Curriculum Guide · Courses
Rule of Law and the Administration of Justice
Professor Lisa Bhansali
J.D. Seminar 403 (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours
The objective of this course is to examine the emerging field of “Rule of Law” and the design and implementation of legal and judicial reform programs. Initially, we will consider the factors that have contributed to these programs as well as consider why many believe that sustainable development must include a well-functioning, effective, and accessible justice system. We will look at development projects and the reforms undertaken by many countries, including transitional, developing and developed states as they've move toward market economies. We will review the adoption of legal regimes that seek to encourage private sector (foreign and domestic) investment. Sessions will include an examination of the definitions of “Rule of Law” and will look at the variance of different objectives behind rule of law reform programs, including democracy promotion, economic development, human rights and social justice, anti-corruption and law enforcement. We will review specific case studies as well as compare the often overlapping or inconsistent agendas of international and regional organizations (e.g., United Nations, World Bank, USAID, Inter-American Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, etc.). Case studies will help students link the broader goals in justice reform to such topics as access to justice, criminal procedural reform, court administration, commercial law, alternative dispute resolution, post conflict and transitional justice, and legal education, among others.
Recommended: International Law I: Introduction to International Law.