Summer School: Rule of Law

by: Abdul Saleem Achak

Rule of law is one of the main issues in post-conflict countries. Such countries, after years or decades of conflict, are in dire need of rule of law. In fact, the government, officials, and agents should be held accountable for their duties under the rule of law. Under the notion of the rule of law, laws should be clear, publicized, and stable. In many post-conflict countries, the establishment and strengthening of rule of law requires an independent legal system, which can without any influence, assure citizens of their rights and obligations.

In fact, the swift installation and establishment of the rule of law in post-conflict countries is very important for investment, legal certainty, and progress towards state building and peace building. Meanwhile, it should be noted that legal transplant of one country to another country does not work in the same way, because of differences among them. For example, the success of the rule of law in Sierra Leone is due to its domestic factors. Such factors might be missing in another post-conflict country.

Likewise, the rule of law in post-conflict countries helps in overcoming legislative and administrative deadlocks as well as fragmentations. Furthermore, the rule of law puts into check the executive powers of governmental officials and helps in protecting vulnerable people in society by providing them with justice and assurance about future.

In the meantime, one should not forget the cost of establishing the rule of law in a post-conflict country. It is part of a long process, which requires commitment and funds. The success of the rule of law is closely linked to the success in fields like education, health, participation, etc. At the end, more attention should be paid to the performance, integrity, transparency, accountability, and capacity of the rule of law in post-conflict countries. In the case of performance, the rule of law should be efficient and effective and be able to provide much needed services to people.