ABA ROLI Co-Hosted an Ethics Training for Libyan Lawyers

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February 2013

In December 2012, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) collaborated with the Libyan Bar Association to conduct a three-day workshop both to train 24 lawyers on professional ethics and to prepare them to conduct further trainings themselves. The participants included bar officers and lawyers from every region of Libya. Using ABA ROLI-developed modules and interactive learning tools, the participants reviewed international and regional standards of professional conduct, covering such topics as conflicts of interest, confidentiality, competence and diligence, fees, professionalism and civility, honesty, integrity and fairness. The trainees will return to their regional bar organizations and use these new tools to train local lawyers on professional conduct.

On the last day of the training, participants embraced their new role as ethics instructors and demonstrated their creativity and their mastery of the subject matter by presenting six course units in teams and engaging each other in mock lessons. Presenting a lesson on professionalism and civility one session leader held up a rose. He first said, “If a lawyer doesn’t have honesty,” while removing a petal; he continued, “if a lawyer doesn’t keep secrets,” removing a second petal.  He continued reciting integral ethics principles and plucking petals one after another. As he concluded his demonstration, he said, “And if a lawyer has none of these standards of ethics and professionalism, then he or she is not a lawyer,” while holding only a rose stem.

With support from ABA ROLI, the newly minted cadre of trainers will conduct ethics trainings throughout Libya beginning in 2013.    

To learn more about the ABA Rule of Law Initiative’s work in Libya, please contact rol@americanbar.org.

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