Sample code of conduct for a member of a constitution-making body

I. General Principles

  1. By accepting this office, a constitutional commissioner undertakes to fulfill to the best of his or her ability the letter and spirit of [whatever law has created the constitution-making body] and this code of conduct. A constitutional commissioner shall work collaboratively toward producing a draft of the constitution [or a report, depending on the mandate].
  2. The position of a constitutional commissioner is a high public office, carrying with it strong ethical obligations. The conduct of a constitutional commissioner should always uphold the dignity and solemn responsibility attached to the task of drafting the constitution. A constitutional commissioner must therefore act with honesty and propriety and ensure that his or her conduct does not discredit the constitutional commission at any time.
  3. The duty of a constitutional commissioner is to act in the best interests of the people of [Country X].
  4. A constitutional commissioner shall exercise his or her functions without regard to any improper influence, direct or indirect, from any source.
  5. A constitutional commissioner is appointed on a full-time basis. A constitutional commissioner must not accept retainers, honoraria, or income from work other than his or her remuneration as a constitutional commissioner.
  6. A constitutional commissioner shall at no time afford any undue preferential treatment to any group or individual, discriminate against any group or individual, or otherwise abuse the power vested in him or her.
  7. No constitutional commissioner, by his or her membership, association, statement, or in any other manner, shall jeopardize the credibility, impartiality, or integrity of the constitutional commission.
  8. Constitutional commissioners, other than the chair, shall not speak on behalf of the commission. The chair of the constitutional commission is the spokesperson of thecommission, and the chair or his or her designate has the sole authority to speak on behalf of the commission.

II. Decisions or Deliberations of the Constitutional Commission

  1. Constitutional commissioners shall be bound by the decisions of the commission made in accordance with [Law or Mandate X] and shall not harm the credibility of the commission by undermining those decisions in public. This provision is particularly important regarding the commission’s deliberations on the draft of the constitution that is prepared for submission to the [Body X].

III. Confidential Information

  1. Matters of a confidential nature in the possession of a constitutional commissioner shall be kept confidential and shall not be used for the private or public benefit of the constitutional commissioner. Such restrictions shall apply also after the constitutional commissioner’s tenure is concluded.

IV. Attendance

  1. Constitutional commissioners have been entrusted with an important task and must make every effort to carry out their duties with diligence and attend every meeting of the commission, including public consultation meetings.

V. Compliance

  1. Constitutional commissioners shall comply with the provisions of this code of conduct and [Law X].
  2. In the event of uncertainty about any of the provisions of this code of conduct, a constitutional commissioner shall consult the chair of the commission.
  3. A constitutional commissioner may be removed from office by [X] based on evidence indicating incapacity or incompetence, or the commission of an act that violates his or her oath or the code of conduct.

Sample code of conduct for civic education providers

[The Constitution-making Body X—hereinafter, “the CMB X”] is mandated to conduct civic education [under Authority X or Law X]. To ensure that the CMB X is able to carry out civic education and prepare the public to participate, it will cooperate with agencies or organizations with the capacity and commitment to help with this effort.

The agencies and organizations providing civic education will be expected to conduct all civic education activities in strict accordance with the civic education guidelines set by the CMB X. They shall not be motivated by profit or gain beyond legitimate expenses they may incur in respect of duties undertaken on behalf of or in collaboration with the CMB X. They are expected to carry out all activities in accordance with the principles stated in the code of conduct as set forth below.

