Celebrating Achievements for Judicial Cooperation in the MENA Region

This week in Jordan the Raoul Wallenberg Institute and its partners are celebrating the outcomes of a programme in the Middle East and North Africa that has focused on increasing the exchange between Arab judicial systems to share best practices regarding application of international human rights law.

The MENA Regional Programme “Applying International Human Rights Standards in National Judicial Systems”, was carried out in cooperation with partner Arab judicial and academic institutes in the Middle East and North Africa: Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia. It was launched in 2014.

regional-judicial-meeting“The programme is unique in how it both analyzes conformity of existing national law with international standards, and provide judges with applicable judicial recommendations for issues of non-conformity, to apply in parallel to long term legislative developments”, says Carla Boukheir, director of the Amman office.

In only two years, the programme has resulted in significant achievements. On a national level, the RWI and Arab judicial institutes have carried out comparative studies in order to provide recommendations on how to bridge the gap between international human rights law and national laws. The focus areas in the different countries ranged from children’s rights, to labour law and procedural rights.

On a regional level, the cooperation between national working groups, who each contributed with their most important human rights jurisprudence, resulted in the creation of two books on Arab Jurisprudence in the MENA region, one focusing on human rights in general, and one particularly on women’s rights.

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Based on the valuable national and regional comparative legal studies, the Institute has developed a training methodology which was translated into an Application Manual to be used in training programmes for judges in the MENA region. The Institue and its partners have disseminated the training materials and organised moot courts and summer courses.

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The ceremony to celebrate this programme’s significant achievements will engage international and national parties, with the purpose of sharing the pioneering ideas and applicable recommendations that the judicial and academic institutes attained in the application of international human rights standards in their national judicial systems. We hope they will become an essential building block for additional constructive and fruitful cooperation and a model for future programs.

“We hope they will become an essential building block for additional constructive and fruitful cooperation and a model for future programs,” says Boukheir.

The event is taking place on Thursday, 15 December.