WHAT IS ISDLS?
WHAT IS A
RULE OF LAW CONFERENCE
Conference Background Program Schedule
Innovations in Dispute
A Rule of Law Project
The Institute for the Study and Development of Legal Systems ("ISDLS") has
established an annual rule of law project to address the global need for access to justice (the
"Project"). The Project will address critical problems in national civil and criminal
justice processes. ISDLS will employ its successful methodology to solve these problems
through an international conference and the establishment of a global communications network.
This network will provide assistance in the reform of legal dispute resolution processes to all
countries. Leading law reformers representing national legal study groups established by ISDLS
in fifty countries throughout Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East will
participate in the Conference. During the week of June 24-28, 1998, the Conference will be
hosted by the University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, and will be held at
the Haas School of Business and Management on the Berkeley campus.
Many of the worlds legal processes provide inadequate protection or assistance
because they have not developed the innovative mechanisms needed to resolve the growing
volume of increasingly complex disputes. Because of this, public faith in public institutions and
legal compliance remain low. These problems undermine the necessary conditions for economic
development and democratic governance.
To solve these problems, the Project will apply an innovative methodology developed by
ISDLS. First, ISDLS will conduct an assessment of the practical operation and needs of the civil
and criminal justice processes. Second, ISDLS will expose the attending countries to successful
reform models designed to address common problems. Third, ISDLS will facilitate the
adaptation of these models to meet the needs of each participating country. Finally, ISDLS will
join participating national legal communities in a global network in order to disseminate the
findings of the Conference and to monitor the progress of reform projects to be undertaken in
each participating country. At each stage, the ISDLS will collaborate with a national legal study
group established in each country to implement the methodology.
The Conference will include authoritative papers, lectures and demonstrations by the
worlds leading legal reformers on the innovations in dispute resolution. Each session will
be followed by general commentary from the attending countries. More specific commentary
will be developed in the smaller afternoon workshops. Each day a panel will address the direct
relationship between problems in these processes and the greater investment risks and criminal
ISDLS, a nonprofit corporation based in San Francisco, California, is a leader in the
assessment and reform of legal processes. Joint ISDLS legal studies
have produced remarkable civil and criminal justice reforms throughout Africa, Asia, Latin
America, and the Middle East. These studies have been published in the worlds leading
international law journals (see attachments). The collective experience of the ISDLS Board of Directors, International Board of Advisers, and sixty-four
delegates offers an incomparable concentration of expertise and innovation in process assessment
and reform. The ISDLS Advisory Board is comprised of a
diverse group of the worlds leading law reformers, including India Supreme Court Chief
Justice A.M. Ahmadi (ret.); Egyptian Deputy Minister of Justice Maher Abdul Wahed; Senior
Circuit Judge Clifford Wallace (former Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit, Federal Court of
Appeals); Chief Justice Malcolm Lucas (Retired Chief Justice, California State Supreme Court);
and Mexican Ambassador to France, former Mexican Attorney General, and former Mexican
Supreme Court Justice Jorge Carpizo.
University of California,
The Conference will assemble this expertise at the University of California at Berkeley, an
institution known and respected globally for the integrity and excellence of its work in
international studies generally and international legal studies particularly. Boalt Hall is the home of the American Journal of
Comparative Law, its Library houses one of the most extensive foreign law collections in the
world, its Center for Law and
Society is currently in the midst of an extensive research project investigating the conduct of
business in different legal cultures, and its International Legal Studies Program is
consistently ranked among the top ten in the nation.