This issue of Constitutional INSIGHTS examines the choice between making a new constitution and amending an existing constitution to achieve substantial constitutional change.

This choice arises in the early stages of constitution building. It is likely to affect the constitution-building process and it may have significance for the perceived legitimacy of the changes. The choice between a new or amended constitution may, in context, also affect the success of the constitution-building exercise.

The Melbourne Forum on Constitution-Building in Asia and the Pacific is a platform co-organized by the Constitution Transformation Network and International IDEA. It brings together scholars and practitioners of constitution building from across the region, to share their perspectives on critical issues, as a contribution to global understanding of the field.

This series of publications captures insights from the Melbourne Forum in an accessible and practice-oriented format.


Publication date
13 October 2018
Number of pages
Constitution Transformation Network



1. What is the difference between making a new constitution and amending an existing constitution?

2. What factors influence the choice between making or amending a constitution?

3. What is the significance of the choice between making or amending a constitution for constitution-building processes?

References and further reading

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Constitutional Beginnings: Making and amending constitutions

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