IDEA Constitution Building Primers

About this series

These constitution-building primers are intended to assist in-country constitution-building or constitutional reform processes by: (i) helping citizens, political parties, civil society organisations, public officials, and members of constituent assemblies, to make wise constitutional choices; and (ii) helping staffs of intergovernmental organisations and other external actors to give well-informed, context relevant support to local decision makers. The primers are designed as an introduction for non-specialist readers, and as a convenient aide-memoire for those with prior knowledge or experience of constitution-building. Arranged thematically around the practical choices faced by constitution builders, the primers aim to explain complicated issues in a quick and easy way.

There is no ‘right’ approach to any constitutional design choice. Every Constitution must be tailored to its unique context. General principles and comparative experiences must be adapted to each country’s particular needs and preferences. The primers therefore provide a series of ‘think-points’ and questions for discussion, to encourage the reader to apply the knowledge to their own contexts. As no brief treatment of constitutional issues can be exhaustive, the primers also include suggested further readings and resources. The series is ongoing, with new primers on different topics added on a regular basis.

Series editor: W. Elliot Bulmer