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Legal Reform overview

Statua with scale

Since its inception in 1991, the EBRD has supported the improvement of legal systems in the economies where it invests. For an economy to have a safe investment climate, it must have a fair and reliable legal system.

The EBRD's Legal Transition Programme (LTP) assists in improving every partner country's legislation, judicial institutions and organisational culture to cultivate an investor-friendly, transparent and predictable legal environment.

In particular, we do this through:

Standard-setting. The Bank participates in and contributes to international standard-setting initiatives.

Assessments of laws and practices. We monitor and analyse the status of legal transition in the economies where we invest and develop measurement tools to assess the legal risk for the Bank's investments. Specific sector assessments benchmark the development of key legal sectors in each economy against international or harmonised standards. Country law assessments, meanwhile, provide a means of judging the progress made by a single jurisdiction in making its commercial laws internationally acceptable.

Assisting governments. The Bank develops and implements technical cooperation projects in the economies where we invest. These are designed to support local authorities in establishing investor-friendly legal systems.

Outreach. The EBRD collaborates widely in order to advance commercial law reform and promote best practice. The Bank coordinates closely with other international financial institutions, international organisations and bilateral assistance providers as well as a number of academic institutions in order to facilitate discussion and further publicise best practice. In addition, the LTP aims to build a body of knowledge of existing legal frameworks so as to make potential projects with governments more efficient as well as more relevant for the country itself.

The LTP focuses on the topics which are most relevant to the EBRD's investment activities and in relation to which the Bank has accumulated the most experience. These  are:

  • Corporate Governance;

  • Dispute resolution (which includes courts digital transformation and judicial capacity building, alternative dispute resolution, commercial mediation, enforcement regimes and enforcement officers and bailiffs, and capacity building);

  • Energy and Climate Change (which includes energy regulation, sustainability and energy efficiency);

  • Financial law (which includes access to finance, financial technology [fintech], and insolvency and debt restructuring);

  • Infrastructure and Natural Resources (which includes information and communications technology [ICT] and public-private partnerships [PPPs]);

  • Public procurement.



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