Charting the Fragile Path of Progress
10. Rethinking rule of law reform strategies I. Introduction In this book we have made two parallel and mutually reinforcing claims. First, we have proceeded on the premise that, on a sufficiently parsimonious definition, the rule of law is a universal good tied inextricably to development. In making this claim, we have not supposed any particular form of political organization, economic philosophy, or even legal culture. Rather than engaging in the details of substantive law, we have therefore focused on the institutional structures responsible for administering the rule of law. At the same time, however, we have declined to accept the view that obedience to a given set of rules – the rule of rules or rule by law – is a normatively defensible conception of the rule of law. In order to infuse a normative basis into our institutional approach to the rule of law, we have elaborated a set of procedural values central to any effective, institutional approach to the rule of law. Broadly, these values encompass process values (transparency, predictability, enforceability, stability), institutional values (independence, accountability), and legitimacy values. We have then identified a set of institutions which constitute essential elements of the rule of law. Drawing wherever possible on international consensus we have, in the context of each institution, elaborated a set of structural conditions reflective of these core procedural values, although we freely acknowledge that particular institutional entailments or instantiations of the rule of law will be shaped by normative considerations particular to given social, historical, cultural...
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