available languages: english May 17, 2017

Sri Lanka is in the middle of a constitutional reform process that aims to bring durable peace to the island as well as bolster democratic institutions. Success is not guaranteed: Will parliament garner the necessary two-thirds majority to pass amendments to the constitution? And if the amendments require approval by referendum, will the people vote in favour?

Constitutional referendums occur frequently around the world – in 2016, there were more than ten such referendums. However, even where countries hold constitutional referendums with good reason for optimism, experience has shown that referendums can fail. Designing a Constitutional Referendum: Challenges for Sri Lanka explores other countries’ experiences of constitutional referendums and draws on best practices to inform the ongoing debate in Sri Lanka.

To Read the Briefing Paper, click here.