For nearly two decades, international organisations and bilateral donors agencies have been involved in the promotion and implementation of legal and judicial reform projects in developing and transition countries. This paper refers to this process as the rule of law enterprise (RLE). It identifies the ambiguities and misconceptions of the RLE and asks why there has been so little interaction between those involved in the implementation of legal and judicial reform and academics with knowledge and experience on this topic. After identifying the theoretical and practical obstacles to a fruitful dialogue the paper concludes that such a dialogue could take place, provided that academics – political scientists and lawyers – and practitioners adjust their respective approaches.
KEYWORDS: governance, rule of law, judicial reform, law and development, rights