In January, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) conducted a preliminary rule of law assessment in Libya. The assessment team—which included Judge Judith C. Chirlin (ret.), lawyer Daniel FitzGibbon and Omar Badawi, program manager with the ABA ROLI Middle East and North Africa Division—explored the current state and operation of several legal arenas. Specific areas of focus included the legal profession, women and the law, the judiciary, legal education, civil society, and elections law and planning. The team conducted interviews in Tripoli and Benghazi, including with justice sector officials, Interim National Council representatives, the election law drafting committee, leaders and members of the Tripoli and Benghazi bar associations, and representatives from civil society organizations that focus on human rights, women’s issues, democracy and governance, and anti-corruption.
Justice sector officials were forthright about major challenges facing the justice ministry and the courts, as were representatives of the legal profession, women’s rights groups, law faculties and civil society organizations. All expressed their willingness to cooperate with ABA ROLI on prospective technical assistance programs. After the visit, ABA ROLI produced an extensive series of reform recommendations in these areas.
To learn more about our work in the Middle East and North Africa, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at firstname.lastname@example.org.