Interim Constitutions in Post-Conflict Settings

Citation: 

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Policy points:
• Interim constitution need to be understood as a possible option.
• Context matters and needs to be considered.
• There is knowledge to draw from interim constitution processes and documents that worked.
• This report provides a number of contextual considerations and issues to consider.

Abstract: This report is the outcome of an inaugural event in a series of annual workshops to be known as the Post-
Conflict Constitution Building Dialogues which are closely connected to the Political Settlement Research Programme.

This first report deals with Interim Constitutions as key documents in political settlement bargaining processes. Actors that have hitherto engaged in violent confrontation become, at least notionally, responsible for the (re)framing and (re)building of the post-conflict state. Interim constitutions represent a form of ‘political settlement’ that seeks to disincentivise armed conflict as a means of pursuing political goals. The adoption of an ‘interim’ constitution and/or some form of transitional framework is one possible way of resolving the tension between fluidity and order, and contributing to sustainable peace.

Keywords: Peace Processes; Constitutions; Interim Constitutions; Post-Conflict

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