When a country begins a political transition away from violent conflict or non-democratic rule, there are many difficult steps that it must take.

Developing an electoral justice system, which includes the means and mechanisms to ensure that electoral integrity is maintained or restored when an electoral process is damaged by repression, misconduct, or irregularities, may appear to decision-makers to be a secondary concern or even an afterthought.

This Policy Paper argues for the establishment of an electoral justice system at the outset of a transition, and before initial elections are held. It explains why doing so, despite the challenges, is so important, and offers recommendations on how to develop such systems, in an environment where an adequate legal framework and strong electoral justice institutions may not yet exist.


Publication date
04 August 2016
Frank McLoughlin
Number of pages
978-91-7671-061-6 (Print)


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Key recommendations

Executive summary

1. Introduction

2. Defining terms

3. Developing the laws for a sound electoral justice system

4. Establishing institutions to ensure electoral justice

5. Additional practices that promote electoral justice

6. Maintaining public confidence in an electoral justice system

7. Conclusions

References and further reading


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Prioritizing Justice: Electoral Justice in Conflict-Affected Countries and Countries in Political Transition

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