Rule of law contrasts in the Middle East and North Africa

February 23, 2011 at 8:40 pm Leave a comment

Leila Hanafi, staff attorney and program manager at the World Justice project reasons over the rule of law in the Middle East and North Africa.  Rule of law is an interesting topic in the region where uprisings are following a domino effect pattern.

On the one hand, Leila describes positive developments from the past couple of years such as the reform of the Moroccan family law, the Moudawana or a popular referendum in Bahrain in which the people  return to a Constitution. Some legal empowerment project were aimed to strengthen the poor and excluded to use the law to make their lives better.

On the other hand, the ongoing uprisings are clear indication that there is a huge demand for more rule of law, fairness and justice in the region. The question is what rule of law. Leila observes that the countries in the region have specific social and cultural structures. Their legal systems are result of interaction between Islamic traditions and civil law yet in some jurisdictions there is common law influence. Apparently, ready-made solutions will not work. Here comes the emphasis on bottom-up legal empowerment and involvement of the people and their communities in the process of building and sustaining institutions based on rule of law but reflecting local traditions and norms.

Read the whole article here


Entry filed under: Access to Justice, Rule of Law.

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