This article examines the inter-relationship between the rule of law, criminal law reform and international human rights norms and standards in post-conflict societies from a theoretical as well as a practical perspective. In several peace operations, both national and international actors have faced significant challenges in reforming the domestic criminal law framework. Reflecting upon these challenges, many practitioners have called for the creation of law reform tools. With the aim of providing such tools, the Model Codes for Post-conflict Criminal Justice Project has developed a set of model criminal laws. The model codes have been drafted in a manner that is fully compliant with international human rights norms and standards in the field of criminal proceedings. The article discusses how such model codes may meaningfully contribute to domestic criminal law reform efforts, not as a panacea but a start for enhanced human rights protection in post-conflict states.