Middle East and North Africa

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regional programme aims to strengthen the rule of law and to protect human rights in the MENA region by promoting:

  • constitutional and legal reforms;
  • the independence and accountability of the judiciary;
  • the right of victims of human rights violations to remedy and reparation, including by holding those responsible for these violations to account; and
  • the applicability of international law to international and internal armed conflicts.

The ICJ’s MENA programme works to support the development of independent and impartial judiciaries throughout the region so that national courts are not charged solely with the adjudication of individual cases but are also responsible for upholding international rule of law and human rights standards.
In this regard, the programme promotes an end to the use of exceptional and military courts to try civilians or to shield those responsible for serious human rights violations.

The MENA programme also advocates for an end to the abusive use by governments in the region of emergency, military and other restrictive laws that violate or severely limit the enjoyment of human rights.

The programme therefore advocates for the inclusion of human rights standards in the legal frameworks of the MENA region.

It also works to support and expand the ICJ network in the region, including by developing a constituency among Arabic speaking judges, lawyers and human rights defenders who can bring about the necessary changes and reforms in the region.

ICJ‘s activities
The ICJ activities in the MENA region include:

  • advocacy work on constitutional and legislative reforms through legal memoranda and reports;
  • fact-finding missions to assess the human rights and rule of law situations in the region;
  • interventions to protect human rights defenders, in particular through trial observations;
  • seminars and conferences; and
  • translating and disseminating key ICJ publications and documents into Arabic.

The ICJ’s MENA Programme focuses primarily on Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Bahrain, the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) and Israel.