For almost a decade, the un General Assembly (unga) has adopted annual resolutions on ‘the rule of law at the national and international levels.’ Moreover, the unga has held a High-level Meeting in September 2012 where Heads of State and Government discussed the topic for the first time ever and issued a declaration. This paper assesses the results. Its core question is whether unga commitment to rule of law at the national level is merely a vague aspiration or whether it has concrete normative content. The main conclusions are that: (a) the 9 annual resolutions have so far articulated neither a clear concept of rule of law nor a set of requirements or a minimum standard which States should respect in their legal systems; (b) the 2012 High-level Declaration articulates a thin conception of rule of law, i.e., stresses formal legality; (c) that the Declaration largely confirms Aust and Nolte’s analysis of lex lata with respect to the rule of law at the national level, but that it also departs from it somewhat; (d) that the unga’s commitment to rule of law is compatible with different political systems and normative outlooks. In 2015, the unga will again discuss rule of law in the context of renewal of the Millennium Development Goals (mdgs), and it seems likely after the Secretary General’s Road to Dignity by 2030 that rule of law is an important aspect of the new Sustainable Development Goals (sdgs).
|Title of host publication||Max Planck Yearbook of United Nations Law|
|Editors||Frauke Lachenmann, Tilman J. Röder, Rüdiger Wolfrum|
|Place of Publication||Leiden/Boston|
|Publisher||Brill Academic Publishers|
|Number of pages||27|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|
|Series||Max Planck Yearbook of United Nations Law|