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Europe & Eurasia Background

The Europe and Eurasia Program, also known as CEELI, was founded in 1990 as the ABA's first international technical legal assistance program. Today, the ABA has programs in nearly 20 countries in the region. These furnish technical assistance on a wide range of issues essential for further consolidation of the rule of law, including: judicial independence and effective judicial ethics regimes; adjudicating war crimes cases and increasing application of human rights norms; increasing access to justice; reforming legislation and legal institutions in countries striving for European Union accession; reforming law schools to better prepare tomorrow's legal professionals; combating corruption by adopting public integrity measures; building a "rule of law culture" by educating the public about legal rights and responsibilities; and revising procedural and substantive criminal codes to attack trafficking, money laundering, cybercrime, and other domestic and transnational crimes. Increasingly, the Europe and Eurasia program (CEELI) is working to establish "legacy" organizations that can continue to support reform after the ABA Rule of Law Initiative departs a country, as well as focusing on cementing relationships with in-country reformers with whom it can remain in contact and support after its offices close.