Jump to:Page Content
UN rule of law engagement in post conflict states –
A discussion with David Marshall
Promoting the rule of law at the national and international levels is at the heart of the United Nations’ mission. It is also a principle that is embedded throughout the Charter of the United Nations and most constitutions of national states. But there is much friction among Member States as to the definition of the rule of law, with assertions of hidden agendas. In addition, there is mounting skepticism among donors and international organizations regarding rule of law promotion. There is scant evidence of success, partly due to a failure to prioritize, identify relevant skills and expertise. But it's more than this - there has been no discussion re the end-game - what is the primary purpose of international rule of law work and what are realistic deliverables in post-conflict states?
David Marshall, 02' LL.M, is on a UN sabbatical at Harvard Law School examining the UN's role in criminal justice reform efforts in post-conflict states. He recently returned from South Sudan where he was acting director of the Rule of Law and Security Institutions Support Office in the UN Mission in South Sudan. He has extensive policy and operational experience with the United Nations, co-managing the largest rule of law initiative in the UN, the creation of the UN Rule of Law Indicators.
He also developed a series of UN rule of law policy tools for post-conflict states, focusing on national prosecutions of mass crimes and best practices relating to truth commissions and vetting. In addition to South Sudan, Mr. Marshall has been the legal advisor to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Nepal, acting legal advisor to the OHCHR Special Envoy on Darfur and Senior Human Rights Advisor to the UN leadership in Kosovo.
Prior to joining the UN, Mr. Marshall was a criminal law litigator in the UK and the US. He is a member of the Bar of England and Wales, the New York Bar and the U.S Supreme Court bar. His pro bono work includes acting as legal consultant to Amnesty International on US criminal justice issues, including the death penalty.
Light refreshments will be provided.