Professional Rule of Law

FBA is working on the project “Professional Rule of Law” together with Australia National University (ANU). The project seeks to establish what kind of knowledge, skills and professional qualities that are needed to match the expansion of the field of rule of law assistance.

Rule of law assistance is now a multi-billion dollar industry with bilateral, multilateral and private funding. The industry cuts across multiple policy domains, including areas as diverse as peace-building, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, security sector reform, land reform and environmental governance, legal, judicial and regulatory reform, human rights promotion, informal or customary justice, economic development and trade, transnational crime and anti-corruption.

The issue for the industry, and for the countries that host the projects, is that the demand is even larger than the expansion of the industry. Rule of law assistance providers around the world are beginning to recognise that they have a serious expertise deficit and that there is a mismatch of expectations and capabilities.

The results from the project will help in preparatory and continued professional training of rule of law, SSR and governance experts, development of expert profiles and maintenance of rosters, and research and knowledge management in areas relevant to post-conflict reconstruction, peace-building and development.

The project builds on, and is an integrated part of, the international research programme “Responsive Rule of Law”. The programme comprises academic and industry partners around the world with the aim of professionalising the worldwide rule of law community and bringing more expertise, effectiveness and accountability to the industry.

Hitherto, the project has resulted in the publication of a first report, “Professionalizing Rule of Law: Issues and Directions”.

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Responsive and Responsible: Politically Smart Rule of Law Reform in Conflict and Fragile States

There is a long-standing recognition that rule of law is an essential element in achieving sustainable peace and development. In recent years it has gained even more prominence in policy discourse and as a core ingredient of broad-based international commitments, with the Sustainable Development Goals and in particular Goal 16 as a clear indicator for where we are headed. Yet, what has been lacking in rule of law reform, or at least it has been only marginally represented, is a political approach to address the underlying causes of problems and obstacles to rule of law.

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Author:
Richard Sannerholm, Shane Quinn and Andrea Rabus
Year:
2016

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