Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Program on Energy and Sustainable Development Stanford University


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Erik Jensen, JD   Download vCard
Professor of the Practice of Law at Stanford Law School and Co-director of the law school's Rule of Law Program; CDDRL Affiliated Faculty

Stanford University
Encina Hall C144
Stanford, CA 94305-6055
(650) 724-7985 (voice)
(650) 725-0253 (fax)

Research Interests
the political economy of reform; the connections between legal systems and the economies, polities and societies in which they are situated; the relationship of Islam to the rule of law

Erik Jensen is a professor of the practice of law at the Stanford Law School, co-director of the law school's Rule of Law Program, and a CDDRL faculty member. A lawyer trained in Britain and the United States, he has, for the last 20 years, taught, practiced and written about the field of law and development in 20 countries. He has been a Fulbright scholar, a consultant to the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, and a representative of The Asia Foundation, where he currently serves as a senior law advisor. 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.

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: completing 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 Review (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.

Stanford Departments

Other affiliations
The Asia Foundation

News around the web

As Chinese courts announce 'guiding cases,' Stanford Law School helps to spread the word
A Stanford website translates important rulings by the Supreme People's Court that serve as guides for lower courts, helping the vast country to move toward more consistent judicial decisions.
February 6, 2012 in Stanford University News

Shaping rule of law
Armed only with law textbooks, six Stanford law students and faculty advisor and senior research scholar Erik Jensen landed in Kabul, Afghanistan on Feb. 6 on a mission that would last six days. The group made up Stanford's Afghanistan Legal Education ...
March 9, 2011 in The Stanford Daily

Stanford team's law books help Afghan students
Seven thousand miles away, two students at Stanford University's law school thought they could help. Stanford law Professor Erik Jensen smiled as he ...
September 7, 2010 in San Francisco Chronicle

Teaching law in Afghanistan and other developing nations, Stanford Law School ...
"The textbooks aren't designed to just give all the right answers," said Erik Jensen, co-director of the Law School's Rule of Law Program and an adviser to ...
June 28, 2010 in Stanford University News