published on April 13th by International IDEA, it elaborates the four main challenges that Ukraine’s constitutional stability is facing, namely (1) the recurring institutional conflict between the president, legislature and government, (2) a presidency that has fallen prey to autocratic tendencies, (3) a fragmented and weak party system that is preventing the legislature to act coherently, and (4) a weak constitutional culture as well as a weak Constitutional Court.
Choudhry has been a constitutional advisor for over two decades. He is an expert in facilitating public dialogue sessions with civil society groups and other stakeholders, leading stakeholder consultations, performing detailed advisory work with technical experts, training civil servants and bureaucrats, engaging party leaders and parliamentarians, and drafting technical reports and memoranda in the field. To date, the Center for Constitutional Transitions has collaborated with over 50 experts from more than 25 countries. It partners with a global network of multilateral organizations, think tanks, and NGOs. Choudhry is also the I. Michael Heyman Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. His publication record includes over ninety articles, book chapters, working papers and reports.
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