ILAC - International Legal Assistance Consortium

Strengthening the Rule of Law in Syria

Press Release   •   Sep 18, 2014 10:17 CEST

ILAC recently launched a two-year program that will support a rule of law in parts of Syria outside of the regime’s control. Working with the Free Independent Judicial Council and with the Syrian Interim Government’s endorsement, ILAC will help establish documentation centers that will help provide simple legal services to those living in areas not controlled by the Syrian Regime.

For more information on the program and what we hope to achieve, we caught up with ILAC’s Deputy Director, Agneta Johansson:

- Why Syria? Is a rule of law really possible in Syria at this moment?
Syria is now entering its fourth year of armed conflict. As the conflict continues, the appreciation for rule of law becomes weaker and weaker. The aim of this program is not to rebuild the justice system, but rather to establish a “lifeline” of support to rule of law in areas outside the regime’s control. Without this kind of a lifeline, the chances of Syria ever getting a post conflict justice system in place diminishes.

- What are you going to actually do?
The aim of the project is to establish a number of documentations centers in Syria in areas not controlled by the regime. These centers will provide simple legal services – such as: recording births, deaths, marriages, land registration, and so forth. Our partner, the Free Independent Judicial Council, will run the documentation centers. The Ministry of Justice in the interim government has endorsed the program and is the guarantor that the information collected in the centers are being registered in a coordinated and professional way.

- What do you hope to achieve?
By setting up the documentation centres in co-operation with both the independent judicial council and the Ministry of Justice, this project will serve the need of recording civil issues while building confidence in rule of law institutions among the Syrian people.

- Are you concerned about safety and security?
By establishing a presence in Gaziantep, Turkey, with qualified and experienced personnel, we have taken the measures we can in order to be as flexible and ‘hands on’ with our partners. Our staff has local credibility and extensive networks, and they work directly with all of the main local actors we depend upon. We are also cooperating with other international organizations working around Syria.

- Who’s funding this program?
This project is funded by Swedish Sida in accordance with their MENA-strategy.

For more information, please contact ILAC Deputy Director Agneta Johansson agneta.johansson@ilac.se


ILAC is an umbrella organization for associations of legal and human rights experts. The membership is constantly growing.Today, ILAC has 50 member organizations representing prosecutors, lawyers and academics world wide.