Since 2012, the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) has worked with justice sector actors to promote judicial training on investment-related topics and produced a model curriculum that can be used in the country’s judicial training institute. The curriculum covers topics such as legal and institutional protection and promotion of investments, the law of the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA), arbitration and other mechanisms for alternative resolution of investment disputes, and ethics and morals of investment.
ABA ROLI and the Congolese Ministry of Justice, Human Rights, and Indigenous Peoples held a series of workshops from Dec. 27-30, 2016 with senior judges and lawyers to validate this model curriculum. To ensure that the curriculum is appropriate for judges working across the country, judges from rural provinces also took part in the workshops.
At the workshops, participants noted strengths of the curriculum and discussed the benefits it would provide to judicial training initiatives. They appreciated that it focused on national law and the universal character of the topics it presents. Participants also noted that it will increase judicial actors’ capacity to conduct work in this area, praising its inclusion of resources from the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA) on promoting investments. Foreseeing that the curriculum will contribute to an improvement in the country’s ranking for the World Bank’s Doing Business report, they hope it will help young people become more interested in
Participants also critiqued and provided recommendations for improvements to the curriculum to ensure that it stays relevant to the country’s unique legal framework. For instance, they recommended reorganizing some of the training modules to better fit the national context and the training needs of judicial actors, and they suggested including laws and regulations that were not already in the curriculum. Because judges and lawyers contributed to the final curriculum, ABA ROLI hopes they will feel as though they have ownership of the product and are willing to apply its lessons in their work.
Finally, participants anticipate using the curriculum in their advocacy for the reopening of the national judicial training institute and plan to include topics on investment, promotion and protection in coursework for other training institutions.
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