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Rule of law and access to justice are indivisible from development

1 Jul 2016

The rule of law has often been regarded as an abstract concept in development circles, a poor second cousin to the tangible targets set by the eight Millennium Development Goals. But that changed in January 2015, with the adoption by the African Union of Agenda 2063, which included the rule of law as one of its seven ‘Aspirations’ for Africa. Eight months later, the Sustainable Development Goals were formally agreed at the United Nations, with Goal 16, a stand-alone target focusing on peace, justice and strong institutions. 

Irene Khan, Director-General of the International Development Law Organisation (IDLO) said there is now global consensus that the rule of law and access to justice are an indivisible part of sustainable development. “They are no longer optional extras but a premise without which development cannot be sustained. The rule of law provides the framework for transparent, responsive and accountable institutions which strengthen people’s trust and confidence, and by doing so, promote peaceful societies as well as development.” 

As the only multilateral organisation in the world exclusively devoted to advancing the rule of law and development, IDLO has launched an initiative to bring together politicians, judges, legal experts and practitioners from across the continent to instigate practical solutions to collective developmental challenges.

In Dar es Salaam last week, the IDLO and the Government of Tanzania hosted a conference to discuss areas of concern and consider how to strengthen the rule of law as a driver for sustainable development. A cross section of voices contributed to the debate... This op-ed was originally published in the Diplomatic Courier and the rest of the article can be read HERE.

By Victoria Holdsworth

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Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Africa