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.