The Kathmandu University School of Law (KUSOL) is set to host the “International Conference on Federalism, Devolution of Power, and Inclusive Democracy in Nepal and Asia.” This event will bring together experts, practitioners, and researchers from various countries to discuss critical aspects of federalism, devolution of power, and inclusive democracy relevant to Nepal.
Key themes to be explored during the conference include intergovernmental coordination in federal systems, equitable distribution of fiscal and state resources, and fostering collaboration among government tiers within federal systems. Discussions will also cover resource allocation, balanced provincial development, equitable fiscal practices, and democratic principles aimed at ensuring marginalized voices’ active participation in decision-making processes.
The conference’s inauguration will be graced by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda,’ with special remarks from Justice Ananda Mohan Bhattarai of the Supreme Court, Nepal. The keynote address will be delivered by Justice Robert French, former Chief Justice of Australia.
Professor Rishikesh Wagley, the Law Dean of Kathmandu University, highlighted the complexity of federal arrangements in Nepal due to political instability. He emphasized the conference’s goal of discussing the challenges of implementing federal arrangements outlined in Nepal’s 2015 Constitution and proposing potential solutions.
Prof Bipin Adhikari, the founder dean of Kathmandu University School of Law and a constitutional law expert, serves as the convener of the event. The focus of this conference is solely on federalism, diversity, and inclusion, in contrast to the previous Constitutional conference, which addressed the entire Constitution.
This significant event organized by KUSOL is expected to draw approximately 100 attendees, including constitutional experts, practitioners, researchers, policy makers, political parties, and civil society members from Nepal, South Asia, and the Asia Pacific region. The conference is the second of its kind, following the initial conference held in 2018, and is scheduled for November 22-23, 2023, at the Malla Hotel in Lainchaur, Kathmandu. Its outcomes are anticipated to contribute significantly to Nepal’s ongoing constitutional implementation process, aligning it with the principles of federalism, devolution of power, and inclusive democracy.