Director, Rule of Law Program and Affiliated Faculty Member at the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University (FSI).
Erik G. Jensen is a professor of the practice of law at Stanford Law School, director of the law school’s Rule of Law Program, and an affiliated faculty member at the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University (FSI). A lawyer trained in Britain and the United States, he has, for the last 25 years, taught, practiced and written about the field of law and development in 30 countries. He has been a Fulbright scholar, a consultant to the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the African Development Bank, and a representative of The Asia Foundation, where he currently serves as a senior advisor for governance and law. His teaching and research activities explore various dimensions of reform aimed at strengthening the rule of law, including the political economy of reform; the connections between legal systems and the economies, polities and societies in which they are situated; and the relationship of Islam to the rule of law. As co-director of the Rule of Law Program, Jensen serves as faculty advisor to student-driven projects in Afghanistan, Bhutan, Timor-Leste, and Iraq that, with strong local partnerships, develop legal tools in these developing democracies.
Jensen lived for 14 years in Asia and was an active participant in policy dialogues in South and Southeast Asia. From 1996 to 1998, he led the governance section of an Asian Development Bank-funded study called “Pakistan 2010,” which examined subjects including judicial and legal reform, countering corruption, governance process, civil service reform, decentralization and empowering the country’s citizenry. In September 1999, he served as co-team leader of a 35-member consulting team which prepared an extensive report on “Legal and Judicial Reform in Pakistan” for the Asian Development Bank.
Jensen’s recent past activities include: a research project funded by the Ford Foundation that surveys Pakistani and Indian perceptions of doing business across their acrimonious border; serving as an outside expert in an evaluation of a World Bank project on judicial reform in Venezuela; designing and teaching a research workshop, at Stanford Law School, on judicial reform in developing countries; and serving on the advisory board of two international rule-of-law projects for the World Bank in Mexico and Argentina.
Among his recent publications are “Confronting Misconceptions and Acknowledging Imperfections: A Response To Khaled Abou El Fadl’s ‘Islam And Democracy'” published in the Fordham International Law Journal (2003), and Beyond Common Knowledge: Empirical Approaches to the Rule of Law(Stanford University Press, 2003), which he edited with Thomas C. Heller. Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz endorsed Beyond Common Knowledge with the admonition, “No scholar or policymaker should utter the words ‘rule of law’ without first reading this volume.”
Jensen holds a JD degree from the William Mitchell College of Law and an LLM degree from the London School of Economics.