Constitution Making, Post Conflict States and External Actors

An important legal instrument in the establishment of constitutional order and democratic governance in post-conflict societies is the national constitution, the organography of the state. Constitution making in any country let alone a post conflict one is a major exercise. It presents a myriad of challenges both in terms of expertise, resources and logistical support required for the process. Invariably in the drafting of post conflict constitutions external actors play an important role. This paper looks at the role of external actors in the process. External actors can illuminate the constitution making process with lessons from elsewhere, and empower local actors by providing independent and non-partisan support for constitutional principles. They can, however, also play a negative role and be guilty of imposing their preferred constitutional models. This paper, without being prescriptive, looks at lessons learned from various constitutional making processes.