May 06, 2019

ABA’s Global Engagement Programs

Section of International Law

SIL is the profession’s leader in the development of policy in the international arena and in the education of international law practitioners. With more than 60 committees, SIL is the only ABA entity that focuses on a full range of international legal issues and is involved in a variety of substantive legal activities.
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Rule of Law Initiative

ABA ROLI works with in-country partners in more than 60 countries — in Africa, Asia and the Pacific; Europe and Eurasia; Latin America and the Caribbean;, and the Middle East and North Africa —, to build sustainable institutions and societies that deliver justice, foster economic opportunity and ensure respect for human dignity. The program is primarily funded by grants through the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development, but also through foreign governments, foundations and individual donors.
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Center for Human Rights

The Center addresses critical human rights issues through a range of activities, including its Justice Defenders Program, which provides pro bono assistance to human rights advocates around the world, and its Atrocity Prevention and Accountability Project, which supports efforts to hold perpetrators accountable for atrocities. These programs have provided legal assistance for human rights advocates in more than 40 cases in the past two years and conducted trainings for staff at the International Criminal Court. The Center also helps coordinate the human rights activities of other ABA entities.
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Governmental Affairs Office

GAO serves as the focal point for the ABA’S advocacy efforts before Congress, the executive branch and other governmental entities on diverse issues of importance to the legal profession, including many international issues such as lawyers’ access to foreign markets. GAO staffers frequently correspond with governmental decision-makers and testify before Congress on international matters of importance to the administration of justice and the legal profession.
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Global Legal Practice Issues

The Center for Professional Responsibility principally leads the ABA’s ethical and regulatory global legal practice initiatives, including the Commission on Ethics 20/20. Created by former-President Carolyn B. Lamm in 2009, the Commission recently completed a thorough review of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct and the U.S. system of lawyer regulation in the context of advances in technology and global legal practice developments. The ABA House of Delegates approved all of the Commission’s proposals. The Center maintains and provides updated content for global legal practice issues.
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Task Force on International Trade in Legal Services

The Task Force monitors initiatives that affect trade in legal services and educates ABA members and state regulators about legal services trade issues and their implications for the regulation and practice of law in the U.S. and abroad.

The task force regularly communicates with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the Department of Commerce regarding legal services issues.

International Legal Resource Center

Since 1999, the Center, operated by the Section of International Law, has provided technical legal assistance to the United Nations Development Programme with a focus on the rule of law and democratic governance in developing countries.
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Rule of Law Letters

“Rule of Law” letters by ABA presidents to governments express the ABA’s concerns about alleged intimidation, harassment or abuse of lawyers, judges and human rights advocates. Each letter reflects the ABA’s independent research and analysis of the facts and relevant human rights instruments in each case. Copies are sent to the U.S. secretary of State and other relevant officials. Drafts of the “Rule of Law” letters are reviewed by the Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities, the Section of International Law and the Standing Committee on Law and National Security, among other entities.
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Entity Initiatives

Almost 200 ABA entities have specialty programs and subcommittees focused on the international arena. Learn more about many of these entities and their programs.
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