Juan Pablo Ciudad, lawyer: (The current constitution enshrines the abhorrent distinction between liberal and social rights)

 Juan Pablo Ciudad, lawyer: (The current constitution enshrines the abhorrent distinction between liberal and social rights)

Part 1








Thirty-two writers, among lawyers and academics from other disciplines, participated in the Book of The Constitution. Text published by Ediciones Usach where four chapters of Magna Carta were analysed.
The book was edited by constitutional and academic lawyer of the University of Santiago, Juan Pablo Ciudad. In this interview, he explains the objectives of the text that can be uploaded to this link and his opinion on the founding process.

How did the idea of this book come up and what was the main objective?

This book originated from the inaugural USCH Initiative, the Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Environmental Communication at the University of Santiago de Chile and me. It is the second product of a work we started by preparing a short foundation altogether and published, like this, completely free via virtual means and also distributed free of charge in physical copies. Later, in this book - the Annotated Constitution - we wanted to deepen and analyze the main articles of the current constitutional text and to be able to develop the guidelines, views and key discussions that fuel the constitutional debate that is taking place in the country.

And how did they get that?

To accomplish this task, we wanted to give it a media character, copies of the main articles of the Constitution in the book, and a formative personality, through comments and critical thinking about these articles, constitutional rights, and the most important organs of the state. State and public functions. In this formative task, more than 32 writers from different disciplines and perspectives participated to comment on these matters.

What conclusions do you draw from what is in the book and how have it affected your vision of the current Constitution?

As a constitutional lawyer, he already had a vision about the constitutional text and about the need to change the constitution and amend certain institutions. But, in light of what we were able to talk about and read - with different authors - given the fact that I had to direct, coordinate and edit the book, I was able to obtain richer and multidisciplinary views regarding the application of the Constitution, for its material, institutional, social and cultural life. This work was accomplished by inviting academics from USACH and other universities to participate; Of the 32 people who contributed to the book, only 15 are lawyers, lawyers or law graduates.

I pointed out in the book that individualism and indifference towards organization and participation in the public must be overcome through trade union practices. How accurate is it?

One of the major challenges facing the converging constituent process is that we can link and create effective democratic channels between what people discuss and demand and what is happening in the future constituent assembly. This thinking stems from participation and attendance in a large number of councils, which were concrete deliberative examples that were taking place throughout the country. In my opinion, for the constituent process to succeed and for the next constitution to have full social legitimacy, institutional and social channels must be built - and this is still a pending task - that can make discussions in a different, living and thematic society.

What're you talking about?

There is a pending constitutional reform that must go in the direction of allowing councils to continue to exist in a more formal way and have a certain relevance to traditional components, or at least provide that they should be consulted on the most sensitive matters. for the population, as pensions, and more sensitive to our cultural history, as indigenous peoples. Moreover, secondly, there must be cases of transparency during the founding process. In a way that makes citizens immediately look at what is discussed in the constituent body through television, the Internet or social networks, so that this is a live process that is not delegated to some only.

How can they be accurate and comprehensive at the same time in the Constitution? For example, with the term "family" which means permanent transformations.

This is a very good discussion. It seems to me, in general, that all institutions must be understood as dynamic entities that have been created historically and responsive to the social forces that give them life. From this point of view, there is no rocky institution. Family, as well as other institutions, marriage, adoption, culture or the same concepts of people, nation and citizenship are institutions and concepts that must be changed. The task of constitutions is to enshrine general principles, and secondly to allow them to be reformulated effectively democratically so that they do not become restrictions that surround the population, but, on the contrary, represent new needs and features.