Counsel in the Caucasus
Christopher P.M. Waters
Winner of the Hart/Socio-Legal Studies Association Book Prize for Early Career Academics, 2005.
This book traces the development of the rule of law in Georgia since its independence and speculates on its future direction. It does so by focusing on changes in the legal profession after 1991. Intriguingly, the book, which is based on extensive field-work, concludes that culture and informal regulation are key to understanding how Georgian lawyers are governed, or rather govern themselves. Indeed, for several years after independence from the Soviet Union there was no functioning law on attorneys; informal regulation, based on the importance of reputation and networks, was the only sort of regulation. Other topics addressed in the book include Georgia’s legal history, its current human rights situation, theories of professionalization, and the link between law and development. The book also compares the Georgian experience to that country’s South Caucasian neighbors - Armenia and Azerbaijan - thus rounding the book out as a regional study.