2012 Rule of Law Conference


The ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) hosted a rule of law conference on March 28 at the Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center in Washington, DC. The conference allowed ABA ROLI and external experts to explore trends in the promotion of the rule of law. Following opening remarks by professor Anthony Clark Arend of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, four panels discussed the role of technology in increasing access to justice, recent innovations in combating corruption, the relationship between rule of law and economic development, and the rule of law and the recent transitions in the Middle East and North Africa. Recordings of these panels are available below.

Technology and Access to Justice

Technology holds significant potential for increasing access to justice. This panel will share examples of the ways in which technology has already contributed in this area, and, if better utilized, how technology can produce further gains. Does the democracy and governance community have realistic expectations about the potential of technology to increase access to justice and, more generally, to propel justice sector reform?

audio Moderator: Barry Walsh, Senior Justice Reform Specialist, Justice Reform Practice Group at The World Bank

audio Sonja Gittens-Ottley, Manager of Yahoo! Business and Human Rights Program

audio Joshua Haynes, Senior Development Technologist, USAID Center for Democracy, Human Rights and Governance

audio Charles-Guy Makongo, ABA ROLI Country Director, Democratic Republic of Congo

audio Question and answer session

Recent Innovations and Best Practices in Combating Corruption

Corrupt practices are typically deeply rooted, with the requisite political will to eradicate them in exceedingly short supply. Local reformers and donors have devoted both decades and billions of dollars to eradicate these practices. What is working? What are the trends in combating corruption? Do multilateral and treaty-based efforts hold promise (e.g., UNCAC)? How can civil society and the private sector play a more robust role in combating corruption?

audioModerator: Homer Moyer, Miller & Chevalier

audioPanelist: John Brandolino, Senior Advisor, Office of Anti-crime Programs, Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, U.S. Department of State

audioPanelist: Andrew Wilson, Regional Director for Eurasia and South Asia, Center for International Private Enterprise

audioPanelist: Jonathan Gant, Policy Advisor, Global Witness

audioPanelist: Eric Stonecipher, ABA ROLI Asia Regional Anti-Corruption Adviser (Thailand)

audio Question and answer session

The Role of Rule of Law in Economic Development

The rule of law is a potent force in advancing economic development; conversely, weak legal systems place enormous barriers not only on foreign investment but also on domestic actors capable of generating significant economic growth. This panel will discuss examples of countries that have been especially effective in transforming their business environments from being relatively inhospitable into magnets for domestic and foreign investment. Which donor interventions have been especially noteworthy? What are some lessons learned?

audio Moderator: Rob Boone, Director, ABA ROLI

audio Wade Channell, Senior Legal Reform Adviser at USAID Office of Economic Growth

audio Richard Messick, Senior Public Sector Specialist, Public Sector and Governance Group at The World Bank

audio Jeff Krilla, Principal at SNR Denton

audio Question and answer session

After the Revolutions: Rule of Law and the Historic Transitions in the Middle East and North Africa

In most cases, post-revolutionary nations must begin an often decades-long process of building the rule of law. Post-Arab Spring countries will be no exception. What are the prospects for the transitioning countries in the Middle East and North Africa? What are the most significant impediments? Is it the military, the police, the lack of a rule of law culture, or perhaps a by-product of decades of authoritarian rule?

audioModerator: Stephen McInerney, Executive Director, Project on Middle East Democracy

audioPanelist: Dr. Marina Ottaway, Director of the Middle East Program at Carnegie Endowment

audioPanelist: John Beasley, Senior Advisor for Rule of Law to the Office of the Special Coordinator for Middle East Transitions, U.S. Department of State

audioPanelist: Perry Cammack, Professional Staff Member, Committee on Foreign Relations, U.S. Senate

audioPanelist: Paul Simonett, ABA ROLI Gulf Program Director (Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates)

audioPanelist: Omar Badawi, Program Manager, ABA ROLI Middle East and North Africa Division

audio Question and answer session