Constitutional Assistance and the Rule of Law in Post-Conflict Transitions: An Overview of Key Trends and Actors
Constitution-making holds a central role in the promotion of the rule of law. It is a process at the heart of national sovereignty and must be nationally owned and led. However, international and regional actors have started playing an important role in advising and assisting such processes. This study discusses the chief trends in constitutional assistance.
Constitutions provide for the basic rules, procedures and institutions that set the conditions for rule of law at the national level. This study focuses on the evolving role of international and regional actors in providing constitutional assistance to national actors engaged in both the narrow technical process of drafting or amending constitutional texts (constitution-making) and the broader societal project of ensuring that such texts fulfil their potential by providing fair, legitimate and effective parameters for democratic governance (constitution-building).
The report identifies trends that have shaped contemporary constitutional assistance. It also goes on to map the roles of international and regional actors in constitutional assistance, including the UN, bilateral donors and aid agencies, inter- and non-governmental organisations, academic institutions, and regional organisations. The report concludes with a set of recommendations.