ABA ROLI Co-Hosts a Workshop on Rule of Law Priorities in Libya

Thirty one young lawyers participated in the two-day training aimed at improving their client interviewing and counseling skills.

Approximately 30 Libyan lawyers, judges and civil society members participated in the conference.

March 2012

The late 2011 fall of long-time Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi ushered in a wave of optimism about Libya’s future. For the first time in 40 years, Libyans were no longer under the thumb of a government that controlled every aspect of their lives. Now, the country is presented with the difficult challenge of establishing the rule of law and Libyans are working to build crucial institutions, develop civil society, hold elections, draft a new constitution and fight corruption.

From February 20–23, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative and the International Legal Assistance Consortium jointly held a workshop in Tunis, Tunisia, that explored the pressing rule of law priorities for Libya. Funding for the event was provided by the Swedish International Development Agency. Roughly 30 Libyan lawyers, judges and civil society members joined representatives from more than 15 technical assistance providers from eight countries to discuss the country’s current rule of law issues and to outline its technical legal assistance needs as Libya transitions to democracy.

The workshop included small group meetings, panel presentations and working group sessions. Topics covered the roles of lawyers and civil society, organizing and monitoring elections, constitution drafting, justice sector development and independence, legal aid and access to justice, legal education, commercial law and the business environment, anti-corruption initiatives, and women’s legal rights and participation. The meetings produced concrete recommendations that provide a framework for Libyan lawyers, judges and civil society leaders to advocate for transitional issues, and that also can be used to inform technical assistance by international organizations.

To learn more about our work in the Middle East and North Africa, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at rol@americanbar.org.