Back in 1992, the western legal world bumped into a tremendous legal reform issue. In a host of Eastern European countries, the law of the Soviet Union had to be replaced with something new. That meant drafting new laws, from the constitution on down. And it meant re-imagining how legal systems should operate.
This is something lawyers don’t often think about. They offer services within their jurisdiction rather than policy advice on how the jurisdiction should evolve. I don’t recall, for example, a course in law school on “promoting legal reform”. Not surprisingly, the efforts to promote legal reform in Eastern Europe were only partially successful. I say that because they did not produce anything better than what we have now. No great new ideas.
But the door was opened to think about models for legal reform. And as law becomes digitized, to think about howl legal education can get better at making the legal system work better. Here is a nice story about a project in Kenya with this sort of thinking from Jurist.
So where do things stand now? Well, if the world will continue to get more inter-connected — and every indication is that it will — then law needs to become less parochial. Making law less parochial means changes in how we measure the performance of legal systems. That is a work in progress.