Despite the disappointing results of fifty years of judicial reform, evidence from Asia suggests that a shift in justice reform efforts could result in important progress being made. Livingston Armytage argues that reform should focus on promoting fairness and equity, as opposed to economic growth and good governance. Justice is constitutive to human wellbeing and cannot be trumped by economics. Finding a balance between utility and aggregate wellbeing on the one hand and equity and individual wellbeing on the other is at the crux of this important book.
• Provides solutions to improve justice reform endeavor around the world • Analysis of the philosophical justifications for reform exposes the pervasive influence of ideology in the justification of development • Examines a substantial body of new evidence from Asia, an area which has hitherto been the subject of little scholarly analysis
1. Introduction; Part I. Judicial Reform Enterprise: 2. History and context; 3. Nature of reforms and critique; 4. Theories of reform; 5. Empirical evidence; Part II. Evaluation: 6. Development evaluation; 7. Evaluating judicial reform; Part III. Case Studies of the Asian Reform Experience: 8. ADB's judicial reform experience in Asia: 1990–2007; 9. AUSAID'S program in Papua New Guinea: 2003–7; 10. Voices of the Asian Pacific experience; 11. Conclusions; Annex A. Frameworks of measurement; Annex B. Empirical methodology and justification; Annex C. AUSAID inventory of documents; Annex D. Sample extracts of PNG newspapers: 2003–4.
'Despite decades of effort and billions of international assistance dollars invested in development of competent, fair, and independent legal and judicial systems, there remain far too few examples of real and enduring success. In his new book, Livingston Armytage argues passionately that the core problem has been a failure to embrace the centrality of justice in legal and judicial reform efforts. Many of us in the development community continue to view universal rights-centric approaches to development with a degree of skepticism, but the insistence that advancing justice, however locally conceived and however achieved, is a central concern of all human beings is surely correct. Reforming Justice is an important contribution to the increasingly critical process of re-examining the assumptions and logic that underlies conventional assistance in this difficult area of international assistance.' William Stadden Cole, The Asia Foundation
'… a remarkable contribution and correction to our history of failed and underperforming projects … Armytage has done a great service in providing a means to conceptualize and measure the impact of court reform on justice. His bifurcated framework balances results for individuals with results for society: the personal good and the common good are thus juxtaposed with a bias for the individual. In doing so he has set the agenda for new rounds of research that go beyond efficiency measures … The strengths of [this book] are significant and implications profound …' Wade Channell, Hague Journal on the Rule of Law
'Armytage's work is noteworthy for several reasons: its exceptionally ample and useful review of the literature not only on judicial reform but on broader development issues and topics … His lawyerly approach underlies his central argument that law and justice are constitutive not instrumental elements of development, which must thus add the pursuit of 'equity' (fair distributions of benefits and access to fundamental rights) to the usual emphasis on growth and governance … His emphasis on the conflicting goals of evaluation - accountability versus knowledge building - is extremely important and deserves wider attention … In short, Armytage provides a convincing and unusual set of arguments for revising judicial reform strategies …' Linn Hammergren, European Journal of Development Research
'Reforming Justice … calls for justice to occupy a central position in evolving notions of equitable development … Armytage call[s] for reformers to put aside goals such as growth, good governance and democracy in favour of a human-centred approach focused on equity. He champions the attainment of rights that political contests have already enshrined within law … and argues that practitioners must recognise the distributional dimension of reform efforts and aim to enhance people's capability to exercise the individual rights and entitlements associated with legal processes.' Thomas Kirk, Global Policy
'Livingston Armytage provides the reader with a refreshing vision on judicial reform. He convincingly argues that justice should be 'repositioned more centrally in evolving notions of equitable development'. Armytage's foremost concern appears to be to explain why judicial reform should promote justice. In my view, [he] has succeeded in reaching his goal … In a carefully written and readable way, the in-depth analysis highlights the most relevant features in unraveling the issue of the purpose of judicial reform. This book forms an important contribution to the debate on international assistance in the field of judicial reform by pinpointing the crucial issues that are necessary to discuss in order to overcome the accumulated confusion in this interesting but complex field.' Sandra Taal, International Journal for Court Administration
'The author has clearly spent many years on the frontlines of this difficult endeavour, and is surely better placed than most to understand it and to respond constructively to the challenges it presents in the years ahead.' Michael Woolcock, Harvard University and Lead Social Development Specialist, The World Bank
'The book is comprehensive, wide-ranging, cogently compiled, nuanced and clearly based on very thorough research and experience.' Open Trial
'Exhaustively researched, carefully written, contributes in important ways to knowledge in this field, and provides a coherent and informed analysis of an important topic.' Philip Alston, New York University and UN Special Rapporteur
'Cambridge University Press deserves to be congratulated for having published a book which is partially based on the doctoral thesis of Livingston Armytage. This book is rich in content, covering the historical, analytical and ethical dimensions of judicial reform in a language most lucid, a style most serene, balanced in all respects, well reasoned, full of logic and appealing to both heart and mind.' Justice Dr Munir Mughal, Punjab University Law College
'… a major contribution to how we might think about the institutionalization of the capability approach and the role that judicial reform can and should play in development.' Thom Brooks, Journal of Human Development and Capabilities
'This book arises from a passionate conviction that reforming justice is an essential part of the development agenda … The breadth and quality of discussion makes this book an excellent source for teaching not only on course[s] of law and society but also on courses of evaluation. Students become acquainted with a wide variety of thought that is intelligently brought together. This summing-up does not do justice to the almost encyclopaedic nature of this book …' Jan Kees van Donge, Journal of Development Effectiveness
'A valuable read for anyone who is interested in social justice as an indelible part of human rights law.' Carolina Saez, Law Society Journal