A year after Bahrain’s 2011 unrest, the Kingdom’s Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has taken steps to improve access to justice for its citizens in partnership with the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI). The collaborative programs help the justice sector respond to the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry report, which highlighted several ways Bahrain could improve the judicial system—including the provision of fair trial standards to all accused persons.
Together with the MOJ, the Public Prosecutor’s office, and defense attorneys, we are developing mandatory courses on fair trial standards, the rights of the accused, and criminal defense strategies for judges, prosecutors and defense lawyers. ABA ROLI legal specialists are consulting with Bahraini officials and lawyers regarding Bahraini law, practice, and education on fair trial practices, due process and the rights of the accused to design the courses, which will be held at the Judicial and Legal Studies Institute. Topics covered will include the roles of judge and prosecutor, international judicial and prosecutorial standards, fair trial standards, treatment of victims and of witnesses, inter-agency collaboration and criminal defense strategies.
These trainings are a follow-on to ABA ROLI-led fair trial standard trainings for prosecutors and judges that have offered since 2011, and ABA ROLI will conduct these trainings as well. A third in the series will be developed in 2013. Our work in Bahrain is supported by the U.S. Department of State’s Middle East Partnership Initiative.
To learn more about our work in Bahrain, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at firstname.lastname@example.org.