Creating a viable judiciary and strengthening its democratic functions has been a main concern of both governments and donors over the last two decades. This report charts the efforts to improve the functioning of a country's legal system in terms of both fairness and efficiency. Norwegian assistance to judicial reform, which is of relatively new date but of increasing importance, is placed in the broader context of how other donors - multilateral, governmental, and non-governmental - have sought to support judicial reform. The report analyses which sectors of the judiciary have been targeted for reform and why; what channels have been used; and what the lessons have been so far. Experiences from Latin America and Africa are highlighted, and case studies of Norwegian aid to Guatemala and Ethiopia provide reflections on what works and what does not work when donors set out to help governments reform their judiciaries.

Elin Skaar

Senior Researcher, Coordinator: Rights and Legal Institutions

Aid to judicial reform

Aug 2003 - Feb 2005