Policy and Research Papers
This handbook is a practical guide, primarily intended for World Bank staff involved in justice sector assessments. It also may be of interest to the wider justice reform and
development community. Assessment methodologies for other sectors and justice sector assessment methodologies from other institutions have informed the handbook. As far as we could ascertain, this is the first time that practices in justice sector assessments as they have evolved have actually been described. This handbook is not the last word in assessments; rather, it is a basis for further development.
The focus of this paper is the “demand-side” model of administration of justice/rule of law (AOJ/ROL) reform as developed by USAID and increasingly adopted by other donors. It explores the basic arguments as they have been presented in USAID documents, compares them with actual experience of Latin American projects, and suggests some lessons to be incorporated in a revised theory of “demand-side” reform.
Judicial reform became an important part of the agenda for development in Latin America early in the 1980s, when countries in the region started the process of democratization. Connections began to be made between judicial performance and market-based growth, and development specialists turned their attention to "second generation" institutional reforms. Although considerable progress has been made already in strengthening the judiciary and its supporting infrastructure (police, prosecutors, public defense counsel, the private bar, law schools, and the like), much remains to be done. Linn Hammergren's book aims to turn the spotlight on the problems in the movement toward judicial reform in Latin America over the past two decades and to suggest ways to keep the movement on track toward achieving its multiple, though often conflicting, goals. After Part I's overview of the reform movement's history since the 1980s, Part II examines five approaches that have been taken to judicial reform, tracing their intellectual origins, historical and strategic development, the roles of local and international participants, and their relative success in producing positive change. Part III builds on this evaluation of the five partial approaches by offering a synthetic critique aimed at showing how to turn approaches into strategies, how to ensure they are based on experiential knowledge, and how to unite separate lines of action.