n African Human Rights Law Journal - The status and fate of the Eritrean Constitution

Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1609-073X
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2096



Between 1993 and 1997, Eritrea was engaged in a constitution-making process. In accordance with the legal framework set to guide the process, the constitution-in-the-making was finalised on 23 May 1997. There is disagreement about the status of this Constitution. Although it remained supportive throughout the constitution-making process, the transitional government of Eritrea has declined to implement the Constitution more than ten years after the Constitution had been ratified. The government of Eritrea's reluctance is ascribed to the absence of an entry into force clause in the Constitution and the 1998-2000 border conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia. The government used this as a pretext and as a result, constitutional development in Eritrea has been arrested for a period of ten years. This article investigates the factors affecting the status of the Constitution and concludes that, in spite of certain flaws in the constitution-making process, the Constitution is a legitimate pact that has been in force since the date it was ratified.

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