Experts agree that integrating rule of law programs in broader development initiatives is an important strategy that yields beneficial outcomes for both rule of law and the broader development agenda. The U.S. Agency for International Development has made this insight a centerpiece of its current Strategy on Democracy, Rights, and Governance. And I’m proud to report that it looked to the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) to write the technical guide on such integration.
Just published this month, the ABA ROLI-authored technical guide—Integrating Rule of Law and Global Development: Food Security, Climate Change, and Public Heath—outlines the key legal concepts, technical tools and strategies for integrating rule of law reform in development programming, and it is packed with lessons learned and case studies to inform the field. This is just the latest example of ABA ROLI’s 25-year tradition of research excellence in the rule of law development field.
We will showcase this commitment to thought leadership again next month when we host our annual Rule of Law Conference. Organized on a theme of Access to Justice and the Rule of Law: The Next Twenty-Five Years and convened on the occasion of our annual staff retreat, the conference aims to engage the rule of law development community in examining lessons learned and exploring future opportunities in our field. Mark your calendar for the event, which will take place from 1:00–5:00 p.m. on April 15 at the Hamilton Crowne Plaza Hotel, Washington, D.C.
Through such conferences, research, publications and technical tools, ABA ROLI aims to strengthen its own capacity and to serve as a resource for policy-makers, donors, implementers and legal reformers the world over. For example, the groundwork for our successful Balkans Regional Rule of Law Network—highlighted in this month’s Update—was laid last year, with an in-depth comparative analysis of criminal defense in the region. Most gratifying are the cases in which we can support colleagues in the countries where we are working to undertake this research themselves, as reported this month from Guinea, where ABA ROLI is supporting the Centre Femmes, Citoyenneté et Paix in the development of a new human rights documentation tool.
ABA ROLI is committed to being on the forefront of rule of law research and technical expertise and to working with our in-country partners to use that expertise to target the most critical rule of law challenges of the day. For more information about ABA ROLI’s research and assessments, visit http://www.americanbar.org/advocacy/rule_of_law/publications.html or contact Simon Conté, our research and assessments director, at [email protected].