Since 2004, the rule of law has gained solid attention in the UN community. This year, on September 24th, there is an opportunity to mark a milestone in enhancing its role in the global effort to rebuild societies after conflict, support transitions
and economic growth, and strengthen state institutions. For the first time, the United Nations General Assembly will devote its opening high-level event to the topic.
Over the course of the last twenty years, attention around the rule of law has increased in many different contexts and fora. While its precise definition remains elusive, a sizable “industry” on the rule of law has developed, with its agencies, programs, and scholars. Different views on the precise notion and scope of the rule of law, however, are emerging as we approach the high-level event, making the attempt to adopt a consensual political declaration a painful exercise. A breakthrough is still possible, if additional political e ort is made in the final steps.
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