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Initiative Receives Awards to Improve Judiciary in Morocco and Algeria

Panelists address the participants of the recent Maghreb Judges' Conference in Algiers

August 20, 2007 

The Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) has recently funded a thirteen-month grant for Morocco and a sixteen-month grant for Algeria that began on May 31, 2007. The Legal and Judicial Development awards will build on the Initiative’s previous work creating more accountable, effective, and independent judicial systems in these countries. Both projects will work with the national judicial training institutes to increase capacity-building for judges, focus on civil society capacity-building to support judicial reform, and develop public legal education campaigns. Under the new Algeria Legal and Judicial Development Award, the Initiative facilitated a Maghreb Judges’ Conference in Algiers on July 10 and 11, 2007, in collaboration with the Algerian National Judges’ Syndicate. The conference, focusing on judicial ethics and deontology, included the participation of eighteen high-ranking judges from Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia who gathered to discuss the importance of judicial ethics and share ideas about how to promote judicial standards of conduct and the challenges associated with this. The Algerian representatives discussed their recent adoption of a national charter on ethics and others highlighted the challenges in adopting a similar code. At the end of the conference, the participants from the three Maghreb countries decided to continue sharing experiences and ideas through the creation of an Association of Magistrates of the Maghreb Region. They will discuss draft statutes in the fall and also hold a follow-up meeting in Scandinavia at the International Judges Association.