  1. Each civic education provider shall conduct civic education in accordance with the curriculum prepared or approved by the CMB X.
  2. The CMB X requires that every civic education provider conduct all civic education activities without partiality, advocacy, or influence from any person or group.
  3. Every civic education provider shall refrain from engaging in any activity that would discredit the work or image of the CMB X.
  4. Every civic education provider shall refuse any gift, favor, hospitality, or inducement that would influence or appear to influence the discharge of its duties.
  5. Every civic education provider shall ensure that all citizens are accorded the opportunity to participate freely and effectively in the civic education program without intimidation, coercion, threat, duress, or undue influence.
  6. Every civic education provider shall ensure that its program is inclusive and is designed to meet the needs of all participants, including people with disabilities, women, youth, nomads, or other groups that may be excluded if special efforts are not made to include them.
  7. Every civic education provider shall ensure that civic education activities are accessible, and shall give special consideration to ensuring that all participants have access to any relevant documents in an appropriate language, a suitable venue, and translation or interpretation services where needed.
  8. Every civic education provider is expected to make relevant use of human and material resources found within the area in which it is engaged to provide civic education.
  9. Every civic educator provider shall avoid actual or apparent conflicts of interest, and in the event of any such conflict shall notify the CMB X.
  10. Every civic education provider shall refrain from disclosing any confidential information acquired in the course of its work unless otherwise authorized by the CMB X, and will not use any such information for personal gain or the gain of a third party.
  11. Every civic education provider shall perform its duty in accordance with such other rules, regulations, and standards as may be set from time to time by the CMB X.
  12. Any civic education provider who violates or contravenes any of the above rules shall be liable to [the appropriate penalty or action for the context].

Sample of code of conduct for members of a constitution-making body consulting with the public

General Principles

  1. This code of conduct sets down the conduct expected of members of the constitution- making body (hereinafter, “members”) during the public consultation process.
  2. By accepting their office, members have undertaken to consult with the people of [Country X] for the purpose of faithfully gathering, analyzing, and carefully considering the views of the public when preparing the constitution. (The purpose stated here is an example only. The purpose should follow the objectives of the process, whether defined in a legal document or by the constitution-making body in interpreting its mandate.)
  3. The conduct of a member during the public consultation process should be to uphold the dignity and solemn responsibility attached to the role of serving as a member of the constitution-making body. Members therefore have a duty to act with honesty and propriety and ensure that their conduct does not discredit the constitution-making body.

Duties and Obligations of Members during the Public Consultation Process

  1. The duty of a member during the public consultation process is to:

    1. attend (except in extraordinary circumstances) every public consultation process he or she is scheduled to attend, and faithfully execute all assigned duties;
    2. refrain from presenting any personal or partisan views or advocating for any constitutional options to the public;
    3. use the public consultation process as an opportunity to listen respectfully to the views presented;
    4. treat each speaker with the utmost respect and not give any indication that the member agrees or disagrees with the views of the speaker unless the views incite violence;
    5. ensure that the process is as inclusive as possible and that all persons are treated equally regardless of their sex, age, race, or socioeconomic status;
    6. ensure that all groups or persons invited to public consultation meetings are given the same amount of time to make their views known to the constitution-making body;
    7. ensure that all views are faithfully transcribed, recorded, and received by the constitution-making body; and
    8. ensure that each community or group receives a feedback report in the form of a faithful summary of its public consultation session and has sufficient time and opportunity to make corrections when necessary.

Confidentiality (if security is an issue)

  1. A member shall not disclose the identity of an individual, group, or community regarding the specific views that may have been expressed during the public consultation.

Enforcement of the Code of Conduct

  1. Allegations of noncompliance with this code may be handled as follows:

    1. An allegation should normally be raised first with the member complained against. However, there may be circumstances when it is more appropriate to raise the matter first with the [whichever body is in charge of enforcement or adherence to the code — options will depend on context; it could be the leader of the constitution-making body or a body in charge of enforcing the code of conduct].
    2. If the complainant chooses to pursue the matter, he or she should refer the allegation in private directly to [enforcement body].
    3. The [enforcement body] will then examine the allegation and may decide to investigate it further or to dismiss it.
    4. In the investigation and adjudication of complaints against them, members have the right to the same safeguards as those applied in the courts.
    5. If after investigation the [enforcement body] deems that the allegation is proved, the member complained against has a right of appeal to [X].
    6. The [enforcement body] will decide the appropriate penalty, which may include being removed from the public consultation process or from the constitution-making body.
    7. The conclusions of the investigation should be shared with the constitution-making body.