ISLP Planned or Proposed, Libya

The International Senior Lawyers Project (“ISLP”) provides the pro bono services of highly skilled and experienced lawyers to promote human rights, equitable and sustainable economic development and the rule of law worldwide. ISLP assists certain developing country governments and non-governmental organizations working to advance the rights and the
well-being of their citizens and helps to build the capacity of the legal profession to meet the needs of their communities. Founded in 2000, ISLP has offices in New York, Paris and London, and plans to recruit an ISLP representative to liaise with its partners and pro bono clients in Africa.


ISLP volunteers are senior, partner-level lawyers and retired judges who volunteer either
(1) on-site with partner organizations from periods ranging from one week to three months, or (2) by providing high-level legal research from law firm offices.  While the type of legal advice provided is as varied as the breadth of its volunteer network, some of ISLP’s niche areas of expertise include providing on-site mentoring and strategic advice to civil society lawyers, assisting certain developing country governments with the transparent management of their natural resources, and training commercial lawyers in international best practices in various areas of business law. Our knowledgeable volunteers and staff come from a variety of legal systems, and are skilled at working in various languages and cultures. Should an ILAC member organization request ISLP assistance relative to a specific area (e.g., judicial independence), ISLP stands ready to provide a volunteer with the requested expertise and language skills.


Two ISLP representatives participated in the ILAC Libya Rule of Priorities Conference held in Tunis from 20-23 February 2012. ISLP is eager to partner and coordinate with ILAC consortium members or other actors to advance shared goals and maximize impact. ISLP’s potential projects in Libya as of March 2012 include:


  1. Commercial Law—Capacity building trainings for the Tripoli Bar Association and/or Libyan Lawyers Association: Participants in the Tunis conference’s commercial law working group noted that many of the leading practitioners in international trade and domestic commercial law were beneficiaries of the previous regime. Therefore, strengthening the general capacity of commercial lawyers is a prerequisite to establishing a more level playing field and enhancing widespread rule of law in Libya.  Pursuant to discussions with the President of the Tripoli Bar Association, ISLP proposes to deliver commercial law trainings in such areas as: (i) Best practices in drafting international contracts and (ii) Transparency in management of natural resources revenues. Pursuant to discussions, between 33-50% participation of women lawyers will be required.
  2. Women’s Rights—Pursuant to initial discussions with women’s rights activists at the Tunis conference, ISLP is ready to provide assistance on a range of issues related to domestic and sexual violence, divorce and child custody, inheritance rights and lobbying for the formation of a Ministry of Women’s Rights.
  3. Legal Aid—An essential component of any new justice system is the provision of effective legal representation for the indigent. In light of identified issues related to tribalism and the large wave of migrants passing through Libya, on-site mentoring support from senior lawyers with perspectives gained from experience in other transitional justice systems will be vital to instilling international standards into Libya’s new or evolving legal aid systems.