United Nations Justice

Legal and Judicial Reform in Governance Operations

image of United Nations Justice

At the end of the 20th century, and at the dawn of the 21st, the United Nations was tasked with the administration of justice in territories placed under its executive authority, an undertaking for which there was no established precedent or doctrine. Examining the UN’s legal and judicial reform efforts in Kosovo and East Timor, this volume argues that rather than helping to establish a sustainable legal system, the UN’s approach detracted from it, as it confused ends with means.



The UN transitional administration in east timor

The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, or East Timor as the territory was previously known, became an independent state for the first time in 2002. In the sixteenth century Portugal established outposts on the island, which comprised a number of small chiefdoms and princedoms. During the Habsburg rule over Portugal, the Portuguese lost all these outposts to the Dutch; however, by 1702 the Portuguese had colonized the whole island and ruled it until the Dutch were officially given the western part of the island through the Treaty of Lisbon in 1859. The eastern part of the island remained under Portuguese rule until Indonesia, the successor state to much of the Dutch East Indies, invaded the territory in 1975.


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