New southern constitution should be by the people, for the people


The constitutional review currently underway in southern Sudan aims to transform the interim consitution into one that represents the new independent South Sudan, according to the Minister of Legal Affairs and Constutional Development, John Luk Jok. 

Speaking during a public lecture on constitution making in Juba this week, Luk said the final document must address the aspirations of the people for whom it is made.

"It is the people who legitimize the constitution," Luk said. "It is the people who make the constitution, who give it the legitimacy and for them to be able to hold the constitution.

The need for consultation, the need for their involvement, the need for their education to make them aware of the constitutional issues that we are addressing and that conquers with their destiny because a constitution cannot be written without people knowing what they are, so that we can run a constitution which is pro people and which is owned by the people."

Luk added that the review process now underway will be the basis of for constitutional reviews after the declaration of the new nation on the 9th of July 2011.

Professor Simon Monoja Lubang of the University of Juba also took part in the public lecture. He said that in order for a final constitution to be considered legitimate, it must go through a referendum process.

"I would like to state here that the process of making a permanent constitution for the southern Sudan, ultimately that constitution has to be given or tabled to the people in order to approve it through a referendum process. In that way again it becomes a solid social contract for the people. At the end of the day it is the people who will own that constitution. And so if they are going to be the owners of that constitution, then they must approve it in a referendum, just as the people of southern Sudan approved their independence through a referendum".

The lecture was organized by Justice Africa South Sudan Program in partnership with the University of Juba, Southern Sudan Human Rights Commission and the Civil Society.

Listen to full clip of John Luk
Listen to Simon Monoja



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