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Lawyers and Bar Associations Helping Lawyers and Bar Associations – The ABA’s Rule of Law Initiative and Projects in China . Allison Moore Country Director, Vietnam Program (Oct 2007- ) Country Director, China Program (2004-2007) American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative

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Lawyers and Bar Associations Helping Lawyers and Bar Associations– The ABA’s Rule of Law Initiativeand Projects in China

Allison Moore

Country Director, Vietnam Program (Oct 2007- )

Country Director, China Program (2004-2007)

American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative

Presentation at IBA 2007 Annual Meeting

worldwide rule of law deficit
Worldwide Rule of Law Deficit
  • Poverty, economic stagnation, conflict - rule of law as antidote
  • Countries that lack the rule of law fail to meet the most basic needs of their populations  lack of economic opportunity, basic justice, and even physical security
  • Most important calling of the world\'s legal community is addressing global rule of law deficit
  • Bar associations’ role
aba s rule of law initiative
ABA’s Rule of Law Initiative
  • 11 goals that state ABA’s mission; in 1990 ABA adopted goal of advancing the rule of law in the world
  • launched the Rule of Law Initiative (ROLI) – first Central and Eastern Europe Law Initiative (CEELI) and then expanding to Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East
  • ROLI’s overseas work is implemented by experienced legal professionals working in tandem with a staff of host country legal professionals – 400 people abroad
  • Cadre of short and long-term pro bono volunteers, from U.S. and elsewhere ($200 million contributed since 1990)
principles for assistance
Principles for Assistance
  • All projects must be responsive to the needs and priorities of local partners
  • All projects seek to offer a comparative law perspective
    • recognition that American legal experience and traditions offer but one approach
  • Establish effective partnerships to ensure long-term impact
  • ROLI is public service project, not a device for developing business opportunities
    • strict ethical guidelines to ensure that technical advice offered by its participants is neutral and conflicts of interest avoided
    • when feasible, participants in ROLI projects serve pro bono
china project as example
China Project as Example
  • ABA works hand in hand with reformers in government and civil society
  • Programs provide opportunity for broad stakeholder input, sharing of international best practices, for criminal justice reforms, protection of women’s rights, environment, migrant workers’ rights
  • Enable local governments and other stakeholders to popularize and implement participatory governance, justice system reforms, and improved regulatory enforcement and compliance
  • Build capacity within the Chinese legal profession and civil society to safeguard and advocate for citizens’ rights
how individual lawyers and law firms can participate
How Individual Lawyers and Law Firms Can Participate
  • Daily work of lawyers itself knits the fabric of law – strength of the rule of law depends first on professional skill and fidelity to constitutional and legal values
  • Initiatives like ABA’s and others also provide a framework for lawyers and law firms to get involved in sharing legal expertise and experience
  • Find critical points that can help strengthen the human resources, institutions, and policies for the rule of law in developing or transitioning countries
  • Mode of participation depends on the type of activity
activity skills trainings
Activity: Skills trainings
  • Pro bono experts model skills through trial demonstration, client interviews or other simulation exercises such as formulating a theory of the case, exercising judgment in analysis of complex or conflicting evidence, other skills practice.

Example: Domestic violence and sex harassment case comparative trial demonstrations

  • Support local lawyers to develop the skills and knowledge to counsel environmental, health, and safety compliance, ethics and anticorruption, and civic participation and public outreach for their clients

Example: ABA supports the Environment and Natural Resources Law Committee of the All China Lawyers Association (ACLA) annual training workshop each year: EIA, CDM, standing in public interest litigation

activity policy implementation training workshops
Activity: Policy Implementation Training Workshops
  • Pro bono lawyers can share experience with developing internal structures and staff trainings, involving stakeholder participation, community education, developing incentives and informational tools that assist with civil society monitoring and compliance

