Accommodating Peace: ‘Matter of Degree’ Thinking in Transitional Constitutional Review

Peace-making in the aftermath of internal armed conflict between a government and an armed opposition group almost always requires constitutional change. The tension between the requirements of peace-making and the fundamentals of a constitutional order raises the issue of whether peace and constitutional principles can be balanced without risking neither the achievement of peace nor the constitutionality of the constitutional order. The aim of this paper is to develop a theoretical and conceptual framework within which the balancing between the ideal of peace and the principle of the rule of law can be done. The paper proposes a ‘matter of degree’ approach to the conceptualisation of the rule of law, which allows the accommodation of constitutional arrangements that fall short of constitutional aspirations yet fulfil constitutional duty without compromising the dignity of either end of the spectrum.