In May, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) and the government of Dubai’s Legal Affairs Department hosted a meeting to encourage discussion about the state of continuing legal education (CLE) in several Gulf countries, and to explore the possibility of creating CLE model standards for the Gulf region. Attendees at the Dubai meeting included legal professionals from Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates—representatives of bar associations, ministries of justice, judicial training institutes, along with private attorneys.
Dr. Iñigo Nagore, chairman of the Training Committee for the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe, led the discussions and shared the European experience in approaching CLE on a regional level. Representatives from each of the participating countries gave presentations on their experiences with CLE and shared the issues they are currently facing.
The discussions emphasized the need for more CLE opportunities in the Gulf, highlighting an acute need for training on practical legal skills, such as contract drafting, negotiation skills, legal research methodology, alternative dispute resolution and law office management. There was unanimous support for regional cooperation on issues related to CLE, and participants hoped for further discussions to examine the possibility of creating regional CLE standards.
The event was hosted as part of a broader ABA ROLI effort, funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Middle East Partnership Initiative, to foster legal professional networks across the Middle East and North Africa region.
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