This page contains a selection of papers which seek to draw lessons from the history of earlier reform initiatives. The selections range from broad, multi-country studies of efforts that lasted decades to reviews of individual projects in a single country. They are somewhat arbitrarily divided according to whether the principal focus is 1) primarily historical, 2) program strategy, or 3) targeted reviews of specific country programs. Among the themes that emerge are the highly political nature of much law and justice institution reform, the consequent necessity of mobilizing support both from those within the target institution and civil society, and the need to take account of the incentives of those who work within law and justice institutions.
Devising a program to reform a court, property registry, regulatory agency, or other law and justice institution is a difficult job. Actually realizing a reform presents an even greater challenge. The inertia that arises from long-standing practice, the opposition of powerful interests, and the sheer complexity of the undertaking all conspire to frustrate even the most dedicated reformer. What's more, because the "science of institutional reform" is itself underdeveloped, policymakers have no ready made formulae to which they can turn in crafting a reform strategy. While the other pages on this website aim to assist policymakers in determining what reforms should be pursued, the material here attempts to provide some insights on how a reform program can be realized.
Assessment of Earlier Reform Initiatives
Evaluations of Donor-Supported Reforms, by Donor
Evaluations of Reform Projects by Country/Continent