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Rule of Law, Legitimate Governance & Development in the Pacific

Rule of Law, Legitimate Governance & Development in the Pacific

Iutisone SALEVAO
Copyright Date: 2005
Published by: ANU Press
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  • Book Info
    Rule of Law, Legitimate Governance & Development in the Pacific
    Book Description:

    The notion that the rule of law embodies or guarantees all the essential requirements for a perfectly just society is extravagant and naïve. Nonetheless, the rule of law remains an essential human virtue whose usefulness the world has yet to outgrow. Using the rule of law as a mobilising theme, this book recasts Western theories of law, good governance and development in a Pacific perspective. While Iutisone Salevao works primarily within a legal analytical framework, he employs a multifaceted approach to address the challenge of making Western theories relevant to the concrete and normative contexts of the Pacific peoples, and to accommodate Pacific values, ideologies, structures and practices within the modern discourse on law.

    eISBN: 978-1-920942-55-7
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-vii)
  3. Abbreviations
    (pp. viii-viii)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-ix)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. x-xii)

    The focus of this study is the idea and social practice of law in the Pacific. The notion that the rule of law embodies or guarantees all the essential requirements for a perfectly just society is, unfortunately, extravagant and naïve. That said, it is certainly the case that the rule of law remains an essential human good whose usefulness the world has yet to outgrow.

    Promulgating the rule of law as mobilising theme, this study emphasises that the demands of the rule of law—the equality of all citizens, fairness in the way government treats its citizens, the absence of...

  6. 1 The rule of law: principles, issues and challenges
    (pp. 1-35)

    In this chapter, I set out the analytic frameworks and theoretical positions that inform and govern this study, and introduce the issues that I will focus on in the remaining chapters. The rule of law, both as theory and as praxis, occupies the centre and the circumference of the entire edifice. And justice, broadly defined in procedural and substantive terms, constitutes the overriding test of both legal theorisation and the social practice of law.

    The rule of law is a site of multiple meanings and nuances—a contested site. There is a broad consensus, however, concerning the paradigmatic significance of...

  7. 2 Diluting parliamentary sovereignty and de-privatising Pacific executive paradises
    (pp. 36-71)

    This chapter extends the motif of the rule of law as an essential principle of legitimate governance. Providing the legal and moral warrant for government rule, the rule of law also mandates the strengthening of those bounds beyond which no free government ought ever go, and makes them limits beyond which no government whatsoever can ever legally go. We must make ultra vires all exorbitant acts of government to ensure that government is not only kept under control but in good order.

    The major focus of this chapter is on institutions that problematise the rule of law in Pacific jurisdictions....

  8. 3 Reinventing government: constitutional principles, ideals, realities and fictions
    (pp. 72-109)

    For a platonic idealist, government is the ideal expression of society. A contemporary pessimist, on the other hand, loathes government as nothing more than an insatiable political monster feeding on the body politic. For a classical Marxist, government is the manifestation of bourgeois rule. By contrast, a theocrat uproots government from its existential moorings and exalts it as the manifestation of some divine will on earth and, in some strange ontological sense, itself divine. Government, to the full-blown capitalist, is only a night watchman whose intervention in the deregulated world of market forces should be minimal.

    This chapter instead argues...

  9. 4 Rights and liberties: the individual, the collective and the clash of ideologies, values and institutions
    (pp. 110-147)

    This chapter examines government’s role of protecting rights and liberties in the concrete normative contexts of Pacific communities with their distinctive universes of meaning, social practice and discourse. The violation of individual rights and liberties in the Pacific in the name of any number of gods provides the foil for the discussion.¹

    The state’s duty of protecting citizens’ rights and liberties as required by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 is my point of departure.

    Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of...

  10. 5 The Pacific crisis of state legitimacy: courteous enemies, fragile alliances and uneasy bed-fellows
    (pp. 148-179)

    ‘A government is not legitimate merely because it exists’, wrote Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, former United States Ambassador to the United Nations. This aptly expresses the crux of the issue: there is more to state legitimacy than mere empirical existence.

    This chapter addresses the crisis of state legitimacy in Pacific nations, manifested in public disorder, coups, the collapse of law and order, corruption, state capture, violation of human rights, and so forth. A central part of the problem is that Pacific states are underpinned by modes of legitimacy (embodied in constitutions and statutes) that are, at times, mutually reinforcing and, at...

  11. References
    (pp. 180-195)