Sowing the Peace: Traveling Toward the Rule of Law in the Middle East and North Africa — Avenues and Obstacles

In this piece, my colleagues and I discuss the rule of law challenges and opportunities facing the Middle East and North Africa in the wake of the upheaval and changes in Egypt, Tunisia and region:

Here is the summary (see the link above for the complete report):


  • Popular uprisings throughout the Middle East and North Africa are demanding justice, security, and accountability— defining features of the rule of law.
  • Constitutional reform is a priority, but it must be done by legitimate representatives of the people, not hangovers from the past. Principles of inclusivity, transparency, and participation must be at the heart of the process.
  • Transitional justice must deliver justice for the victims of the former regimes but not impose victor’s justice. It must also mesh with Islamic justice where relevant.
  • The legal debris of the past must be removed through a process of law reform, and steps must be taken to ensure that old ills, such as endemic corruption, do not reappear.
  • Rising crime and retribution against security forces make it difficult to maintain security. But providing security as well as justice is vital if the new political orders are to maintain popular support.

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