Methods for assessing the effectiveness of legal norms

  • O.R. Kovalyshyn
Keywords: legal borrowing, efficiency of law, methods of evaluating effectiveness, Legal Sector Assessment, Legal Indicator Survey, World Bank’s Report on Observance of Standards and Codes


Legislation of Ukraine, in particular in the field of commercial and corporate law, is characterized by dynamism, continuous improvement and gradual approximation to EU law. Today, a significant array of regulations has been formed. The issue of assessing the effectiveness of legal borrowing is especially relevant.
Most methods, if we are talking about those that are not limited to a single country were elaborated by European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. In 1995, the EBRD developed the Legal Indicator Survey (LIS). The Legal Questionnaire has become a tool for the EBRD to obtain information from legal practitioners, international law firms on their views on the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of implementing a rule of law or an entire law.
A new questionnaire was developed in 2003 (Legal Indicator Survey, 2003). The purpose of the questionnaire was to assess the functioning of legal norms in a certain scenario. There was an objective need to develop such a questionnaire, which would include an assessment of the complex of social relations governed by a particular institution of law. This is what the Legal Sector Assessment (LSA) has become. The first LSA was the Secured Transactions Regional Survey. Compared to the LIS, the purpose of the legal questionnaire was to provide a comprehensive assessment of the achievements of the legal system in the relevant field.
The author emphasizes that besides EBRD World bank is actively working to assess the effectiveness of certain sectors of national legal systems. Another example of evaluating the effectiveness of law is the World Bank’s Report on Observance of Standards and Codes.
The author concludes that regardless of the chosen method of assessing the effectiveness of legal norms, there is always an element of subjectivity, none of the methods of effectiveness of legal borrowing is perfect. However, the use of such methods improves law enforcement in a particular area, contributes to the quality of lawmaking.
There is no universal criterion that could assess the effectiveness of legal norms, legal borrowings. It is possible to give only an approximate list of indicators, the analysis of which can answer the question of the effectiveness and success. Such indicators include: 1) indicators of economic growth; 2) dynamics and level of investments; 3) qualitative and quantitative indicators of dispute resolution, etc.