Niclolas Rouleau talks about the evolution of legal thinking in international development. If we want to provide legal structure for people in developing countries in order to nurture economic growth, how do we do it without stepping all over the unwritten rules that already exist in their culture?

No longer wanted at home, lawyers are now turning to other countries! Much of the theory surrounding the development of poor countries turns around the role of law. This talk will discuss the roles of the legal system to provide certainty and efficiency where informal norms in society break down. Expanding this idea to the development world, it becomes easier to understand where law’s impact turns out to be beneficial or harmful.

Nicolas Martin Rouleau is a practising constitutional lawyer, academic, and co-founder of the Treehouse Group. He has taught courses on comparative constitutional law, international development, and political philosophy at India’s top law schools and lectured on federalism, democracy, development, and corporate governance throughout India. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Ottawa Law School. Nicolas holds a Master of the Science of the Law (J.S.M.) from Stanford University Law School, where his thesis focused on foreign direct investment, and an LL.B. magna cum laude from the University of Ottawa Law School. He received a 2007-2008 Fulbright Award, the 2007-2008 Viscount Bennett Fellowship, and a 2007-2008 SPILS Scholarship. Nicolas also studied life sciences at the University of Toronto. Nicolas has clerked for the Honourable Justice Marie Deschamps of the Supreme Court of Canada, has worked on development with the UN, Red Cross, and Uganda Human Rights Commission in several African countries, and is currently fundraising to build a school in Uganda. He has widely published in the area of Canadian constitutional minority-language rights.

Nicolas recommends:
* The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It by Paul Collier. It’s the best book to start understanding development. No hype or ideology: only what we know and don’t know.
* The crescendo and diminuendo in classical music. 20th-century mainstream musical movements really haven’t fully explored the potential of this musical tool. There’s lots of fame to be had for bands that harness it.

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