Legal Framework

The term “legal framework” refers to the laws—both domestic and international—that apply in a developing or postconflict country. This is also known as “applicable law.” Understanding the legal framework is an important component of understanding a local justice system. Deciphering the legal framework may not be as easy as it seems. It may be challenging to locate copies of the laws of a developing or postconflict state. To add to this difficulty, many overlapping and contradictory laws may be in force in the country.

Refer to Conducting an Assessment, a legal framework analysis is a core part of any rule of law assessment, and this subtopic covers how to assess the law in practice versus the law on paper (which may be very different from in practice).

Refer also to International Standards, which contains the international treaties and conventions that may apply in a particular developing or postconflict country and are therefore part of the legal framework.