Rule of Law Reform and Development

Rule of Law Reform and Development

Charting the Fragile Path of Progress

Michael J. Trebilcock and Ronald J. Daniels

This important book addresses a number of key issues regarding the relationship between the rule of law and development. It presents a deep and insightful inquiry into the current orthodoxy that the rule of law is the panacea for the world’s problems. The authors chart the precarious progress of law reforms both in overall terms and in specific policy areas such as the judiciary, the police, tax administration and access to justice, among others. They accept that the rule of law is necessarily tied to the success of development, although they propose a set of procedural values to enlighten this institutional approach. The authors also recognize that states face difficulties in implementing this institutional structures and identify the probable impediments, before proposing a rethink of law reform strategies and offering some conclusions about the role of the international community in the rule of law reform.

Chapter 8: Legal Education

Michael J. Trebilcock and Ronald J. Daniels

Subjects: development studies, development economics, law and development, economics and finance, development economics, law and economics, law - academic, law and development, law and economics


I. Normative Benchmarks A. The Role of Legal Education in Developing Countries Legal education is a tool of social and economic development in every jurisdiction. It performs a number of functions which may contribute to development. One well-established view of legal education sees its primary function as being to prepare individuals to practice as legal practitioners. To the extent that this is seen as the primary function of legal education, it is key to development in a number of respects. Trained legal practitioners are necessary to ensure access to justice and to further rule of law reform. As Carothers argues, successful rule of law reform requires a community with a “will to change” their legal institutions. A trained group of professionals executes those changes and represents the interests of the community within those institutions. Legal professionals therefore have an enormous influence on rule of law development. Their level of competence, set of values and conceptions of the law directly affect the success or failure of rule of law reform. As Burridge argues, legal education is one of the most influential sites for development of conceptions of justice and fairness. In addition to training practitioners, legal education also performs a number of critical broader functions related to development. Burridge suggests that these include defining and upholding democratic and legal accountability; describing and maintaining the function of the legal system and the administration of justice; monitoring and evaluating the use of state power, the regulatory role, and the discharge of statutory duties...

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