As the year-end approaches and we reflect on challenges and accomplishments in 2015, I am again reminded of the critical role played by our partners throughout the world—the lawyers, judges, academics, students and activists who take the information, education and resources we provide and run with it to find ways to advance the rule of law. I hope our Update readers will be as moved by their work as I am and take time this giving season to support them through a gift to the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI). While much of ABA ROLI’s work is funded through grants, individual contributions often make the difference in helping us go the extra mile for our incredible partners.
With our support, our partners—such as Executive Judge Omar T. Viola of the Regional Trial Court of Angeles City, Philippines (right) and his colleagues—strive to realize the rule of law ideal for their countries and communities. In the Philippines, our technical assistance has helped courts implement court automation to improve case management, increase efficiency and reduce court backlog and delay.
As each of the stories in this month’s Update highlights, ABA ROLI’s core strategy is to provide information and analysis that empowers others to realize the rule of law ideal. Our creative partners find the best vehicle for conveying such information in each context: in the Central African Republic, that’s training for paralegals who can advise victims of gender-based violence and discrimination; in Morocco, it’s a play that educates citizens about their rights; and in China, an expert conference and academic research project that will help realize juvenile rights in the criminal justice system.
Earlier this month, I had the privilege of accompanying ABA President Paulette Brown to China, where we met with the Chinese lawyers and advocates we support in providing legal aid to migrants, training criminal defense lawyers to take advantage of new criminal procedure reforms, expanding protection for victims of domestic violence and the LGBT community, and improving environmental governance and protection. Even in that rule-of-law-challenged environment, our partners are finding ways to have significant impact that affects the rights of everyday citizens.
Charitable contributions to ABA ROLI can make all the difference in our efforts to support such partners. While grants from governmental and non-governmental donors support the bulk of our work with them, additional funds from charitable contributions often make a critical difference, covering special elements of our programs that the grants don’t support. Even small amounts can make a big difference, for example, making it possible to bring just the right international expert to advise our partners; opening a training, conference or study tour to additional participants; or expanding the dissemination of valued publications and information resources to additional interested constituents. Such support is currently stretching the reach of an ABA ROLI anti-bribery campaign in Ukraine, helping civil society efforts to turn the corner toward rule of law in that embattled country. Specially designated ABA ROLI funds also support scholarships for young women attending law school in the Democratic Republic of Congo and legal education programs in Armenia. Donors can specify these funds or general support for ABA ROLI programs.
Help our partners make a difference, support ABA ROLI’s 2015 Annual Fund.