The American Bar Association Section of International Law just published a volume I edited entitled Promoting the Rule of Law: A Practicioner’s Guide to Key Issues and Developments. Chapter contributors include IntLawGrrls Fionnuala Ni Aolain and Patricia O’Brien, as well as Martin Schoenteich, Hassane Cisse, David Stewart, Renaud Sorieul, Colette Rausch and Thomas Nachbar, with a foreword by Justice Richard Goldstone.
Now more than ever, there is a consensus around the ideal of the rule of law and the centrality of its contribution to the development of democratic, prosperous, peaceful, inclusive and secure societies. This book explores many facets of this mandate by looking at the different actors involved in rule of law work, the origins and evolution of this mandate, the role of rule of law in fostering economic development, fostering rule of law in conflict and post conflict settings and the different elements of designing and implementing rule of law missions around the globe. As it does so, this book also addresses the meaning or, rather, the various meanings of rule of law. All contributing authors seek to get to the heart of how to make efforts to promote the rule of law more effective, more responsive, more inclusive, more coordinated, more humane and more enduring. In the Introductory Chapter, I outline Twelve Key Lessons that put the main conclusions of the book in context. While some of these conclusions are known to the rule of law community, they provide a framework for further discussion, inquiry and learning.
The Key Lessons include the following:
-Understand the scope of the rule of law mission and embrace the confusion through strategic coordination in headquarters and field operations,
-It is everybody’s responsibility to promote the rule of law at both the international and national levels,
-Don’t neglect the private and public dimensions of international law,
-There is no room for one size fits all solutions,
-Understand the importance of securing local ownership of rule of law initiatives,
-Employ thoughtful and consistent approaches to using data and measuring failures in the design and implementation of a rule of law mission,
-Avoid being gender neutral in the process of designing rule of law missions and interventions,
-Design approaches that bridge the gap between law, society as a whole and particular groups within society,
-Bridge the gap between the civilian and military forces in rule of law development,
-Unpack the role of the private sector and national governments to foster the rule of law in development, conflict and post-conflict settings,
-Explore the contributions of I/CT to support rule of law initiatives. and
-Understand and welcome the diversity and contributions of those involved in the promotion of the rule of law that come from different backgrounds, cultures and legal traditions.
This volume aims to speak to a broad audience, including scholars, students, practitioners and policymakers in the rule of law field. I encourage university libraries to acquire the text and those interested in writing blogs and reviews about the book and use it as part of their syllabus to contact me directly. The book is available for purchase here.