January 31, 2015

American Bar Association Delegation Visits Saudi Arabia

January 2015


From January 3–8, American Bar Association (ABA) President William Hubbard led a four-member delegation of ABA leadership to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to discuss cooperation opportunities between the ABA and the Saudi Ministry of Justice.

The delegation, which visited at the invitation of the Saudi government, included Judge Rosemary Barkett, member of the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) Board of Directors and chair of ABA ROLI’s Middle East and North Africa Council, Tom Susman, director of the ABA Governmental Affairs Office, and Paul Simonett, ABA ROLI country director in Turkey.

The delegation met with H.E. Muhammad bin Abdul Karim Issa, who was then minister of justice of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and with representatives of various government entities—including the human rights and anti-corruption commissions—as well as with a group of international business leaders. Discussions addressed potential areas of cooperation between the ABA and the Ministry of Justice and other Saudi stakeholders, including in building the capacity of the kingdom’s legal and judicial sectors.

The ABA delegation also toured facilities built through King Abdullah’s Project for Judicial and Court Sector, observing state-of-the-art courtroom equipment and management systems, and met with the Islamic and Judicial Affairs Committee at the Shura Council. Additionally, Barkett met with female Saudi business leaders and faculty from a women’s law school.

The ABA delegates and the Saudi hosts agreed to organize further exchange visits for legal professionals from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States.

To learn more about our work in the Middle East and North Africa region, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at rol@americanbar.org.