Let me begin by saying that, based on my involvement in establishing ILAC’s gender justice initiative with the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), I feel that it is a laudable example of how consensus between two entities on an idea and strategy, rapid buy-in by management, dedicated counterparts on each side, broad outreach, and sustained donor funding can lead to an effective partnership for undertaking targeted activities. To put this observation in context, I will elaborate on how this initiative was conceived and evolved, which Agneta Johannson and Christian Ahlund know well as the lead ILAC counterparts. [Read more…]
ILAC is delighted to welcome Nina Lahoud to ILAC’s Board of Directors. A longtime supporter and ILAC member, Nina will bring over three decades of expertise from the peacekeeping and legal development world, involving numerous United Nations assignments in conflict-affected countries, to our management team.
After leaving the law firm of Shearman & Sterling in 1983 to join the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon/UNIFIL (as the first woman Legal Adviser appointed to a mission), Nina served with the United Nations for over 33 years where she dealt extensively with legal, rule of law, peacekeeping, development and gender matters while serving in various offices at UN Headquarters and in six UN peacekeeping operations deployed in Lebanon, Namibia, Cambodia, Croatia, Kosovo and East Timor at critical historic junctures. [Read more…]
ILAC co-organised a five-day intensive course on UN human rights and security mechanisms for Syrian legal professionals in Geneva this Spring.
As part of ILAC’s larger Syria Programme, the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute led trainings in Geneva that will sharpen the skills of Syrian legal professionals to help shape resolutions and recommendations on the Syrian crisis in line with international law and UN principles. [Read more…]
Nearly 3 million people have fled to Turkey because of seven years of war in Syria. Among the refugees are hundreds of legal professionals with valuable knowledge of the Syrian justice system who will be key in strengthening the rule of law and bringing stability to a post-conflict Syria. [Read more…]
The 2017 ILAC’s Annual General Meeting in Tokyo, Japan, culminated with a public seminar on how rebuilding justice systems can assist developing countries in overcoming fragility and the effects of conflict. The speakers brought a wide range of experience on a very concrete question – what are the challenges and the opportunities presented by the current trend toward inclusion of rule of law and governance goals in contemporary development standards?
As we look forward to 2017, which will mark the 15th Anniversary of ILAC, 2016 provided us with an opportunity to review ILAC’s historical journey and consider how we should position ourselves within the development world as it exists today. [Read more…]
ILAC launched its Syria Rule of Law Assessment Report in New York at an event hosted by Sweden’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations. The Swedish Deputy Permanent Representative, Ambassador Irina Schoulgin Nyoni, moderated the April 19 event.
ILAC’s new report explains how justice is administered throughout Syria after six years of conflict and provides a baseline for future reconciliation efforts with a comprehensive, publicly available account of the current state of the Syrian justice sector.
Stockholm, Sweden — The International Legal Assistance Consortium (ILAC) today released a new report that explains how justice is administered throughout Syria after six years of conflict. ILAC’s Rule of Law Assessment Report, Syria 2017 provides a baseline for future reconciliation efforts with a comprehensive, publicly available account of the current state of the Syrian justice sector.
“In planning for peace, Syria and the international community will need to base their actions in rebuilding the justice system on what presently exists in Syria today,” said Agneta Johansson, ILAC’s Executive Director and mission leader. “The breakdown in the government’s control throughout large parts of Syria has led to differences in how justice is administered across the country. Reinstating a unified system of justice that can uphold the rule of law and provide due process will be a major challenge facing Syria after the war.”
In November and December 2016, ILAC’s nine-person assessment team met with over 100 Syrian legal professionals, civil society actors and international officials. Among those interviewed were approximately 70 Syrian judges and lawyers, who included both those currently practicing law in different parts of Syria, and those who have been forced to flee to neighboring countries due to the conflict.
The team examined the justice sector as it stood before the uprisings in 2011 and used this as a starting point for a comparison of the situation today throughout the country. [Read more…]
by Rhodri Williams, Senior Legal Expert, ILAC
One of the common challenges facing rule of law and development practitioners is the need to bridge theory and practice; to demonstrate how concrete context can and should shape the application and the development of international policy and standards, and how international policy and standards can and should have a transformative potential in concrete contexts. In approaching this challenge, it can sometimes be hard to beat a telling anecdote.
ILAC congratulates the Ombudsman of Tunisia, Mr Abdessattar Ben Moussa, for his outstanding contributions towards democracy. Mr Ben Moussa and ILAC representatives met this month in Tunis, where they reaffirmed their common goal in strengthening rule of law and public trust in the institutions of that country.
The ombudsman is an independent institution created in 1992 that aims to protect the rights of citizens as well as to transform the negative image public administration has amongst citizens. Béji Caïd Essebsi nominated Mr Ben Moussa Administrative Mediator last January. The administrative ombudsman is responsible for considering individual complaints against public institutions and communicating the recommendations to the administrative establishment in order to resolve the dispute.
ILAC congratulates Christian Åhlund, ILAC’s founding Executive Director, for having been honoured with the H.M. The King´s Medal by the King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden a prize that recognizes his outstanding efforts in human rights and international humanitarian law.
Mr. Åhlund received the 8th size with the ribbon of the Order of the Seraphim in a ceremony held in the Royal castle in Stockholm at the begging of this month. The two-hundred-year-old tradition is bestowed in several sizes and awards Swedish and foreign citizens for their special virtues and services.
ILAC is delighted to welcome Patrick Hartwig to our Finance & Admin department!
Patrick has extensive development and administrative experience studying and working abroad throughout Asia and in Brazil. Most recently he worked for IPSOS in Vietnam on market research projects.
