Authors: Rosie Wagner
March 26, 2013
John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

This paper was written in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master in Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and with support from the Kennedy School's Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation.

Summary: As the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) approaches, discussions are underway on a post-2015 development agenda. With experience showing that the ‘rule of law, justice and security — or their absence — have a major impact on the achievement of the MDGs,’ it is expected that the post-2015 agenda will include the rule of law. This paper explores four specific rule of law reform areas to assess the benefits of, and potential challenges to, their inclusion in such an agreement. While these are by no means the only rule of law issues that could feature in the post-2015 agenda, the reform areas selected for analysis here are 1) access to justice; 2) legal identity via civil registration; 3) land, property and business rights; and 4) personal security and criminal justice.

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