Important New MOUs in Algeria and Qatar

(Photo credit: Gulf Times) Dean Hassan Alsayed and Judge Robert Henry signing the agreement at the College of Law of Qatar.

(Photo credit: Gulf Times) Dean Hassan Alsayed and Judge Robert Henry signing the agreement at the College of Law of Qatar.

April 2008 

The ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) has bolstered its partnerships in the Middle East and North Africa region by signing Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with key partners in Qatar and Algeria.

On March 26, 2008, ABA ROLI signed an MOU with key partner in the region—the Qatar University College of Law. Under this agreement, ABA ROLI will undertake a review of the College based on the ABA Standards for Law School accreditation. The MOU also highlights cooperation between ABA  and the College on a civic education project designed to raise awareness of the norms and values associated with the rule of law. Through this project, ABA ROLI and Qatar University hope to foster respect for individual legal rights and duties among Qatari youth. ABA-ROLI is cooperating with the ABA Division for Public Education on this activity.  The MOU was signed by Hassan al-Sayed, the Dean of the College of Law, and Judge Robert Henry, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit and Chairman of ABA ROLI’s Middle East and North Africa Council. Other attendees included : Judge David Ebel of the 10th Circuit; Jeffery Minear, Administrative Assistant to the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court; and Karen Kendrick, ABA ROLI Qatar Program Director. After the MOU signing, the delegation hosted a roundtable discussion with students and faculty.

On March 24, 2008, ABA ROLI entered into a formal agreement with the Algerian Ministry of Justice after signing an MOU that outlines a range of activities to be undertaken to support legal and judicial reform and education in Algeria. The MOU marks ABA ROLI’s success as the only American NGO to have such an agreement with the Algerian Ministry of Justice.  Mr. Mabrouk Hocine, Director-General of Algeria’s judicial training institute (Ecole Superieure de la Magistrature – ESM), signed the MOU on behalf of the Algerian Ministry of Justice. Under the terms of the MOU, ABA ROLI and ESM will develop a joint cooperation program for each successive year.

The signing ceremony took place at the ESM in the presence of a number of officials, including: the Ministry of Justices’ Secretary General and Mr. Hamed-Abdelouahab, Counselor to the MOJ; the United States Ambassador to Algeria, the Honorable Robert Ford; and the President of the Algerian Syndicate of Judges.

ABA ROLI Deputy Regional Director Richard Paton and Mr. Mabrouk Hocine both gave short speeches, followed by Ambassador Ford and the Secretary General of the MOJ, each welcoming the signing of the MOU and further cooperation.  The Secretary General made clear that the signing of the MOU confirmed the will of the Algerian government to be open to the outside world and take advantage of the experience of other countries to promote the development of the judicial system in Algeria. The event was widely covered in the Algerian press.