The Italian Justice Minister, Andrea Orlando, has expressed strong interest in reinforcing his Ministry’s cooperation with IDLO. Mr. Orlando’s comments came as he met IDLO Director-General Irene Khan to discuss judicial and legal capacity development in Yemen. It was the highest-level encounter between the Italian Ministry of Justice and IDLO in some years.
Ms. Khan was accompanying the visiting the Yemeni Justice Minister, Murshed al-Arashani, whose country is benefiting from robust IDLO assistance. Over the past year, Italy has financed a program to build capacity in Yemen’s commercial and maritime law sector. Delivering economic gains to a fast-growing population is seen as essential in stabilizing what is one of the Arab world's poorest countries. Yemen has taken decisive steps towards reform, but continues to grapple with insecurity, factionalism and the legacy of authoritarian rule. A relatively low skills base compounds development challenges.
As well as meetings at the Ministry of Justice and at Italy's Court of Cassation, Mr. al-Arashani’s trip included a visit to IDLO headquarters. “You cannot have progress without justice; you cannot have justice without law; and you cannot have peace without law and justice,” Mr al-Arashani said when asked why the rule of law mattered to his country. “IDLO has an important role in empowering our justice professionals,” he added as he outlined a vision of enhanced cooperation. This could include, in the medium term, creating a forensic center, computerizing Yemen’s entire court system, and upskilling its judicial administration staff.