A Practical Guide to Constitution Building

This publication is available in print and electronic format
15 December 2011
978-91-86565-38-1 (Print)
978-91-86565-51-0 (EPUB)
Markus Böckenförde,Nora Hedling, Winluck Wahiu

The content of a constitution provides a blueprint for the operation of a state, guarantees rights and outlines mechanisms for their enforcement, as well as shapes the future of a nation.

Constitutions that emerge after conflict are often a result of negotiated settlements and competition between many forces including identity-based groups, former parties to conflict, political and military actors and international actors.

This Handbook provides an essential foundation for understanding constitutions and constitution building. Full of world examples of groundbreaking agreements and innovative provisions adopted during processes of constitutional change, the Guide offers a wide range of examples of how constitutions develop and how their development can establish and entrench democratic values. 

Beyond comparative examples, the Handbook contains in-depth analysis of key components of constitutions and the forces of change that shape them. It analyses the adoption of the substantive elements of a new constitution by looking at forces for the aggregation or dissemination of governmental power, and forces for greater legalization or politicization of governmental power, and examining how these forces influence the content of the constitution. 

This handbook is designed as a box which includes seven separate chapters. Separate chapters are also available in print.  





Acronyms and abbreviations

1. An Introduction
Winluck Wahiu

2. Principles and Cross-cutting Themes
Nora Hedling

3. Building a Culture of Human Rights
Winluck Wahiu

4. The Design of the Executive Branch
Markus Böckenförde

5. The Design of the Legislature
Markus Böckenförde

6. The Design of the Judicial Branch
Nora Hedling

7. Decentralized Forms of Government
Markus Böckenförde


About the authors

[This Guide] supplies information that enriches initial discussions on constitutional design options and will prove extremely useful as an introduction to the understanding of the complex area of constitution building . . . The world may soon witness a regional wave of democratic constitution building as a result of the current dynamics in the Arab world. Thus, this Guide is published at a timely moment.
Cassam Uteem
Former President of Mauritius

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