The Law, Justice, and Development series is offered by the Legal Vice Presidency of the World Bank to provide insights into aspects of law and justice that are relevant to the development process. Works in the series present new legal and judicial reform activities related to the World Bank’s work, as well as analyses of domestic and international law. The series is intended to be accessible to a broad audience as well as to legal practitioners.
The World Bank legal review gathers this
input from around the world and compiles it into a useful
resource for all development practitioners and scholars. The
subtitle of this volume, legal innovation and empowerment
for development, highlights how the law can respond to the
chal-lenges posed to development objectives in a world
slowly emerging from an economic crisis. The focus on
innovation is a call for new, imaginative strategies and
ways of thinking about what the law can do in the
development realm. The focus on empowerment is a deliberate
attempt to place the law into the hands of the poor; to give
them another tool with which to resist poverty. This volume
shows some of the ways that the law can make an innovative
and empowering difference in development scenarios.
Development problems are complex and varied, and the theme
of innovation and empowerment naturally has a broad scope.
Consequently, this volume reaches far and wide. It considers
the nature, promise, and limitations of legal innovation and
legal empowerment. It looks at concrete examples in places
such as Africa, the Asia-Pacific region, and Latin America.
It considers developments in issues with universal
application, such as the rights of the disabled and the
effectiveness of asset recovery measures. The theme of legal
innovation and empowerment for development complements
substantive and institutional sensibilities in current
development policy. Substantively, development policy
discourse seems to have moved away from tacking hard toward
statist policy or neoliberal policy. Although this brief
introduction cannot do justice to the richness and
complexity of these contributions, it does consider each
focal point in turn.