International Network to Promote the Rule of Law

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Implementing Criminal Codes and Other Legislation in Postconflict and Developing Countries


This guide published by INPROL addresses a current gap in the practitioner literature by addressing the process by which 'laws on the books' are turned into 'laws in action.' The guide proposes a structured approach for systematically preparing and planning for the implementation of new laws in fragile environments.

To access the full Implementing Criminal Codes and Other Legislation in Postconflict and Developing Countries, kindly follow the link.


Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches to Rule of Law Research


Conducting high-quality research is an essential element of the design and evaluation of rule of law programmes for conflict-affected settings. It is also a useful way of enhancing a practitioner’s personal information needs. Conducting rule of law research, however, can be overwhelming for the practitioner who has little previous experience. Where do you start? What components do you need to factor into your plans? What kind of research do you need to conduct?

This INPROL guide assists the practitioner in structuring research by clarifying common research terminology and concepts, and outlining the steps involved in designing and implementing qualitative and quantitative research. It draws on existing knowledge of research methodologies and their associated “methods” (i.e., the tools for gathering the required information).

For full access to the guide on Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches to Rule of Law Research, kindly follow the link.


Policy and Research Papers

Common Law and Civil Law Traditions

The goal of this Practitioners’ Guide is to provide an overview of both common law and civil law legal traditions—comparing and contrasting them—so that practitioners deploying to post-conflict or developing countries can become familiar with them, and more easily work in a country that follows a tradition that is unfamiliar to them.


Understanding the International Rule of Law Community, Its History, and Its Practice

This guide provides a clear map and explanation of who is providing rule of law assistance in conflict-affected countries. The Guide describes major rule of law actors, as well an historical overview of their contributions to rule of law assistance and programming. The second half of the Guide provides an overview of common critiques of rule of law programming; challenges faced by practitioners at home and abroad; and good practice principles for future rule of law assistance efforts.


Mapping the Justice System and Legal Framework in a Conflict-Affected Country

In this guide, Dr. O'Connor focuses on the laws, institutions and actors comprising a national justice system. The Guide examines the multiple--and sometimes conflicting--bodies of law that often make up the legislative framework in post-conflict countries. The Guide also discusses secondary actors including civil society, religious, and trade organizations that practitioners may encounter, as well as the necessity of acknowledging and understanding relevant customary justice systems in the course of their work.


Defining the Rule of Law and Related Concepts

This Practitioner’s Guide will explain the concept of the rule of law, as well as a number of complementary concepts that overlap with and reinforce it. These complementary concepts are common cries of disenfranchised and oppressed citizens fighting an oppressive regime: “justice,” “access to justice,” “human rights,” and “human security.” So closely intertwined are these concepts that for ordinary people, they are seen as one in the same.


Guide to Change and Change Management for Rule of Law Practitioners

This Practitioners’ Guide suggests that it is crucial to the success of rule of law reform efforts that they are grounded in a solid understanding of change, how it occurs and how it can be effectively facilitated by both domestic and international rule of law practitioners. There is a dearth of literature on this topic in the rule of law field. The theory and practice of change has neither been seriously studied by rule of law scholars nor critically considered by most practitioners. It is, however, a much-researched topic in other disciplines such as leadership studies, as well as psychology, conflict transformation, social change movements, social entrepreneurship, and quantum physics.


Customary Justice: An Introduction to Basic Concepts, Strengths, and Weaknesses

Customary Justice INPROL

This practitioners guide from the International Network to Promote the Rule of Law (INPROL) by Tim Luccaro provides an introduction to customary justice. The paper provides a starting point for legal practitioners interested in the topic of customary justice as an area of the law. 

After a brief definition of customary law and of the objectives and plan of the guide, the paper provides a conceptual overview of customary justice and related concepts, and a brief discussion of the broader theoretical framework of legal pluralism. The guide then details the beneficial attributes associated with customary justice practices around the world, before discussing common criticism and shortcomings. Models of state and practitioner engagement with customary justice are then provided before a conclusion and recommendations.

To access the Customary Justice: An Introduction to Basic Concepts, Strengths, and Weaknesses INPROL Practioners Guide by Tim Luccaro, kindly follow the link.


State-Sponsored Legal Aid Schemes

Written by Ms. Leanne McKay, State-Sponsored Legal Aid Schemes is a practical tool for rule of law practitioners who are promoting and supporting government counterparts in the design and development of a state-sponsored legal aid scheme. Through an examination of the experiences and lessons learned in both developing and developed states across the world, the legal aid guide identifies and assesses the most popular models, and offers recommendations to help practitioners select the most suitable model for their specific context.

The guide includes an overview of the legal and normative framework that establishes the right to legal assistance and a discussion of the central challenges in designing a national legal aid scheme, including creating the necessary legislative framework, ensuring the independence of the service, and providing funding and quality control.

To learn more about what motivated Ms. McKay to author this publication, read her blog here.


Engaging Civil Society in Legislative Drafting: Current Practice and Opportunities for Afghanistan

This research memorandum was commissioned following the enactment of legislation in Afghanistan in 2018 imposing obligations on the government to release draft legislative documents to the public. It examines the current situation in Afghanistan in relation to public consultation on draft legislation. It identifies potential mechanisms and guidelines to support development of a quality public consultation procedure in Afghanistan through analysis of the national context, and comparative examination of public consultation processes by international organizations, and in other jurisdictions.

For full access to the report Engaging Civil Society in Legislative Drafting: Current Practice and Opportunities for Afghanistan, kindly follow the link.