This Users’ Guide, ‘Assessing Rule of Law in Public Administration: The Mining Sector’ (hereinafter the ROLPAM Users’ Guide), has been designed to help policymakers and civil servants identify specific strengths and challenges in the application of principles of the rule of law in the way the public administration regulates the mining industry. It has been developed with a particular focus on public administration performance concerning six principles of the rule of law: legality, accessibility, the right to be heard and to participate, transparency, the right to appeal, and accountability of decision making. 1 These six principles are considered fundamental to effective, transparent
and accountable public-sector governance.2 The rule of law-based approach to public administration is aligned with the key principles of procedural environmental rights—participation in decision-making and access to information, redress and justice—which have been found to be an effective way of protecting the environment, and by extension human rights, and contribute to sound environmental governance of the mining sector. It is a practical tool that enables the staff of the agency granting environmental and mining licences and the communities affected by large-scale mining projects, such as smallholders, farmers and resettled communities, as well as mining rights holders, including small-scale and artisanal mining affected by large-scale mining projects, to identify procedural issues and outline clear recommendations for reform of the mining sector from a rule of law perspective.