Law, Society, & Development
Please note: This is an LUC track, not a Leiden University minor programme.
Serious efforts to meet global challenges will sooner or later encounter the limits of law in developing countries. At the interface between state and society, it should be the function of law and legal institutions to regulate people’s security, economic advancement, social justice and environmental protection, to mention just a few goals of development. This raises several important socio-legal questions. To what extent are such legal systems able to implement standards set by international law, to provide access and remedies to justice-seekers, and to support good governance and the development of society at large? To understand the capacities of these systems to make laws, implement them, and adjudicate conflicts, we will have to know what they look like, whether they consist of legal transplants from the West, or perhaps are based on other conceptions of law like customary law, divine Islamic law, or other traditions? How does state law relate to ‘non-state law’? Students of this track will also come to understand how legal systems operate in a heterogeneous and rapidly changing society. Economic, political, and social problems have their impact on the effectiveness of legal and governance institutions. In as far as legal systems are ineffective, corrupt or otherwise dysfunctional, is there anything to be done about that? Ultimately, this track encourages to student to assess the scope for strengthening legal systems and promoting the rule of law and human rights in the developing world.