World Bank Rule of Law

After more than a decade of reforms of the legal systems and in particular the judicial system of developing countries around the world, we are able to analyze the theoretical premises of the programmes and the strategies for their implementation. After many convincing reports, these projects have been disappointing and have not yielded the expected results. On the one hand, these critics challenge the theory that a predetermined legal institutional framework is necessary for economic growth. On the other hand, they review some reforms of laws and judicial systems that have been carried out in a large number of countries. But despite these criticisms, the call for the creation of the “rule of law” through the “right” combination of legal norms and institutions continues to inspire hope and reform. You clicked a link to a page that is not part of the beta version of the new Before we go, we would love to hear your feedback about your experience during your stay here. Do you take two minutes to complete a short survey that will help us improve our website? The World Bank is an international organization composed of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Organization (IDA), which provides financial and technical assistance to client countries. The World Bank`s mission is to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. Justice and the rule of law are essential to achieving both goals. Inequity is a key dimension of poverty, and growing evidence points to the importance of accountable and effective justice institutions in creating an enabling environment for a range of development outcomes – from improving basic services to increasing private sector investment and reducing corruption. Thank you for participating in this survey! Your feedback is very helpful to us as we work to improve the functionality of the website on

Today, law is at the centre of development discourse and practice. The idea that the legal system is crucial to economic growth is now part of conventional wisdom in development theory. The most common expression of this idea is the “rule of law” (ROL): a legal system composed of predictable, enforceable and effective rules necessary for the development of a market economy. Enthusiasm for legal reform as a development strategy exploded in the 1990s, and resources for legal reform increased everywhere. Over the past 25 years, the Bank has supported a number of judicial reform and rule of law activities through lending, analysis and advisory activities. This includes supporting the reform of justice sector institutions and being an integral part of projects focusing on, inter alia, public sector reform, governance and anti-corruption, citizen security, economic development, urban and social development, poverty reduction, gender equality and natural resource management. The World Bank`s core work in the area of justice and the rule of law is in the global practice of governance. Our work focuses on: Thank you for agreeing to provide feedback on the new version of; Your response helps us improve our website. The Bank takes a multidisciplinary approach to justice and development, drawing on a broad network of experts, including judges, lawyers, economists, architects and social scientists, as well as specialists in human resource management, finance, infrastructure, data and ICT in the justice sector. The Governance GP works with experts from Global Practices and the IFC, particularly on commercial law, insolvency and regulatory governance issues. The Bank`s judicial work also includes the publication and dissemination of a wide range of analyses and diagnoses in the field of justice. He carries out analytical work to understand the challenges for the justice sector, the institutional framework and the political-economic context of reforms.

Over the years, the Bank`s approach to justice has evolved from a program focused on the judiciary – and the courts – to one that encompasses a more comprehensive and inclusive concept of justice. Today, our work on justice and development covers four key areas of intervention: The Bank`s efforts to promote legal empowerment have helped client countries: World Bank projects in Serbia and Russia have helped significantly reduce the backlog of cases, taking the time to respond to requests and process cases. In Kenya, the bank helped the judiciary set up a case tracking system and use its data to improve its performance. In Romania, audio recording of hearings has improved transparency and accountability. In Albania and Colombia, among others, judicial reforms have contributed to improving court user satisfaction and confidence in justice sector services. Judicial institutions are critical to the World Bank`s twin goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity. Empirical studies show the crucial role of the judiciary in promoting a healthy business environment, promoting growth, improving access to public services (especially for the poor), fighting corruption and combating abuse of power. Justice underpins the political process by protecting the rights of individuals, facilitating collective action, and enabling credible engagement (MDR 2017).

In Colombia, for example, the Bank helped develop mechanisms to respond to citizens` complaints and grievances in the area of health care. A project in Pakistan facilitated tax litigation and thus contributed to the fight against tax evasion and corruption. In Honduras, the World Bank supported community-based mechanisms for resolving land conflicts. In the Central African Republic, the World Bank promoted compliance with the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. In Cambodia, the Bank assisted the Board of Arbitration in resolving labour disputes.