Constitutional Review Committee prepares for nationwide civic education activities
Wed 23 October, Monrovia - Support for Liberia’s constitution review process moved forward today as the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) handed over twenty-one thousands of copies of Liberia’s constitution to the Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) at a ceremony held in Monrovia today at the premises of the CRC. The constitution booklets, reproduced as an UNMIL Quick Impact Project, will be distributed by the CRC across Liberia as part of its nationwide civic education campaign to raise broad awareness about the current constitution.
During the handover ceremony, UNMIL’s Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (DSRSG) for Rule of Law, Mr. Tamrat Samuel, said; “It is vital that as many citizens as possible engage in the review of their Constitution to ensure that the fundamental rights of every person are protected in post-conflict Liberia. It will help address past inequities and ensure the equitable provision of Government services to strengthen the long term foundations of Liberia’s peace and stability.”
Chairperson of the CRC, Counselor Gloria Maya Musu-Scott thanked UNMIL for its support as the CRC begins to conduct a nationwide civic education campaign across the country. “Over the coming months the CRC, together with our civil society partners, will begin to hold educational meetings and consultations with citizens in all fifteen of Liberia’s counties”, said Counselor Musu-Scott, “We want every citizen to have the opportunity to raise the concerns and issues that are important to them as we review our constitution. The constitution belongs to the Liberian people and I want to encourage every Liberian citizen to participate in the nationwide community meetings that will soon take place across the country.”
The CRC is a presidentially appointed committee tasked “to lead the process that will produce appropriate constitutional amendments”. It is expected to undertake an extensive civic education and public consultation process on the 1986 constitution, based on which it will propose amendments to the constitution. The constitution is the highest law of the land and contains the fundamental principles according to which the State is governed, setting out the nature, functions, and limits of the government. It also defines who is a Liberian citizen and defines citizens’ fundamental rights and responsibilities under the law.
The CRC will submit amendment proposals to the President further to the civic education and public consultation process. The proposals will then be considered by the Legislature for approval by a two-third majority in both Houses. A subsequent national referendum on all amendment to the constitution is envisaged for 2015 with a required ratification by two-thirds of all voters.