Legal and Regulatory Frameworks

Clear legal and constitutional provisions are essential for the protection of fundamental political rights and the effective management of elections, especially in countries undergoing democratic change. IFES' global legal and technical expertise draws on international public law and best practices to identify gaps and inconsistencies in legal frameworks, providing electoral management bodies and other stakeholders with options for clear and effective legal and constitutional reforms. For more than 30 years, IFES has provided guidance to countries worldwide to reform and implement laws and regulations governing the protection of political rights and the implementation of all aspects of the electoral process, in order to enhance the effectiveness and credibility of democratic institutions and processes.

Election management body (EMB) regulatory reform is important to maintain or enhance the impartiality, transparency, integrity and accuracy of elections and of the institution that runs them. Clear standards and procedures help to clarify the election management responsibilities of an EMB, minimize irregularities or confusion on the part of stakeholders, and support the efficient running of elections. A regulatory framework – which can include procedures, regulations, guidelines, codes of conduct, and other regulatory documents – complements electoral laws by clarifying or filling in gaps, and should be regularly reviewed. For three decades, IFES has provided impartial advice to EMBs across the globe as they improve their policies and procedures with a view to strengthening the democratic process. Alongside local partners, IFES applies its technical expertise and draws on international public law and best practices in the development, implementation, review and reform of regulations that are clear, consistent, comprehensive, and accessible for all stakeholders.