External actors involved in post-conflict constitutional transitions increasingly cite the relevance of international law. International legal norms provide that the process and substance of constitutional change should be democratic, inclusive, participatory, locally-owned and constitutional. Yet constitutional transitions regularly fail to meet these expectations. This paper examines how international law practically influences post-conflict constitutional transitions by exploring the extent to which international law may itself contribute to post-conflict constitutional transitions regularly failing to live up to democratic expectations. Fundamental international legal norms such as sovereignty, the rules of international legal personality and UN law tend to prioritise security and allocate power not to ‘the people’ but rather governments, IOs and groups exercising military control. It may be that the overriding influence of these norms contributes to exclusionary outcomes.