Advancing International Legal Cooperation: IIJ Workshop Paves the Way for Somalia’s First Law on International Judicial Cooperation

4 - 7 March 2024
Nairobi, Kenya

The International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law (IIJ) recently hosted a workshop to assist Somali practitioners in drafting their first law to set up a framework for sharing evidence and extradition in criminal cases with international dimensions. This event, held in Nairobi, Kenya, from 4th to 7th March 2024, was part of the IIJ’s Global Central Authorities Initiative and funded by Canada under the ‘Building Strong Procedural Mechanisms for Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA)’..

With terrorism threats looming in Somalia and neighbouring countries, effective International Judicial Cooperation (IJC) mechanisms are essential. However, existing provisions in Somali law are scattered across various legal texts, hindering efficient cooperation. The workshop laid the foundations of Somalia’s first-ever law on IJC, addressing gaps and aligning the current legal framework with international standards. This workshop moved the country a step closer to standardizing its IJC processes and reinforcing its capacity to combat terrorism and organized crime.

This 6th activity under the project -- the 4th one with Somali stakeholders -- was attended by 22 Somali practitioners and officials from the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Attorney General’s Office, Somali Police Force, Financial Reporting Centre, Somali Judiciary, and Bar Association. Participants considered a gap analysis reviewing existing legal provisions and international standards, as well as comparative examples shared by IJC specialists from Nigeria, Türkiye, the USA and UNODC.

At the end of the workshop, Somali practitioners and officials developed a comprehensive outline for the draft IJC law, laying the groundwork for the law’s future development and adoption by the Somali Parliament. Provisions include topics and legal solutions relevant to the Somali context, ensuring inclusivity and incorporating expertise from relevant federal institutions. By engaging Somali practitioners and federal institutions, the IIJ facilitated key dialogue and consensus-building. The Nairobi workshop represents a significant milestone in Somalia’s journey towards enhanced international legal cooperation.

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