Matt Mines


Rule of law is essential for ensuring the protection of human rights in post-conflict societies. Contention and disagreements, however, often arise regarding the best ways to establish rule of law in a reconstructive state. It is a vital prerequisite to rule of law that a government be viewed as legitimate. Following an armed conflict, the restoration of basic services and infrastructure is essential for instilling confidence that the government is legitimate and is capable of providing for the needs of the local populace. The essential services include water, electricity, and security on a consistent basis. In order to ensure ongoing respect for the rule of law, the state must possess a monopoly on the use of force. Once a government has established itself as legitimate and capable of enforcing the law, human rights violations can be prevented. It remains unclear, however, as to what processes should be pursued in establishing legitimacy.

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