International Development Law Organization

US State Dept: If IDLO Did Not Exist, We Would Have to Invent It

“I am here to say to you that we need IDLO, and if it did not exist today, we would have to invent it – because it does something that must be done, and [that] so far, no one else in the world is doing.” The statement, by Assistant US Secretary of State for Narcotics and Law Enforcement William Brownfield, came as he opened a congressional briefing on Thursday, April 11th. It focused on judicial sector reform in Afghanistan, South Sudan, Kyrgyzstan, and other fragile nations. Ambassador Brownfield was sharing a podium with IDLO Director-General Irene Khan and leading US diplomat Marc Ginsberg.

IDLO, a driving force behind rule-of-law and judicial capacity building in much of the developing world, has recently launched an ambitious program to train Afghan judges and law enforcers. DG Khan expressed gratitude for Ambassador Brownfield’s remarks, as she briefed him, Ambassador Ginsberg and other guests on the US-funded three-year program, known as JTTP.

“It was in this country that I learned about the rule of law,” Harvard-trained Ms Khan said, “and I know that there are many people around the world who look to the US precisely for leadership on the rule of law.” 

“I’m not going to gloss over the challenges in Afghanistan,” she added, mentioning insecurity, the fragility of institutions and widespread corruption – but went on to speak of the “roots, the desire, the thirst, the hunger for justice that’s actually growing there.”