Security Sector Reform and the Rule of Law

Stabilisation Issues Notes provide a short summary of what the Stabilisation Unit has learned to date. They have been developed on the basis of experience and are aimed at improving the effectiveness of our practical engagement in various aspects of stabilisation. They are aimed primarily at the Stabilisation Unit‟s own practitioners and consultants, and those of other HMG departments. They are not a formal statement of HMG policy.

Key Messages
1) Stabilisation planning and implementation is about identifying / addressing the specific activities required to achieve political stability in countries emerging from conflict.
2) Promoting the rule of law in stabilisation environments can help a state to increase its legitimacy, allow fairer political negotiation and uphold the implementation of political agreements. The most urgent priority is often establishing law and order, meeting internal security needs and ensuring basic functioning of the criminal justice system.
3) Security Sector Stabilisation (SSS) activities enable essential and minimum security functions to be established and maintained to achieve stabilisation  objectives. They are not the same as Security System Reform (SSR) in more benign environments; they should however help create the conditions for SSR, when conditions permit.
4) The urgency of meeting security needs has often led to quick fix approaches and a singular focus on expanding the size of a single organisation often with a „train and equip‟ mentality. This will often fall short of providing the kind of support that will contribute to lasting security outcomes.