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By Stephen Humphreys

Theatre of the rule of thumb of legislations provides the 1st sustained critique of worldwide rule of legislations merchandising - an expansive on the center of foreign improvement, post-conflict reconstruction and defense coverage this present day. whereas winning in articulating and disseminating a good international public coverage, rule of legislation merchandising has mostly failed in its acknowledged goals of elevating nations out of poverty and taming violent clash. additionally, in its execution, this paintings deviates sharply from 'the rule of legislation' as typically conceived. to give an explanation for this, Stephen Humphreys attracts at the background of the guideline of legislation as an idea, examples of felony export in the course of colonial occasions, and a spectrum of up to date interventions by means of improvement companies and overseas agencies. Rule of legislation promoting is proven to be one of those theatre, the staging of a morality story in regards to the strong lifestyles, meant for edification and emulation, yet ignorant of its personal inner contradictions.

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Extra resources for Theatre of the Rule of Law: Transnational Legal Intervention in Theory and Practice

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Police and military rule of law training is undertaken by DFID, OSCE ODIHR, the Council of the European Union and the Council of Europe. Market-centred rule of law work is undertaken by the multilateral development banks and the OECD; the private funders focus on human rights, judicial strengthening and civil society building. A recent count undertaken by the American Bar Association (ABA) lists 60 relevant indices produced by 42 different agencies. See ABA, ‘Rule of Law Index – Exhibit B’ (2008).

While Habermas focuses on the rise of a ‘public sphere’ during this period, the point for present purposes is the emergence at the same time of a set of principles and procedural mechanisms to constrain the public and safeguard the private that we would today recognise as constituting the ‘rule of law’ (these are, again, the familiar principles of accountability, transparency, generality, predictability, non-retroactivity, and so on). introduction 15 Turning to the economy, Chapter 2 picks up a later formative moment in the history of the term, its relationship with the policy apparatus of the state.

Whereas donor countries are thought to ‘have’ the rule of law, recipient countries do not, or not yet, or not sufficiently: the rule of law is the basis for prosperity/stability at home; its relative absence is a contributory cause or explanation of comparative poverty/insecurity abroad. This distinction again mobilises a relation – we can (and should) help them attain the rule of law. To assist in establishing the rule of law abroad is thus a moral duty; but it is also enlightened self-interest: in an increasingly integrated world everyone everywhere stands to benefit from an improvement in the rule of law (and so prosperity and stability) anywhere.

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