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The Rule of Law and Economic Development Research Group (ROLED) engages with cutting-edge issues at the intersection of law and economic development. Our work examines institutional development, corruption, governance and electronic governance, inequality, and access to justice in countries around the world.


Latest news

Join the ROLED alliance!

ROLED is actively seeking to build alliances across borders and continents to work on issues related to rule of law and economic development. We are particularly interested in collaborating with partners from the Global South.

If you are interested in collaborating with ROLED, we would like to hear from you. Please email us at roled [dot] law [at] mcgill [dot] ca (subject: Collaboration%20Proposal)  with the subject line "Collaboration Proposal” with a brief description of your organization and your primary research interests.


News and publications

"Towards a Human Dignity Based Approach to Food Security: Lessons from China and India"

ROLED members Nandini Ramanujam and Stephanie Chow have published an article in Frontiers of Law in China, Vol 11, No 2 (June 2016)

"Despite almost halving the proportion of the world’s undernourished over the past two and half decades, the number of undernourished people in the world remains staggeringly high. Efforts to address the global state of food insecurity must target China and India, which are home to the world’s highest and second highest number of undernourished people. This paper analyses the comparative experiences of tackling food security in China and India and adopts an inter-disciplinary approach, which melds legal, economic and human perspectives to food security..."

Text: download the text File Towards a Human Dignity Based Approach to Food Security: Lessons from China and India (or read it online).

"Shifting Ground, Solid Foundations: Imagining a New Paradigm for Canadian Civil Society Engagement"

ROLED members Nandini Ramanujam and Miatta Gorvie have published an article in the Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice, Vol 32, No 1 (2015)

"Members of civil society are increasingly decrying what they identify as an insidious trend whereby the government is targeting organizations whose mandates run contrary to the federal government’s political and economic agendas and creating a chill around public policy and advocacy work. The media as well as civil society organizations [CSOs] themselves have documented government attempts to undermine and stifle the voices of dissenting organizations, ranging from rhetorical attacks to the withdrawal of funding for ambiguous reasons. The climate of resentment and suspicion between civil society actors and the government is detrimental for safeguarding the tradition of accountability and transparency in Canada’s democratic institutions. Amidst this turbulent environment, this paper examines the often-made claim by CSO leaders in Canada that public funding is a necessary requirement for a strong civil society, with the aim of challenging and mobilizing the civil society community to not only survive but to reinvigorate its engagement to further social justice in this changing social and economic landscape..."

Full text: PDF icon Shifting Ground, Solid Foundations: Imagining a New Paradigm for Canadian Civil Society Engagement

“From Justiciability to Justice: Realizing the Human Right to Food”

The ROLED Research Group has published an article in JSDLP Online related to its latest research axis on food security in developing contexts. The paper is authored by Prof. Nandini Ramanujam (McGill), Nicholas Caivano (Amnesty International), and Semahagn Abebe (University of Connecticut).

"The article sets out key principles for a justice-based framework to food security, an approach based on the state’s obligation to ensure the progressive realization of the right to food and reform corrupt or dysfunctional institutions that perpetuate systemic inequality. The approach emphasizes the primacy of four interconnected strategies: (i) strengthening institutions; (ii) improving access to justice; (iii) empowering rights holders; and (iv) supporting food sovereignty."

Read the article on SSRN.

ROLED Director Presents at CGLAD Conference on the Past and Future of Law and Development

Prof. Nandini Ramanujam, Director of the ROLED Research Group, was a panellist at the Conference on Global Law and Development (CGLAD) on the theme of “The Past and Future of Law and Development.” She presented on the subject of “Rule of Law and Economic Development in Russia.” The Conference was held from December 8-9, 2014, in São Paulo, Brazil.

Prof. Ramanujam and Nicholas Caivano are preparing an article for 2016 publication on rule of law and economic development across the BRIC countries.

Report Release: “Rule of Law and Economic Development: A Comparative Approach Towards Sustainable Economic Growth Across the BRICs”

The ROLED Research Group has authored a comprehensive report on rule of law and economic development in the transition economies. The Group provides an in-depth analysis of the complex and nuanced relationship between rule of law and sustainable economic growth in Brazil, Russia, India, and China, highlighting six lines of inquiry: an introduction to rule of law and economic development; key aspects of governance; the quality of institutions; the judiciary; the prevalence and effects of corruption; and media and civil society organizations.

A comprehensive report on the transition economies

The central work of the group has been an inquiry into rule of law and economic development in the transition economies.

The result is a comprehensive 276-page report: “Rule of Law and Economic Development: A Comparative Approach Towards Sustainable Economic Growth Across the BRICs.” [.pdf]. We invite you to download and read this report.

Six lines of inquiry

Our research aims to provide an in-depth analysis of the complex and nuanced relationship between rule of law and sustainable economic growth in Brazil, Russia, India, and China.

Report cover imageThe report highlights six lines of inquiry:

  1. an introduction to rule of law and economic development;
  2. key aspects of governance;
  3. the quality of institutions;
  4. the judiciary;
  5. the prevalence and effects of corruption; and
  6. media and civil society organizations.

We welcome your comments

We invite you to read this report and provide feedback on its main conclusions. Email: roled [dot] law [at] mcgill [dot] ca.