Constitutions are the foundations of many democracies but poorly designed constitutions can increase discord and conflict.
This initiative provides legislators and practitioners with the knowledge and skills to build the constitutions of the future. Together with local, regional and global partners, our Constitution-Building Processes Programme raises awareness of the role constitution-building processes play in managing conflict and consolidating democracy.
Networking and dialogue: ConstitutionNet
Who should write a country’s constitution? Should reproductive rights be protected in the Constitution? Why do coups happen? These are some of the interesting questions that frequently pop up in constitutional building processes. Politicians, media, activist NGOs, academicians and even international observers frequently need to reflect quickly on pressing specific challenges and hence need a quick search service as a solution.ConstitutionNet is a project created to support legislators, constitutional lawyers and other constitutional practitioners in finding useful and relevant information, sharing knowledge and building a community of best practice. The ConstitutionNet platform allows users to:
- interact and network on topical issues facing constitution builders;
- access, use and enjoy many of International IDEA’s tools such as a handbook for constitution building practitioners, training course and interesting papers and articles; and
- consult a huge and growing library of documents collated from selected recent national processes of constitution building, including official papers.
The materials on ConstitutionNet are made available to specialized researchers as well as ordinary users with a keen interest in learning more lessons about constitution-building from the past and present.
To find out more and discover the features, please visit www.Constitutionnet.org
Capacity development and training
Inclusive constitution-building processes are a powerful means for giving competing political forces and previously marginalized or excluded groups, including women and minorities, a vested interest in the political process.
At the same time, most people engaged in constitution building processes are doing so for the first time, with little knowledge or experience of constitutional design or constitution-building processes.
Achieving Constitutional Capacity Through Experience Sharing and Support (ACCESS) is part of a comprehensive programme focused on providing resources and support to those engaged, or seeking to engage, in constitution-building processes.
ACCESS is designed for practitioners involved in constitutional processes, including:
- Decision makers: those who make decisions about the content of a constitution and the process of creating it, including elected representatives and members of constituent assemblies;
- Implementers and technicians: those who implement decisions and administer constitutional processes, including state officials, lawyers, drafters, administrative staff, and those who run public education and participation programmes;
- Advocates: national and non-state actors, members of NGOs such as human rights groups, and others who seek to influence the constitutional process and decisions; and
- International actors: members of the international community who provide support, technical assistance, and funding for constitutional processes.
ACCESS is an interactive, problem-solving resource based on comparative global experience and active experience-sharing from participants. It provides constitutional options to decision makers, drafters and implementers and uses activities to generate discussion, analysis and decision making.