Project activities
Project activities of the Rule of Law Centre promote the achievement of the objectives set for the Centre’s work. One of the duties of the Rule of Law Centre is to implement projects in the rule of law sector in developing countries.

The aim of project activities at the Rule of Law Centre is

  • To identify context-appropriate, well-functioning models of rule of law work through utilising rule of law competence increasingly effectively
  • To study how available knowledge in various fields is applied to rule of law work in a way that is as fit-for-purpose as possible
  • To promote cooperation between various stakeholders
  • To support Finland’s rule of law work and increase its measurability and impact.

For the first two years of operations of the Rule of Law Centre, the projects will serve as pilot projects. The key to the activities is the utilisation of rule of law clinics in each project and the collection of information on how the clinic operating model is applicable to rule of law work.

In collaboration with its partners, the Rule of Law Centre has built the projects in such a way that each of them includes one or more of the following elements of rule of law work: strengthening of institutions, supporting law-making processes, anti-corruption activities, promoting cybersecurity and the information society, as well as education and increasing awareness of rule of law issues. We will also look at rule of law work through these elements in rule of law work taking place in Finland.

During the first years of the Centre, projects will be implemented with established partners. In addition to Mozambique, the Rule of Law Centre will implement projects in Albania, Uzbekistan and Iran. Descriptions of these projects will be added to the website as they are launched.

Rule of law clinics

One of the aims of the Rule of Law Centre is to share and utilise expertise. Rule of law clinics implemented by the Rule of Law Centre will promote this aim.

Rule of law clinics consist of three to five experts working together or also partly alone depending on the work plan and division of labour. In the majority of projects, the group collaboratively conducts background research and field work.

Some of the clinic participants are legal scholars or experts. This is because the clinics aim to promote the development of rule of law, in addition to which the Rule of Law Centre operates within the Faculty of Law at the University of Helsinki. Experts in law studies or law may represent the academy, courts of law, the public prosecution service, the administration or, for example, law firms. The activities will also require contributions from experts in other fields, such as experts in social sciences, development, and development cooperation, NGOs, representatives of various organisations and researchers in different fields. The model enables mutual learning as issues can be studied outside professional silos.

Clinic experts represent senior and junior expertise and/or are individuals who contribute to the participation of top experts and the emergence of new expertise in the field.

The role of clinic experts may vary depending on local needs and may also be tailored to the needs of universities or other institutions in the focus of the project as needed. One of the clinic members will serve as an assessor and reporting official.

The Rule of Law Centre will send a group of experts to the field for short periods of time (one to two weeks) instead of them working in the project country for an extended period of time. Between these periods in the field, the work is carried out in Finland. The local strengthening of the rule of law elements is a multifaceted challenge requiring various approaches, dialogue and exchange of ideas as well as familiarity with the context.

Are you interested in working as an expert in international rule of law projects? Please, be in contact tuija.brax@helsinki.fi.

Rule of Law Centre projects

The Rule of Law Centre in collaboration with the Mozambique field office of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is implementing a two-year project, which aims to improve the quality of rule of law education at university level (University of Eduardo Mondlane) and at the Center for Legal and Judicial Training, CFJJ with particular focus on preventing corruption and organised crime. The premise of the project is that education plays a significant role in preventing crime and creating a legal environment that supports human rights.

During the project, 50 university teachers and 20 instructors at the CFJJ will be trained. The project focuses in particular on educating women and on identifying various gendered perceptions. In addition to university students, the training will benefit judges, prosecutors and criminal investigators. The project will indirectly benefit approximately 500 people.

The development of the quality of rule of law education is based on UNODC modules, the use of which the project aims to promote as part of the teaching activities of the university and the Legal Training Centre. The UNODC modules are introduced on the UNODC website.

The Rule of Law Centre will provide the project with its expertise based on locally identified needs. Two rule of law clinics are planned for the project, one per each year of project implementation. If needed, it is possible to implement an extra clinic. Three experts will participate in the clinic activities. During the implementation, clinic experts can also offer the necessary support to the beneficiaries of the project remotely.

The aim of expertise provided by the Rule of Law Centre is

  • To complement both local expertise and expertise at the disposal of the project
  • To monitor the implementation of the project and the achievement of its objectives
  • To consider possible needs for change and reflect on how rule of law development can best be supported in the specific context of Mozambique
  • To strengthen cooperation relationships between various stakeholders.

For the Rule of Law Centre, the project will produce more wide-ranging information about what would be the best approach for supporting structures associated with the rule of law in the context of Mozambique. Moreover, it will provide information on how well rule of law clinics function in supporting rule of law work. Particular attention will be paid to measuring the results of the work. The reflective approach will contribute to the further development of UNODC’s own modules.

 

The project aims to address issues of:

  • Inadequately controlled funding of political parties and election campaigns (commonly known as political finance). Money flowing into electoral campaigns remains largely undocumented in Albania and authorities are yet to take significant steps to address the European Commission, the OECD, and the Council of Europe calls to ensure transparency of political financing. Similarly, civil society and media capacities to monitor these dynamics should be enhanced.
  • Safe Use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in elections, including in electronic voter identification and electronic voting. This workstream will address the lack of expertise, interagency cooperation, and awareness of cybersecurity threats needed to pursue safe use of ICT that ensures the respect of citizens’ rights and freedoms.
  • Regulating online campaigning and third parties role, as a growing transparency issue at the intersection between money flowing into politics and cyber security threats.

These topics are of very high relevance in Albania as lack of trust in electoral processes has led to parliamentary and local election boycotts from the opposition, taking a toll on the country’s fight against corruption, its EU accession prospects and democracy overall.

The Rule of Law Centre and the International IDEA plan to engage with the Central Elections Commission CEC, civil society and policymakers through a behavioral-change model with a combination of activities aimed at inspiring and supporting these actors to change behaviors, relationships and practices. The inspiring approaches constitute a series of events, including dialogues, workshops, study visits and conferences convened with the purpose of facilitating consultations between stakeholders or to enable knowledge sharing between them.

Impact objective is: Credible and well-run electoral processes in Albania.

Outcome objectives are:

  1. Relevant civil society actors in Albania effectively demand accountability from policymakers and CEC by advocating for transparency of political funding (including online campaigns) and structured interagency cooperation for safe use of ICT in elections.
  2. Relevant electoral policymakers in Albania increase transparency of political funding and regulate the use of ICT in elections by introducing new policies or undertaking legislative changes.
  3. CEC develop an online political finance disclosure system in Albania and increases interagency coordination to implement policy reforms for safe use of ICT in elections.

The Rule of Law Centre will offer expertise to project through its rule of law clinic based on locally identified needs. In order to ensure a multifaceted approach to dialogues, reflections and expertise sharing within institutions, the clinic will consist of a combination of senior and junior experts of lawyers from different institutions but also experts in social sciences and development cooperation.

The Clinic will contribute to the project co-implementation through yearly field visits to Albania of three experts for a period of one week. In the periods in between the visits, the experts from the Rule of Law Centre’s network may be consulted.

The aim of expertise provided by the Rule of Law Centre is

  • To complement both local expertise and expertise at the disposal of the project
  • To monitor the implementation of the project and the achievement of its objectives
  • To consider possible needs for change and reflect on how rule of law development can best be supported in the specific context of Albania
  • To strengthen cooperation relationships between various stakeholders.

For the Rule of Law Centre, the project will produce more wide-ranging information about what would be the best approach for supporting structures associated with the rule of law in the context of Albania. Moreover, it will provide information on how well rule of law clinics function in supporting rule of law work. Particular attention will be paid to measuring the results of the work.