Back to overview

Constitution-Building and the Rule of Law

Supporting Mediation Processes

Participants at the First Edinburgh Dialogue Conference on Interim Constitutions in Post-Conflict Settings (2014)
Political mediation often faces critical challenges revolving around constitutional issues.

This comes in a variety of forms, with the most common being: 

(i) intra-state conflicts. As the resolution of such conflicts often requires a renegotiation of access to public power and resources, and/or recognition and autonomy for ethnic groups, conflict parties often demand constitutional change as a part of the peace deal. 

(ii) in the wake of unconstitutional changes of government (UCGs), whether that be through a military coup d'état or popular uprising, where often the constitution is suspended, and the transitional authorities announce a new constitution making process. 

International IDEA works closely with international mediation actors including the United Nations, ECOWAS and IGAD, providing a range of direct support to mediation efforts, as well as convening expert and practitioner meetings to discuss areas of common interest between the mediation and constitution building community.

 Examples of direct support include:

  • Secondment of constitutional experts to political mediation missions (e.g. in recent years, International IDEA has seconded experts to the UN Missions in Libya and Yemen, as well as to the UN Mediation Support Unit.
  • Partnering with eminent persons to mediate constitutional disputes (e.g. with former President Goodluck Jonathan in the Gambia constitution making process.
  • Confidential support to special envoys to help them understand the constitutional dimension of the transition, and supporting them in preparing options.

In addition, International IDEA convenes the following annual meetings:

Lastly, International IDEA has a wide range of knowledge resources relating to the design of constitution building processes in fragile and conflict affected states, including a searchable database on post-conflict constitution-building processes.


Close tooltip