Joyce Hakmeh
Arab Center for the of the Rule of Law and Integrity (ACRLI)
The excerpt below comes from our Innovations in Rule of Law - A Compilation of Concise Essays report produced by WJP and Hiil. To read the full essay, click here.
 
Legal information building and sharing maximises justice and the rule of law; citizens become knowledgeable about the law, while those working in the legal system are better able to enforce the rule of law. Many Arab governments have been “sharing” information by increasing access to legal information through increasing access to public laws, court documents, government forms, etc.; they have been also “building” information by digitalising and automating records and processes to increase internal efficiency; this is commonly referred to as “e-government”.
 
However, the information building and sharing movement has not been without its challenges; illiteracy, public sector inefficiencies, a lagging IT industry, and other elements have hindered optimal success in the region, yet, they did not stand in the way of achieving several successes due to the cooperation of governments with the international community, NGOs, and the private sector.
 
While there are success stories, the region as a whole has not reached its full potential regarding legal information building and sharing. It is critical that the international community maintains its support to countries that are willing but not able to reach their optimal provision of access to information. The international community needs to encourage a collaborative international environment and assist in both knowledge and finances. Effective information building and sharing cannot occur without the dedication of individual governments and the cooperation of the region, international community, NGOs, and the private sector. 
Joyce Hakmeh Arab Center for the of the Rule of Law and Integrity (ACRLI)
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