Well-functioning justice systems are a key component of the Rule of Law. That is why reforms of justice systems have become an important area of development cooperation. Though early legal reform efforts focused on changes to the substantive laws, it is now widely recognized that drafting new laws is by itself insufficient. Reform of the institutions that create, apply and enforce the law is also necessary.
Justice reform entails reform of a staggering array of institutions. Courts are obviously key, but the justice sector is also made up of ministries of justice, the legal profession, the police, prosecutors, public defenders, ombudsmen and others. The scope of justice reform also comprises all kinds of dispute resolution mechanisms. It includes those provided by the courts, but also alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.
The justice sector also relies on a number of legal professionals with various profiles. Judges, court staff, bailiffs, lawyers and notaries are all actors in the system. Consequently, justice reform deals with each of them, including the way they are educated and trained.
This page comprises five main topics.
Reforming Courts and the Judiciary
Role and Purpose of Courts
Reforming Other Justice Institutions
Ministries of Justice
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Alternative Dispute Resolution Topic Brief
International Alternative Dispute Resolution
Domestic Alternative Dispute Resolution
Legal Education and Training