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The Importance of the Rule of Law in Promoting Development

Dr Jan van Zyl Smit


It is increasingly understood that the Rule of Law can deliver a powerful and lasting boost to the human and economic development of society. What is the nature of this relationship, and what are its consequences for individuals, governments, corporations and transnational actors, ranging from the United Nations to multilateral development banks? In the context of international debates about the content of what became the 2015 UN Sustainable Development Goals, the Bingham Centre organised a conference of senior judges, experts and business leaders to examine these issues as they apply to the legal systems of Singapore, the South-East Asia region and beyond. Specialist papers on topics such as Rule of Law-oriented technical assistance by development banks, aspects of the proposed UN Sustainable Development Goals, business and human rights norms, and investment treaties were complemented by more general reflections on the links between the Rule of Law and economic progress, social development and human rights. The volume includes contributions from the serving Chief Justices of Singapore and Hong Kong, the first President of the UK Supreme Court, a former UN Legal Counsel, and the general counsel of the Asian Development Bank reflecting on the relevance of the Rule of Law in their areas of responsibility.

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