As part of its continuing partnership with the Arab Council for Judicial and Legal Studies (ACJLS) and with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development, ABA ROLI has developed a guide for measuring and monitoring judicial system performance and a human rights public legal education toolkit. The materials are designed to strengthen local civil society organizations (CSOs), enabling them to increase access to justice, engage in judicial and legal reforms and to undertake public legal education.
The guide, which draws on international best practices, helps CSOs implement standards the ACJLS developed to monitor judicial systems based on five key access to justice elements: independence, fairness, accessibility, effectiveness and accountability. In addition, the guide includes distinct modules for monitoring thematic issues, such as women’s access to justice and juvenile justice.
The civic education toolkit provides CSOs with a guide for conducting public human rights education. The toolkit builds upon ABA ROLI’s extensive civic education resources and addresses international standards on human rights and other rule of law issues.
ACJLS and ABA ROLI also trained CSO representatives on using the guide and toolkit, as well as on advocacy. ACJLS and ABA ROLI also assisted CSOs with implementing similar pilot programs in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Based on the results of the pilot projects, the user’s guide and toolkit have been further refined and will be distributed to CSOs around the world.
As part of efforts to develop continuing legal education (CLE) standards for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)—composed of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, United Arab Emirates and Qatar—the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) collaborated with ministries of justice, judicial institutes, universities, non-governmental organizations, private lawyers and government legal departments throughout the Gulf region. We also support those countries’ efforts to adopt CLE standards, helping them draw upon comparative best practices including from the U.S. and Europe.
Additionally, ABA ROLI is supporting regional CLE programming by forming a regional CLE consortium of government and non-government entities and private law firms in the GCC member countries. Consortium members will support the development of CLE programs and resources, which will be made available through a website ABA ROLI helped create. Regional and international law firms will provide pro bono legal expertise to design training modules and materials. The initiative will increase professional development opportunities for lawyers, build the capacity of regional institutions to train lawyers and increase the level of cooperation among law firms and judicial institutes in the region.
The ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) supports an initiative to promote collaboration between judicial training institutes in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries: Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, United Arab Emirates and Qatar. The initiative allows the institutes to work together in developing curriculum and teaching methodologies, and to share best practices in judicial education. It also supports efforts to expand the use of technology in judicial education in the region.
ABA ROLI, in partnership with ministries of justice and national judicial institutes from the region, developed an online judicial curriculum, producing 24 modules on international gender-equality principles and local family codes. The program has enabled judges across the region to adjudicate family law cases more effectively. It has also allowed Algerian and Moroccan judicial training centers to provide much-needed training to judges outside major cities.