Arguments: New Rules for the Rule of Law

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In a speech delivered before the American Bar Association in Washington DC, James A. Goldston, executive director of the Open Society Justice Initiative, argues that the concept of the rule of law is an idea whose time has come, as a "concept capable of commanding consensus in a divided world".


"Even with its mixed messages and the varied motivations underlying it, the recent rhetorical turn to the rule of law is an unparalleled opportunity to strengthen human rights, advance human development, and help bridge the often yawning gap between the rights and development worlds."

 "A holistic vision of the rule of law rejects the false but common perception that rule of law promotion “abroad” – that is, in countries other than where donor institutions are based – is fundamentally different from the search for rule of law “at home.”  

"Rule of law reformers must address the growing perception of double standards in the application of the rule of law – i.e., that there is no one rule of law impartially applied, but rather two – one for the powerful, and another for everyone else."