Interim Constitutions: Peacekeeping and Democracy-Building Tools, Final Report

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Policy points:
• Interim constitutions have the potential to facilitate consensus over time, cultivate culture of participatory constitutionalism and address sequencing issues regarding elections and institutions to implement constitutional frameworks.
• The international community has a role to play in the development of interim constitutions. It can return the governing control to national actors and can serve as guarantor of the process thus potentially lending it more respect and increasing likelihood of implementation.

Abstract: This Policy Paper (which follows the ‘Interim Constitutions in Post-Conflict Settings’ discussion report), aims to fill a significant gap in the policy and academic literature on the process and design of interim constitutions in conflict-affected settings. It argues that, unlike both peace agreements and interim arrangements, the strength of interim constitutions lies in their legal enforceability. It examines the diversity of post-1990 interim constitutions in terms of their structure and their role in broader peacebuilding processes.

One of its main conclusions is that, despite key differences that also relate to the relationship between the country context and the choice of procedure and design, interim constitutions potentially offer time or the opportunity to facilitate consensus over time. They also have the potential to contribute to a culture of participatory constitutionalism, and address sequencing issues around elections and the strengthening of key institutions responsible for implementing constitutional frameworks.

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

 

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