Dear friends:
The CCD team has been working diligently across the globe to further the Center's mission: to support the work of foreign reformers to bring constitutionalism and the rule of law to new and struggling democracies by providing legal analysis, training, scholarship, and consultation.

In this issue, you will read about our latest efforts. You will also meet our new PhD fellow and learn about our new print journal. We welcome your comments. Please contact us at, and visit our website:

With warmest regards,

Directors, Center for Constitutional Democracy  

CCD delegation visits Thailand, Burma on peace process  

A CCD delegation visited Thailand and Burma in January, to work with in-country partners and establish clear priorities for constitutional reform as they begin the peace process. Some, but not all, of Burma's ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) signed a Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) in Fall 2015, setting in motion a process of political dialogue which will end in a peace accord. The peace accord will need to effect constitutional change outside of the traditional amendment process in order to address the underlying causes of the conflict, and the signatories will negotiate these changes during the political dialogue. Therefore, maintaining a common platform among the EAOs is of critical importance at this time: speaking with a united voice will help to ensure that their grievances are addressed, resulting in a more lasting peace.

The CCD team in Burma
Accordingly, while in Thailand and Burma our team met with representatives of both the signatory EAOs and the non-signatories. We provided counsel to the signatories about such constitutional issues as revenue and resource sharing, federalism, and post-conflict demilitarization strategy, as they formulate their framework for political dialogue. And with the non-signatories we discussed the prospect of signing the NCA, and how to remain united with the signatory groups on the most important issues in the meantime.

We also met with the National League for Democracy's (NLD) peace team. In Burma's most recent election, the NLD, led by Aung San Suu Kyi, won an absolute majority in both houses of the Assembly, giving them enormous influence in government, including the power to choose the next president. However, as recently as 2010, the NLD was considered an illegal political party whose activities were prohibited by the Burmese military, stunting their ability to gain the kind of experience required to run a country. As such, their agents, specifically those with whom we met, have requested capacity-building training in legal and constitutional issues. We have already begun drafting materials for them.

Professor Susan Williams leads a workshop in Rangoon
Professor Susan Williams led a workshop in Rangoon sponsored by the Women's League of Burma, in which representatives of a wide range of women's organizations met to discuss the constitutional changes that will best address their goals. The workshop also informed them of the current state of the political dialogue process. We hope to return to Burma this spring/summer to lead a series of workshops to continue building the capacity of women in the EAOS, so that they will be invited to the table during the political dialogues.

Our delegation included CCD Directors David Williams and Susan Williams, Assistant Director Brittany Terwilliger, Visiting Scholar Federica Carugati, and students Brittany Shelmon and Rafael Macia. This trip was primarily funded by generous gifts from private donors.

Distinguished Liberian guests visit Bloomington to discuss constitutional proposals 
Members of the Liberian delegation listen intently during their visit to Bloomington

In September the CCD hosted a group of Liberian government officials, which included the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Minister of Gender, to discuss and generate a series of proposals for constitutional amendments that will enhance the rights and representation of women in Liberia. At this meeting, the CCD crafted a novel approach to electoral gender quotas that would transform the gender balance in the Liberian government and make Liberia a model for other countries around the world. In light of subsequent political developments in Liberia, this proposal is unlikely to become part of the Constitution in the short term. But we continue to work with the Law Reform Commission on the possibility of statutory change to implement this approach.

