chapter  2
23 Pages

Why law reform fails: Indonesia’s anti-corruption reforms

ByH OWA R D DICK

Law reform is generally considered to be a Good Thing, corruption even more obviously a Bad Thing. When good governance became an urgent policy priority in Asia after the financial crisis of 1997/98, it was therefore almost inevitable that law reform would become the means for attacking corruption, almost a war between Good and Evil. With the active mediation of multilateral agencies, bilateral donors and non-governmental organizations, an impressive amount of new legal infrastructure has been put in place, mainly by transplanting good laws from rich, democratic countries to developing Asian ones. All this has been done without much critical analysis of the underlying models and their assumptions; the ideological content; the differences between the legal and political systems of donor and recipient countries; or the difficulties of implementation. Everyone is so busy in a good cause that questioning seems like pedantry or even professional disloyalty.