Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Judicial Studies (LL.M.)


Duke University School of Law


judicial reform, judicial institutions, developing countries, economic development, corruption, rule of law, criminal justice system, criminal law, corruption


Since the 1980s, scholars and development banks have recognized the link between judicial institutions and economic growth. This thesis proposes to explore the role of judicial institutions in the performance of economies and questions whether enhancing judicial institutions can result in enhancing economic development in developing countries. Since the 1990s development banks have explored the role of judicial institutions in the quest for economic development. Both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have done this through the pursuit of judicial reform efforts in countries with ailing economies. The focus has been on improving the efficiency of the judicial system through reforms in the civil justice system. Through documentary analysis, information was garnered relating to judicial institutions, the criminal justice system and corruption, and their role with respect to economic development. The author reviewed the traditional approach towards judicial reform which focused on the civil justice system, and then suggests a novel, non-traditional approach which also emphasizes the role of the judicial institution in respect to the criminal justice system and anti-corruption initiatives. This study found that enhancing judicial institutions, through judicial reform efforts within both the civil justice sector and the criminal justice sector minus corruption, may potentially enhance economic development. The conclusion is that in order to enhance economic development, resources should be channeled into enhancing judicial institutions to deal effectively with both the civil justice system and the criminal justice system with an emphasis on the eradication of corruption.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Courts, Economic development, Structural adjustment (Economic policy), Law reform, Corruption