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The ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) is an international development program that promotes the rule of law by working with in-country partners to build sustainable institutions and societies that deliver justice, foster economic opportunity and ensure respect for human dignity.
The ABA established the program in 2007 to consolidate its five overseas rule of law programs, including the Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative (CEELI), which it created in 1990 after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Today, ABA ROLI implements legal reform programs in roughly 60 countries in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Eurasia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East and North Africa. The ABA Rule of Law Initiative has roughly 700 professional staff working in the United States and abroad, including a cadre of short- and long-term expatriate volunteers who, since the program’s inception, have contributed more than $200 million in pro bono technical legal assistance.
Countries that lack the rule of law very often fail to meet the most basic needs of their populations. In fact, over half of the world’s population lives in countries that lack the rule of law, consigning billions of people to lives characterized by a lack of economic opportunity, basic justice and even physical security.
Addressing this global rule of law deficit is not only the most important calling of the world’s legal community; it must also become an urgent priority for world leaders, international institutions and citizens committed to making this a just, peaceful and prosperous world.
The core principles that guide ABA ROLI’s work are: