The Rule of Law –

Three different views, explained by the former lead prosecutor at the International Criminal Court:

Do-gooders and democrats try to convince dictators to improve rule of law, while repressive regimes are more than happy to refer to “rule of law” as they crack down on dissent at home. And governments of every stripe lean on rule of law arguments in the international arena.

With definitions so divergent, the meeting on the rule of law could end up being a forum in which everyone talks past each other, using the same words for wildly different things.

If this is to be a meaningful step toward more equitably governed states and a more reliably rules-based international system, then we have to first agree what it is we are actually talking about — particularly in this forum, as it will likely become an important platform for donor funding.

In our eagerness to promote the rule of law, we often confuse three competing visions of it: the institutional, the procedural and the substantive.

via The Rule of Law –


2 thoughts on “The Rule of Law –”

  1. The above article successfully categorizes rule of law into three definitions/interpretations. The current UN discussion on rule of law is debatably most important topic on the table, especially because it pertains to so many aspects of the UN’s mission and work. Without consensus on what rule of law is and should be, reform and change will be impossible to achieve. The G-20, a coalition of 20 Asian countries rallying for reform of the Security Council and ECOSOC, are speaking out about the importance of change and opportunity to create a more powerful system.
    Cultural and political differences are obstacles that need to be moved to define a rule of law for the UN and its members to abide by. If possible, the UN can gain effectiveness in war prevention, peace creation, and aid states in a host of other issues. The following is an exerpt from an attached article:

    “”In outlining his country’s vision for a reformed UN, the Foreign Minister said Singapore wanted to see an “effective system of international law and resilient mechanisms for peaceful dispute settlement.”

    He stated that this would “provide a platform for states under threat to bring their problems before these mechanisms with confidence, rather than trying to resolve them by force.”

    Mr. Shanmugam also emphasized the importance of the rule of law at the international level, saying it was “particularly important” for the survival of small states such as Singapore for a “predicable and stable rule-based system” to exist.””

    The G-20 is strong and has the potential to create change within the UN. By getting support from other member-states, the UN may be on a road to reform where new possibilities and increased power exist.

  2. The UN is an interesting governing body. I say that in response to this article, because it portrays the dilemmas the UN faces every turn. For awhile I wanted to lobby for the Worldwide Organization for Women in Geneva Switzerland. I remember telling my mom about my plans, and her, an attorney, snidely remarking, “The UN is so worthless.”

    Is that what people think? That the UN is this worthless organization throwing out resolutions right and left, that no one has to abide by? I think, yes. People has lost faith in the UN. Or maybe they never had faith in it to begin with.

    Maybe I am too hopeful, but we (yes, us current BYU students) are the most globalized, technological, innovative generation to come. We live in a world that was unimaginable back in January of 1942. With our minds, and our diplomacy (or that which we are practicing in MUN) we have a hard task in front of us, but it is not impossible. We need to establish a stronger, more sovereign international community. We can sit in class and learn the set-up of this complex organization, memorize motions, and make phony resolutions, or we can start to pick it apart. We can find the fallacies, use our critical thinking skills, and start planning the changes that need to be seen.

    I know that we can do it, and I truly believe that it needs to be done. Doctrine and Covenants 82:3

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