The immense scope of the issue makes it difficult to truly be comprehensively conclusive, and many issues within the subject remain largely unexplored. After one reads Tomas’ essay, the reader becomes acutely aware of the many flaws and failures of international efforts to encourage legal and justice reform. Many of these failures occur for a great variety of reasons according to Tomas, from not having a sufficient amount of knowledge to being fundamentally unable to ensure justice and equality in a subjectively moralistic international community that differs greatly from country to country and class to class.
He cites the failures of many attempts for institutional development as being the techniques used to implement change. As often the only tools at the disposal of the government, Tomas (2005) criticizes the efforts to create strong international courts which, “resulted in an overemphasis on formal institutions (courts, lawyers, prosecutors, police) and in a tendency to export Western legal models.
Much justice-related development work takes for granted that law and institutions provide opportunity, empowerment and security, through which they promote economic growth and reduce poverty” (Tomas, 2005, p. 172). Governments seeking justice and legal reform can only seek to do so at the court level, or through the other formal institutions, as that is the foundational obligation of government in the first place.
It is only natural for governments in positions to create greater justice for those underprivileged to attempt to do so through methods that have seen success, such as the Western legal models. As the calls for international courts as well as the United Nations are creations of a Western political mentality, democratic and representative political systems of the West allow for a great amount of justice within each system, and the efforts made to eradicate injustice in other cultures will naturally be based on their chosen system.
Any creation of a strong international court relies on the ability to take the marginalized societies in impoverished countries and offer them equal rights. Tomas makes the point that most of the success and failure measured by international courts is obtained through quantitative means and not qualitative. This in effect may measure physical attributes and create an international court system that allows for more accuracy in projecting outcomes, it fails to take into account things such as greater efficiency and accuracy.
An international court that functions at its highest level may affect the most good, while a similar program within the country itself may be rampant with corruption rendering it virtually useless. Tomas makes the argument against the one presented in the essay in one statement: “Development approaches to justice reform have traditionally underestimated the complex social processes involved in rule-making and institutional development” (p. 171).
If the approaches to creating an international court have failed to correctly estimate social issues, it is only because humans and their ideas are traditionally hard to control or predict and have a history of oppressing those most in need of justice: “Poor and marginalized groups face significant obstacles to benefiting from formally recognized rights; these obstacles (low income, weak awareness, knowledge and organization, vulnerability to risks and threats, etc. ) are a direct consequence of poverty, and an expression of poverty itself” (p. 174).
Tomas goes far in illustrating the most important aim of creating an international court, which is to ensure justice and equality to all citizens of the world. There can really be no justice without at least a measure of equality, and in countries that fail to provide it, an international court could presumably intercede and ensure justice. Borrowing significantly from the lines of thought espoused by philosophers that came before him, theorist John Rawls persists in trying to apply a social contract theory to understand the nature of inequality as it applies to society and gender in the international context.
He asks, “How can one ignore such historical facts as... the inequalities between men and women resulting from the absence of provision to make good women’s extra burden in the bearing, raising, and educating children so as to secure their fair equality of opportunity? ” (Rawls, 2001, p. 65). Rawls explanation is that society is mainly concerned with the account of the well-ordered society of justice as fairness.