Many countries around the world are undertaking legal and judicial
reforms as part of their overall development programs. This has resulted
from growing recognition that economic and social progress cannot
sustainably be achieved without respect for the rule of law, democratic
consolidation, and effective human rights protection;' each of which
requires a well-functioning judiciary that can interpret and enforce the
laws equitably and efficiently. An effective judiciary is predictable,
resolves cases in a reasonable time frame, and is accessible to the public.
Many developing countries, however, find that their judiciaries advance
inconsistent case law and carry a large backlog of cases, thus eroding
individual and property rights, stifling private sector growth, and, in some
cases, even violating human rights. Delays affect both the fairness and the
efficiency of the judicial system; they impede the public's access to the
courts, which, in effect, weakens democracy, the rule of law and the ability
to enforce human rights.
"Court Performance Around the World: A Comparative Perspective,"
Yale Human Rights and Development Journal: Vol. 2
, Article 2.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yhrdlj/vol2/iss1/2