Truth and Consequences in Rule of Law: Inferences, Attribution and Evaluation
University of Washington - School of Law
Kevin J. Fandl
Georgetown University Law Center; American University Washington College of Law
University of Kent, Canterbury - Kent Law School
School of Regulation, Justice and Diplomacy, Australian National University; Australian National University (ANU) - Regulatory Institutions Network (RegNet)
Hague Journal on the Rule of Law, Vol. 3, No. 1, 2011
Billions of dollars is spent on legal development every year, but its effectiveness continues to be questioned. Many donors have responded to this internal and external critique by developing monitoring and evaluating systems. This article problematizes the tendency of conventional modes of evaluation to assume a link between the outcomes of individual projects (the ‘truth’ of rule of law) and the fulfillment of overarching program goals (the ‘consequences’). We argue that examining this assumed link is of particular importance as rule of law projects take place within a host of simultaneous political and social changes; are time consuming and unpredictable and have multiple and sometimes conflicting objectives. Our analysis of four recent rule of law projects from Asia, Africa and Latin America exposes the inability of conventional evaluations to accommodate such complexities. We demonstrate how, by contrast, robust empirical research reveals important truths about the disparity between the actual, intended and unintended consequences of legal development projects.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 20
Keywords: rule of law, project evaluation, economic development, investment climate, access to justice, informal economy, India, China, Kenya, ColombiaAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: February 15, 2011
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