Syrian lawyers and judges will be among the first group of professionals involved in the implementation of judicial and non-judicial mechanisms in the transitional process in Syria. They will carry in their practices the values of a modern justice system that will no longer be a tool for surveillance and punishment. They will be able to use their knowledge in a system based on the values of integrity, dignity, freedom, and respect for human rights, democracy, and transparency, values that have been central to the demands of the Syrian people since 2011.
The Syrian judicial body is currently afflicted with many problems; including the quality of legal training, lack of independence from the regime, and corruption. The establishment of a network through an electronic platform will support Syrian legal professionals in the process of regaining independence. It will also provide them with the necessary tools to tackle issues of impunity and transitional justice in the recovery phase of a post-conflict Syria. Through this platform, members of the judicial body will be able to discuss how to re-establish a judicial order within a country littered with corruption, anarchy, and courts in which non-professional judges apply the sharia.
This project promotes the rule of law in Syria and the respect of Syrian judicial culture. Its goal is to identify and work on difficult issues within the Syrian judiciary system and to establish a community of Syrian professionals skilled in local and international law. It aims to:
- Set up a web platform with four sections: publications, a legal database, videos, and a forum
- Make texts from the Syrian legislation that focus on essential subjects available to the constituted network of Syrian legal professionals.
- Enable participants to discuss and debate these texts through the platform. During the first year of the project, facilitators will prioritize problematics linked to the implementation of the rule of law and the democratic organization of society such as security, personal statute, private property or territorial administration.
- Ensure moderation, facilitation, and coordination is carried out by international and Syrian judges who will propose topics for debate and analysis and produce videos about fundamental as well as about current issues.
The platform will be accessible in English, French, and Arabic and will be managed by a lawyer fluent in the three languages.
This program, set up in 2016 and implemented since mid-2017, is managed by the Arab Reform Initiative (ARI) and implemented with the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). It is funded by the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany and the EU until February 2018.
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