Truth and Consequences in Rule of Law: Inferences, Attribution and Evaluation

Hague Journal on the Rule of Law, Vol. 3, No. 1, 2011

20 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2011

See all articles by Elin Cohen

Elin Cohen

University of Washington - School of Law

Kevin Fandl

Temple University - Fox School of Business and Management

Amanda Perry-Kessaris

University of Kent - Kent Law School

Veronica L. Taylor

School of Regulation & Global Governance (RegNet)

Abstract

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.

Keywords: rule of law, project evaluation, economic development, investment climate, access to justice, informal economy, India, China, Kenya, Colombia

Suggested Citation

Cohen, Elin and Fandl, Kevin and Perry-Kessaris, Amanda and Taylor, Veronica L., Truth and Consequences in Rule of Law: Inferences, Attribution and Evaluation. Hague Journal on the Rule of Law, Vol. 3, No. 1, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1757977

Elin Cohen (Contact Author)

University of Washington - School of Law ( email )

William H. Gates Hall
Box 353020
Seattle, WA 98105-3020
United States

Kevin Fandl

Temple University - Fox School of Business and Management ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States
2027255305 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.kevinfandl.com

Amanda Perry-Kessaris

University of Kent - Kent Law School ( email )

Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NS
United Kingdom

Veronica L. Taylor

School of Regulation & Global Governance (RegNet) ( email )

Australian National University
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

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