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January 02, 2014

ABA ROLI Launches a Regional Program in the Balkans

January 2014

Continuing its legal technical assistance work that spans more than 20 years in the region, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) launched a regional rule-of-law program in the Balkans in September 2013.

ABA ROLI conducted an initial baseline assessment of bar associations, defense advocacy and justice sector civil society organizations in Fall 2013. As part of the assessment, ABA ROLI representatives traveled to Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia and Serbia to assess bar association and civil society activities and to explore how a regional network might strengthen ongoing criminal justice reform efforts in the region.

The team identified a pressing need for increased regional cooperation among defense advocates and other justice-sector practitioners, as well as a need for strong defense bars that could engage in coordinated reform efforts in the region. The regional program will help address these challenges and complement ABA ROLI’s country-based efforts—such as training Macedonian and Serbian defense advocates in their respective countries’ new criminal procedure code—to support the criminal justice reforms.

To learn more about our Balkans Regional Rule of Law Network Program, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at [email protected].