British Embassy Grant to Support ACJLS E-Forum Series

ACJLS e-forums have addressed a variety of issues, including the rule of law, freedom of information and dispute resolution in the Arab world.

ACJLS e-forums have addressed a variety of issues, including the rule of law, freedom of information and dispute resolution in the Arab world.

September 2009 

In July, the British Embassy in Amman gave the Arab Council for Judicial and Legal Studies (ACJLS) a $25,000 grant to support the organization’s e-forum series. The program seeks to increase the number of experts engaging in online rule of law discussions, while introducing a larger and more diverse audience to ACJLS public legal education materials.

James Watt, British ambassador to Jordan, and Dr. Salah Eddin Al Bashir, chairman of the ACJLS board, signed the grant agreement. Ambassador Watt said it was important to strengthen the legal sector’s role in the Arab world to boost social and economic progress. He said the ACJLS program was an important step in that direction.

The ACJLS began the e-forum series, which has provided legal professionals a venue for candid discussion, in February 2008, with technical assistance from the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI). Participants have included Arab legal professionals representing academia, the judiciary, lawyers, law students and non-governmental organizations. The series has allowed participants with limited or no travel opportunities to connect with a diverse pool of experts.

Past forums have addressed a variety of issues, including the concept and definition of the rule of law, freedom of information, the role of an ombudsman and dispute resolution in the Arab world. Upcoming forums will tackle issues such as women in the judiciary, human trafficking and pro bono legal representation. The ACJLS website will also feature regional case studies, question and answer activities, and rule of law video presentations by prominent experts.

ABA ROLI, through the support of the U.S. Department of State’s Middle East Partnership Initiative, has helped ACJLS in its capacity-building efforts. Over the past few years, ABA ROLI has trained ACJLS staff in program management, fundraising and strategic development.

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

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