Partnerships: The Core of ABA ROLI’s Work

ABA ROLI’s Niki Dasarathy, Omar Badawi, Lury Nkouessom, Sebastian Albuja, Axel Etoundi discuss the importance of partnerships in supporting sustainable rule of law development.

For the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI), partnerships are not a trend or an approach. They are the essence of how we promote the rule of law abroad and one of our five principles. By partnering with justice sector colleagues, local stakeholders and other organizations, we are developing programs that deliver independent and professional technical assistance, targeting the needs and interests of communities in more than 50 countries around the world. During a gathering in Marrakech, ABA ROLI staff showcased how we work with partners in Mali, Guinea, Mauritania, Tunisia, Morocco, and Turkey to address diverse rule of law challenges, ranging from fighting slavery to inviting citizens to voice their opinions and beliefs in proposed constitutions. ABA ROLI country teams highlighted how we work with formal organizations as well as less formal but equally important community groups such as youth groups and traditional leaders. ABA ROLI teams showed how a collaborative approach to rule of law strengthens local groups, makes their voices more influential in their communities, and makes them more independent.
  • With help from the Tunisian Bar Association, ABA ROLI supported legal profession reform by providing substantive and skills-based training for members of the bar association, as well as helped to raise lawyers’ awareness of election law, developed an election law handbook, and prepared an election legal response team for the 2011 elections for a constituent assembly.
  • Since 2014, with an extensive network of Moroccan partners including judges, judicial clerks, lawyers nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and the national anti-corruption agency, ABA ROLI has continued to promote transparency and combat corruption through a long-standing program with support from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).
  • In Turkey, ABA ROLI has worked with Turkish bar associations, local and international NGOs, municipalities, Syrian civil society and relevant stakeholders to promote legal awareness among Syrian refugees living in Turkey. As of May 2017, through legal awareness sessions, a media campaign and a text message helpline, ABA ROLI provided more than 200,000 Syrian refugees with legal information on their rights under Turkish law.
For more than 25 years — working alongside thousands of partners — ABA ROLI has sought to strengthen legal institutions, support legal professionals, foster respect for human rights and advance public understanding of the law and of citizen rights. Our work would not be possible without our in-country and international partners, who are the cornerstone of developing effective and sustainable rule of law development.

To learn more about our work, please contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at