Los límites del imperialismo legal

“Lo primero que haremos”, escribió Shakespeare en Enrique VI, Segunda Parte, “es matar a todos los abogados”. Actualmente, lo primero que hacen los países que quieren ser ricos es importar docenas de abogados. En Europa del Este, los países ex-comunistas que están solicitando su admisión ante la Unión Europea, deben sincronizar sus leyes con las de la UE. Este proceso está tan extendido que a veces parece un “tornado legislativo.”

La importación de leyes y patrones legales ha caracterizado los intentos de los países ex-comunistas para ser parte de Occidente. Expertos extranjeros ayudaron a redactar los modelos de los códigos legales y revisaron las iniciativas de ley durante toda la era de Yeltsin en Rusia; colaboraron en el diseño de la constitución poscomunista en Ucrania, de la carta del Banco Central de Estonia, del régimen de transacciones seguras en Polonia y de la reglamentación sobre valores en Bulgaria.

No obstante, la importación de leyes bien diseñadas desde fuera de las fronteras de un país no empezó con la caida del comunismo. De hecho, los transplantes legales son tan viejos como el derecho mismo. Los transplantes legales más amplios se dieron en la época en que los imperios europeos se extendían por todo el globo. Después de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, los EU lanzaron el primer “movimiento por la ley y el desarrollo”, para promover el crecimiento y detener la expansión del comunismo. Los esfuerzos en favor de las reformas legales en el ex-bloque socialista forman el segundo movimiento por la ley y el desarrollo. Sin embargo, en esta ocasión Europa compitió con los EU para propagar sus leyes hacia el Este.

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