Law, Justice, and Development

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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.

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  • Publication
    Compendium of International and National Legal Frameworks on Child Marriage: Second Edition - June 2022
    (Washington, DC, 2023-03-29) World Bank
    The initial idea for this compendium came out in 2016 of a collaboration between the Legal Vice Presidency and the Education Global Practice at the World Bank on the role of law to end child marriage. The discussions took place within the context of a global study being conducted by the World Bank and the International Center for Research on Women on the economic and social costs of child marriage with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Children Investment Fund Foundation, as well as additional support from the Global Partnership for Education under a grant for work on out of school children. In 2022, the Empowering Women by Balancing the Law (EWBL) initiative of the Legal Vice Presidency of the World Bank decided to update and upgrade the first edition of the Compendium. The EWBL aims to advance gender equality through substantive legal contributions to promote gender inclusivity in the law. It is rooted in the conviction that gender equality and equity under the law are preconditions for enabling women’s full participation in society and for countries to achieve tangible development outcomes. However, to date, billions of women and girls worldwide face systemic barriers due to outdated and discriminatory laws that hinder their rights and opportunities. This Compendium can participate in the protection of women and girls’ fundamental rights and the promotion of strong, peaceful, and just societies, as well as to the achievement of mission to end poverty and promote shared prosperity. This Compendium is limited to 194 countries (54 countries in Africa; 44 countries in Asia; 14 countries in Oceania; 23 countries in North and Central America; 12 countries in South America; and 47 countries in Europe).
  • Publication
    The World Bank Legal Review, Volume 4 : Legal Innovation and Empowerment for Development
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2013) Cissé, Hassane; Muller, Sam; Thomas, Chantal; Wang, Chenguang; Cissé, Hassane; Muller, Sam; Thomas, Chantal; Wang, Chenguang
    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.