CT Releases Briefing Papers on Constitutional Review and Judicial Independence

Constitutional Transitions, in cooperation with Democracy Reporting International (DRI), is pleased to announce the publication of two Briefing Papers on the importance of constitutional review in democratic transitions, and on international standards for the independence of the judiciary. The papers will be available in both English and Arabic, and are intended primarily for an audience of policy practitioners in the Middle East and North Africa region. The papers are available for download here.

“Briefing Paper: Constitutional Review in New Democracies” asks key questions about designing a constitutional court. Using examples from constitutional courts around the world, it identifies the core issues that policymakers will need to address when creating a new court. It emphasizes the role of constitutional review in legitimizing new democracies, especially on the constitutionality of legislation and government action. Read the paper in English.

“Briefing Paper: International Standards for the Independence of the Judiciary” highlights the essential functions of an independent judiciary in a constitutional democracy. Drawing on a combination of both hard and soft sources of international law, the paper reveals a definition of judicial independence that can be met in various legal and constitutional contexts, while allowing courts to protect human rights, secure the rule of law, and ensure the principles of a constitutional democracy. Read the paper in English.

Constitutional Transitions generates and mobilizes knowledge in support of constitution building. Constitutional Transitions generates knowledge by identifying issues of critical importance to the success of constitutional transitions, where a lack of adequate, up-to-date research impedes the effectiveness of technical assistance for constitution building, and assembles and leads international networks of experts to complete thematic research projects that offer evidence-based policy options to practitioners. Constitutional Transitions mobilizes knowledge through an innovative clinical program that provides “back office” research support to constitutional advisors in the field, and deploys faculty experts and field researchers for support on the ground. We meet existing field missions’ needs for comprehensive research, dramatically enhancing their effectiveness and efficiency in their role as policy advisors and actors.


Democracy Reporting International (DRI) is a non-partisan, independent, not-for-profit organization registered in Berlin, Germany. DRI promotes political participation of citizens, accountability of state bodies and the development of democratic institutions worldwide. DRI helps find local ways of promoting the universal right of citizens to participate in the political life of their country, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. 


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