Example: ABA has partnered with China’s State Environmental Protection Administration for “mock public hearing” trainings - introduced China’s EIA law and national public hearing regulations to many hundreds of local Environmental Protection Bureau officials, lawyers, judges, NGOs, enterprises, educators, media

activity policy legislative reform
Activity: Policy/Legislative reform
  • Foreign bar associations can support local bar associations and lawyers to identify legal reform priorities and develop advocacy for them
  • Foreign legal experts can present experience or commentary from a comparative perspective

Example: ABA, NYU, China People’s University trial demonstration workshops to model proposed criminal procedure reforms (incl challenges to voluntariness of confessions, use of exclusionary rule, use and cross examination of live witnesses, separation of pretrial and trial hearing procedures)

  • Pro bono experts can review draft legislation

Example: ABA has organized pro bono legal experts in a variety of fields to provide written comments and suggestions

activity dialogue and development of civil society initiatives
Activity: Dialogue and Development of Civil Society Initiatives
  • Foreign bar association and law firm leaders can put pro bono and public interest law concerns on the agenda

Example: ABA President’s visits to China give high profile to public interest law

  • Foreign law firms and bar associations can support forums for promotion of coordinated initiatives and for exchange of ideas with a range of stakeholders

Example: ABA and China Association for NGO Cooperation (CANGO) convene multi-stakeholder community dialogues for migrant workers, local government officials, enterprises, lawyers, NGO leaders, and other community residents to promote participatory development of action plans

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Foreign law firms and bar associations can provide financial support, public recognition for civil society initiatives, and opportunities for public service and good corporate citizenship
    • Example: With Peking University Women’s Legal Aid and Research Center, convene forums to develop and implement workplace policies against sexual harassment
    • Example: ABA subgrant to pilot project in Shenzhen to develop a model of how Chinese NGOs and pro bono Chineselawyers can educate and enable migrant workers to assert their rights for workplace injury compensation
activity capacity building
Activity: Capacity building
  • Pro bono experts, law firms, and bar associations can share model standards and model codes with counterparts

Example: ABA support to ACLA on professional ethics code; and (with CBA) on standards for representation in death penalty cases.

  • Foreign law firms and bar associations can provide forums for networking of lawyers to provide mutual support and sharing of experience
    • Example: ABA subgrant for “Public Interest Law Network” in China: salons for young lawyers and law students, mentoring, internships
  • In all ROLI activities, assist partners as needed with strategic planning, capacity needs assessments, financial/accounting training, development organizational governance structures
activity transnational initiatives
Activity: Transnational Initiatives
  • Bar associations can also provide forums for lawyers from different countries to discuss transnational initiatives

Example: ABA’s U.S.-China Dialogue on Global Food and Product Safety

Example: ABA support to Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (E-LAW) for All-Asia Environmental Public Interest Lawyer Conference in Dhaka, Bangladesh

  • Lawyers and law firms can also reach out to other stakeholders to mainstream the movement for justice worldwide.

Example: World Justice Project (with IBA and others)

ingredients of successful int l rule of law projects
Ingredients of Successful Int’lRule of Law Projects

1. Cooperation with a local partner is essential (responsiveness; convening power)

2. Consider financial and organizational sustainability from start

3. Need for a good support structure on the ground for these projects  dedicate staff time

4. Tips for pro bono experts to participate most effectively

* not “textbook” overviews but sharing of actual experience – what do you do

* what the practice encompasses and what its limits are

* answer the question: “and if that rule isn’t followed, then what happens?” (think implementation)

* prioritize what has been most important and what can be accomplished most easily or cheaply

ingredients of successful int l rule of law projects cont d
Ingredients of Successful Int’l Rule of Law Projects (Cont’d)

4. Role play exercises and other simulated situations particularly effective modes of sharing experience

5. Sharing of models and samples, of checklists to spot issues, of bottom line lessons learned

6. Involve pro bono legal experts from different countries

7. Realize valuable and unique role of bar and lawyers in engaging their counterparts in discussion of professional values and ethics of public service, and of modeling those values in practice - create worldwide legal culture supportive of pro bono

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