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Assessment of Earlier Reform Initiatives


Law and Development Movement—Topic Brief

This topic brief summarizes the history, impact, and lessons of the Law and Development Movement . It started in the 1960s, when the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Ford Foundation, and other private American donors underwrote an ambitious effort to reform the judicial systems and substantive laws of countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Promoting the Rule of Law Abroad

This paper discusses the idea of the "rule of law" and the role "building the rule of law" now plays in Western development initiatives. It looks at the success of efforts to improve the rule of law in different regions of the world, and ends by considering the effects of rule of law aid.

Reflections on Judicial Reform and the U.S. Experience

A discussion of the different movements to reform the American judiciary over the past century which stresses the political alliances reformers made with different groups and the obstacles they had to overcome to achieve reform. Lessons applicable to judicial reform in developing countries are suggested.

Obstacles to Court Reform — The Florida Experience

In 1972, voters in the American state of Florida approved an amendment to the state's constitution that provided for a complete overhaul of the state's court system. In Court Reform: Ideal or Illusion?, a book chronicling the reform effort, author Steven Hays describes the many obstacles reformers encountered. These included resistance by lawyers, the presiding judges, and court clerks. The arguments against reform ran from claims that efficiency was antithetical to justice and judicial independence to simple assertions that centralizing budget and personnel systems would undermine control systems.

Citation: Hays, Steven W. 1978. Court Reform: Ideal or Illusion? Lexington, MA: DC Heath & Company


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