Rule of law and post-2015: a menu approach

Written by Nicholas Menzies, Justice Reform Practice Group of the World Bank’s Legal Vice Presidency, writing on the World Bank’s Governance for Development blog:

“On Friday last week I attended the final session of the United Nations Open Working Group – the body tasked with putting together global development priorities to replace the Millennium Development Goals. The session covered rule of law, along with peace and governance.

With a few exceptions, most member states were supportive of the inclusion of rule of law in the post-2015 development agenda. This aligns with global public opinion reflected in the UN’s World We Want Survey – where issues such as honest and responsive government and protection from crime and violence rated above such development staples as roads and household energy supply. A side event to the Open Working Group on Friday highlighted all the ways in which rule of law is measurable.

Despite the general support, quite a few Open Working Group members raised the issue of how to include rule of law whilst also “respecting national sovereignty” and “promoting national ownership,” as well as taking into account that justice systems look different in different places.”

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