Working paper

Rethinking constitutional reform in the Pacific: what can we learn from the Indonesian experience?

Policy Constitutional reform Indonesia Pacific Area

There is a distinct difference between proposing new constitutional frameworks and the process of establishing those frameworks. The latter involves forms of renegotiation with varying legacies of the past in any particular setting. This makes transforming proposed reforms into meaningful practice that can sustain over time less than straightforward. In fact, the outcomes of reform processes are often ambiguous mixtures of trade-off and compromise. By anatomizing the constitutional reform process that occurred in Indonesia from 1999-2002, the following paper identifies potential challenges Pacific Island Countries (PICs) face along what are invariably fraught and uncertain paths. Yet, the comparative insight from Indonesia suggests that a gradualist approach to constitution-making that takes advantage of opportunity, timing and momentum can provide a path to accepted constitutional reform.

Publication Details
SGDIA Working Paper No.2
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