Vol 19 No 2 (2019)
Proceedings of the First Civil Law – Common Law Forum in Legal Theory

Current Approaches to the Rule of Law Are Not Enough for Latin America

Carolina Fernández Blanco
Gerona University
Analisi e diritto, 2/2019
Published January 26, 2020
  • Rule of law,
  • development,
  • Latin America,
  • efficacy


The heart of the rule of law (ROL) is the compliance of governments and inhab- itants with the law. This central feature of the ROL can be described in alternative terms: if the ROL requires that the law guide governments and inhabitants, this is equivalent to the ROL demanding that the law be “efficacious”. As it is identified in this paper, the most common and critical weakness of the ROL in Latin America is, unfortunately, the fragility of its most central point: governments and citizens have difficulty acting within the framework of the law. The central thesis of this work is to point out some deficiencies in traditional and non-traditional approaches to the ROL since both perspectives are quite oblivious about the efficacy problem. The paper also proposes that studies, as well as programmes and projects on the ROL, should include a serious approach to the problem of the inefficacy of the law and therefore a closer view of law-making processes, successfulness in law enforcement and, ex-post control of the efficacy of norms.