In the traditional law and development doctrine the main goal was economic, since the legal development was needed to enable economic growth. Today, strengthening of the rule of law links with a variety of goals as can be illustrated by the example of the United Nation's (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The goal is about promoting just, peaceful and inclusive societies. Law is, however, not only relevant for that one, but in fact needed for reaching all the other goals as well.
The UN SDG creates interestingly a common reference to all legal orders with their distinctive concepts of rule of law, be they of common law type or civil law, French 'droit d'état' or German 'Rechtsstaat', or rule of law with Chinese characteristics. It is worth noting that a 'comparative approach' seems to be on the rise. Rule of law index has been introduced, and the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe has introduced a Rule of Law checklist. Most important seems to be that abuse of power would be prevented. I discuss these issues against the background of Amartya Sen's The Idea of Justice.
About the speaker
Professor Kimmo Nuotio is professor of criminal law at the University of Helsinki. He is a criminal law scholar with a broad interest in the field. He has published on issues such as terrorist offences, comparative criminal law, Nordic and Finnish criminal law, European criminal law, criminal law and cultural diversity, often from a theoretical angle. He is interested in questions of how criminal law should be approached in the context of modern societies and how criminal law relates to human rights and fundamental rights, and to the idea of Rechtsstaat and the legal development more generally. He has been involved in the founding of the China Law Centre as well as the Legal Tech Lab at the Faculty of Law of the University of Helsinki. He has been a Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University institute, a visiting professor at the University of Toronto and at the University of Leuven, and he is the member of Global Faculty of the Faculty of Law of University of Peking.
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