As Turkey considers new constitution, CCD eyes potential for assistance 

The CCD recently launched a series of exploratory visits to Turkey to gauge interest in academic cooperation and possibilities for advising on constitutional reform. In December and again in January through February, Associate Director Timothy Waters visited Istanbul and Ankara to meet with academics from seven leading universities; policy analysts at Istanbul Policy Center, SETA, and PODEM; NGO activists working in the southeast; and government officials to discuss the state of constitutional reform in Turkey and the possibility for cooperation. Professor Waters also gave talks at Istanbul, Koc and Sabanci Universities.
Professor Timothy Waters meets with the dean, faculty members and graduate students of Yildirim Beyazit University's law school in Ankara
Turkey is currently debating the drafting of a new constitution, and has recently formed a parliamentary constitutional reconciliation commission to discuss proposals. (A previous commission met for two years, but closed up in 2013 without agreeing a common draft.) The discussions, like Turkish politics more generally, are highly polarized, and tensions are high in light of the renewed conflict between the state and Kurdish militants in the southeast. It is unclear if the commission, which is to finish its work by summer, will actually produce a draft this time either -- or what might happen if it doesn't, because the governing AK party is only 13 votes short of the number needed to call a constitutional referendum.
One of the projects CCD is considering is a conference and workshop series in Istanbul and regional centers, which would consider major issues in Turkish constitutional reform -- such as the Kurdish conflict, decentralization, the definition of citizenship, presidential powers, the secular-religious relationship, the role of the judiciary, and the position of fundamental rights -- in comparative perspective.
This work is being supported by the Office of the Vice President for International Affairs, and represents an opportunity to help IU develop its strategic outreach to Turkey. IU is opening a gateway center in Istanbul, and CCD is looking into holding the gateway's inaugural conference.
CCD invited to advise on Taiwan's "Constitutional Future"

The CCD has been contacted by a group of scholars who are actively involved in constitutional reform and civil rights in Taiwan, to advise a project called Taiwan's Constitutional Future. This project was founded in 2014 and is aimed at finding a solution to Taiwan's current constitutional crisis. CCD staff intend to visit Taiwan this spring to begin work on this project.
New digital journal, Democracy by Design, launching soon

Production is underway for the inaugural edition of the CCD's new digital journal: Democracy By Design. This journal, the only one of its kind, will contain scholarly articles on different aspects of democracy studies and constitutional design. Our first issue will go live in May 2016, and will contain articles on public participation in African constitution-making, women's leadership in Burma, and alternative demilitarization strategies for post-conflict countries.
Center welcomes new PhD student Sikander Ahmed Shah

Sikander Ahmed Shah is an Associate Professor of Public International Law (On Leave) at the Lahore University of Management Sciences in Lahore, Pakistan. Between 2012 and 2013, he served as the Legal Advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan.He is the author of the book "International Law and Drone Strikes in Pakistan: The Legal and Socio-political Aspects" (2015) published by Routledge, which deals with the treatment of drone strikes under International Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law. To formulate the foundation of his academic career, he obtained both his B.A. in Economics as well as his Juris Doctorate (Cum Laude) from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Since then he has been visiting research faculty at the University of Michigan Law School and the Wayne State Law School. His research is focused on how constitutional design can lead to a reduction of terrorism in Pakistan, and promote peace and security in the tribal regions.

Fall Seminar Series
The Hon. Lee Hamilton, '56, gave a standing-room only talk at CCD headquarters

The CCD hosted several exceptional presentations throughout the fall 2015 semester. Those participating in the Fall Seminar Series included:

September 3
"Architecture of the Burma Democracy Movement" by David Williams

September 10
"A Conversation with Lee Hamilton" Lee Hamilton, Center on Congress

September 24
"Networking for government jobs" by Jack Bobo

October 1
"Constitutional Reform in Liberia" by Susan Williams

October 15
"What Role Do International Agencies Play in Shaping Women and Gender Responsive Constitutions?" Cindy Daase, University of Konstanz

November 5
 "Transition from military regime in Myanmar: From confrontation to co-optation" Chit Win, Australian National University

November 6
"To Have and to Hold (II): Gender Regimes and Property Rights in Romania in the Twentieth Century" Maria Bucur-Deckard, IU Department of History

November 12
"Gender, Sexuality, and Human Rights in Sub-Saharan Africa" Johanna Bond, Washington and Lee University

November 19
"Quotas for Women in Politics Worldwide" Diana O'Brien, IU Political Science

November 24
"Turkey after the elections: Policies and perceptions in the region" Ahmet Evin, Istanbul Policy Center