Sub-state constitutions serve similar purposes as central-state constitutions.
They define the system of governance of the sub-state entity, outline its institutions and define the responsibilities of those institutions. They also explain the separation of powers between sub-state institutions, and may codify citizens’ rights vis-à-vis the sub-state entity.
The constitutional space can be forged in a number of ways. In some settings it is created by peace agreements between sub-state and central-state elites. In other cases, the space afforded to the sub-state entity is the result of bargains that occur outside formal peace processes but which are nevertheless the result of negotiations over how political power is held and exercised. The space may also be dictated from the top with few (or no) negotiations with the sub-state entity.
This report documents a workshop held on 9–10 December 2016 at the University of Edinburgh hosted by International IDEA, the Edinburgh Centre for Constitutional Law and the Global Justice Academy.
The workshop explored the process and design of sub-state constitutions in fragile and conflict-affected settings, and their role in the broader political settlement and/or peacebuilding process.
The constitutional space and its formation
Affirming or contesting the constitutional space?
What role for international actors?
References and further reading
Annex 1: Questions for country case study experts
Annex 2: List of participants
About International IDEA