Besides quantitative research and a primary interest in political economy and development, he has direct experience working on: indigenous rights and environmental justice in Brazil; trade & investment at the European Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia; qualitative research about access to microfinance and the informal economy in Ethiopia and; rural development and grant-seeking at a local NGO in Cambodia. [Read more…]
ILAC co-organized a conference on the perspectives on freedom of expression in Sweden and Tunisia after the Revolution at the Faculty of Juridical, Political and Social Sciences of Tunis last week. The event was part of the celebration of the 250th anniversary of the Swedish Press Act, the world´s first legislation on freedom of expression and information.
The Ambassador of Sweden in Tunisia, the State Secretary to the Minister for Justice and Migration of Sweden, the Tunisian Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and local renowned law academics attended the conference.
Freedom of expression is one of the achievements in the transition to democracy in Tunisia, where ILAC has been active since 2011 on a variety of programs aimed at rebuilding the justice system. [Read more…]
Mary Robinson, a former President of Ireland and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, received the 2016 Stockholm Human Rights Award recognizing her outstanding contribution to the rule of law and human rights.
The Stockholm Human Rights Award is given annually by ILAC, the Swedish Bar Association and International Bar Association in recognition of those advancing international justice and strengthening respect for human rights.
President Robinson, founder of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice, dedicated the award to all those who struggle for human rights and encouraged that the commitment to human rights must be stronger in difficult times. [Read more…]
It is with great pleasure that ILAC announces the extension of an English language training programme for Syrian legal professionals settled in Gaziantep, Turkey.
With the International Association of Young Lawyers (AIJA) this project aims to build the capacity of the Syrian legal society in Turkey. In addition to language training, ILAC with AIJA offer Syrian legal professionals access to information in English, as well as professional networking opportunities to help rebuild their careers.
“It’s an honour for us to extend to a second academic year the English classes in collaboration with ILAC. Studying English means opening up to the world, being able to understand the news and what is happening around us, reading legal texts and being ready for a requalification,” says Giuseppe Marletta, Association Manager of AIJA. “This is our way to offer a second chance to legal professionals who had to live a country in war. We look forward to another great year of cooperation!”.
ILAC applauds the reopening of the Swedish diplomatic mission in Tunis, Tunisia after it had been closed for over fourteen years.
An official ceremony this week hosted by the Swedish Foreign Minister, Margot Wallström and attended by her Tunisian counterpart, Khemaies Jhinaoui, and Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi marked the Embassy’s official opening. ILAC’s Senior Legal Advisor, Selim Abdesselem and our Head of Operations, Silvija Tolmanoska attended the event along with other civil society representatives. [Read more…]
ILAC is delighted to welcome the Tunisian Bar Association (Ordre national des avocats de Tunisie, ONAT) as our newest organizational member!
The Tunisian Bar Association is a member of the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet, that won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2015. As a member of the Quartet, the Tunisian Bar played a prominent role in bringing about true reform in Tunisia that led to presidential and parliamentary elections as well as the ratification of a new constitution in 2014. [Read more…]
ILAC’s Board of Directors met over September 29-October 1, 2016 in San Juan, Puerto Rico for its annual in person meeting.
The Board was kindly hosted by the Colegio de Abogados de Puerto Rico and its new president, Alejandro Torres Riviera. Founded in 1840 the Colegio is one of the oldest bar associations in the Western Hemisphere. ILAC’s Board toured the art deco building that houses the Colegio and includes incredible Puerto Rican artwork such as the señora justicia fuerte.
ILAC has been represented since our founding in Puerto Rico by lifetime member, Juan Bennazar. Juan is presently an ILAC Board member and past president of the Inter American Bar Association, an ILAC member organization.
ILAC is delighted to welcome Silvija Tolomanoska as our new head of administration.
Silvija was a close ally to ILAC between 2005-2010 when she worked at the Swedish Foreign Ministry with post-conflict rule of law and security and as a negotiator with the Swedish delegation to the United Nations focusing on human rights.
Most recently, she has served as the legal counsel and head of negotiations with the Public Service Radio in Sweden. While there, she focused on collective labor law agreements and organizational management issues for a staff of over 1800 people. [Read more…]
Stockholm, October 5, 2016:
Sweden´s Ministry for Foreign Affairs hosted a women’s rights workshop in Stockholm this week that ILAC’s Executive Director, Agneta Johansson, and Ambassador to the Permanent Mission of Sweden to the United Nations in Geneva, Veronika Bard, co-moderated. [Read more…]
Mary Robinson, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights from 1997 to 2002, is announced as the 2016 recipient of the Stockholm Human Rights Award. Bestowed annually by the Swedish Bar Association, the International Bar Association and the International Legal Assistance Consortium in recognition of work in the pursuit of advancing international justice and strengthening respect for human rights, the Award will be received in person by Ms Robinson at a ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden on 23 November. [Read more…]
Solna, Sweden – – Given her outstanding contributions, the International Legal Assistance Consortium (ILAC) honored Joan D. Winship with lifetime membership at its 2016 Annual General Meeting. [Read more…]
ILAC is delighted to announce our expanded partnership with the Tunisian Ministry of Justice. As memorialized with the signing of new amendments to our existing memorandum of understanding this month, ILAC will now work with the Ministry to help improve Tunisia’s court administration. [Read more…]
During the opening day of ILAC’s 2016 Annual General Meeting, ILAC members and partners engaged with the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence Pablo de Greiff in a seminar entitled Breaking the Cycle of Violations: Reforming Judiciaries as Prevention. [Read more…]