Regional organizations play an increasingly important role in strengthening and upholding the rule of law. Depending on their mandates and regional contexts, this role takes various forms.

Regional organizations are also increasingly seeking to strengthen constitutional governance in their member states by developing regulatory frameworks that reject and sanction unconstitutional transfers of power and attempts to remain in power unconstitutionally. In some case, they are also mandated to assist in the actual design of national constitutions.

This publication presents and discusses the initiatives and actions in the field of rule of law and constitution building by regional organizations. It also highlights their achievements, their limitations and the challenges they face, and puts forward policy recommendations for consideration.


Publication date
01 October 2014
Raul Cordenillo , Kristen Sample (editors)
Number of pages
978-91-87729-63-8 (Print)




Acronyms and abbreviations

Raul Cordenillo and Kristen Sample

1. The Role of the African Union in Strengthening the Rule of Law and Constitutional Order in Africa
George Mukundi Wachira

2. The Arab League and the Rule of Law
Hesham Youssef

3. The Organization of American States: The Rule of Law and Legal Cooperation
Department of Legal Cooperation, Secretariat for Legal Affairs, Organization of American States

4. Promoting the Rule of Law, Democratic Governance and Human Rights in the Pacific: the Role of the Pacific Islands Forum
Lorraine Kershaw

5. Not Nudging, Embracing: The ASEAN Human Rights Declaration as a Catalyst for Reinforcing a Rights-based Approach to Constitutionalism
Michelle Staggs Kelsall and Christoph Sperfeldt

6. Developing Mechanisms for Regional Influence in National Processes of Constitutional Change: the European Union and Hungary
Nora Hedling

7. SAARC and the Regional Promotion of the Rule of Law and Constitutionalism in South Asia
Amanda Cats-Baril

8. Regional Organizations and Threats to Constitutional Democracy from Within: Self-coups and Authoritarian Backsliding
Sujit Choudhry and Sumit Bisarya

Raul Cordenillo and Kristen Sample

About the Authors

About International IDEA

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Rule of Law and Constitution Building: The Role of Regional Organizations

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