Australia-ASEAN Women in Constitution Building Capacity Development Program
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Australia-ASEAN Women in Constitution Building Capacity Development Program

– Constitutions are the main legal
instrument that provide a framework for the system of government and they are
extremely important for that reason. The Constitution Transformation Network, which is based in the Law School, is a group of colleagues who collectively
know a lot about how constitutions are made and how they operate around the
world. And we’re very anxious to share that knowledge to the extent that it’s
useful to others. So, what we’re doing in the course of this week is bringing to
Melbourne eight amazing women from four ASEAN countries to talk about
constitution building in their own countries, to draw on our knowledge and, hopefully, to let us draw on the insights that they have. – For me as a researcher
it’s interesting to see the trajectories of different individuals in the room and
their common goal in ensuring democracy and good governance in their countries.
It’s been fascinating. We have a young politician, senior politicians, a human
rights lawyer and activist. – Actually I don’t have any law background, so it’s very interesting for Melbourne Law School to invite me but I think through
this process I have learned a lot about constitutional building processes and
judicial systems and I think I now understand the importance of law and
constitutions as the basis of democracy. – I learned so much from my colleagues from Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand. – I learned more about public participation and its role in constitution building and that will be very useful for any upcoming constitutional reform in Thailand. I was very excited to visit the courts, meeting with the Attorney General,
meeting with a member of the Parliament of Victoria. – I was very much impressed
by the way they keep the rule of law and how they maintain judicial
independence with the system of checks and balances. – What I love the most
from this program is how many women, including the Attorney General, the
Solicitor General, and members of Parliament who have the character to
actually fight for the law and fight for democracy. And I think
as a young woman and as a politician it really motivates me to actually be like
them. We cannot represent women’s interests if we do not have women sitting
and debating about the constitution itself. – I really want to improve meaningful women
participation, not only in the constitution building processes, but also in nation
building processes. I think constitution building is not writing a paper, it is putting it into action.

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