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The Role of Justice for Sustainable Economic Growth in the Middle East and North Africa

January 27, 2022



Press the play button to watch the event recording, available above.

  • Justice institutions play a key role for sustainable economic growth in the Middle East and North Africa. The economic downturn caused by COVID-19 has led to a decrease of revenue, resulting in budget reductions that are projected to impact justice institutions across the region.

    At the same time, countries start seeing how the COVID crisis is increasing demands for justice services. Deteriorating economies generate higher caseloads for courts, especially for commercial and economic cases focused on debt collection, insolvency, employment, and family issues, as well as lawsuits in the administrative courts about denial of services and government contracts. The social fabric has weakened in many places due to the impact of COVID and tensions within societies have risen. Experts therefore anticipate even higher caseloads moving forward, at a time when the region’s court systems try to catch up on cases delayed due to COVID shutdowns. The panelists will discuss how justice institutions may adjust to a challenging scenario where they have to do more with less for some time to meet the needs of those seeking justice. This event also serves as the third event of the World Bank Justice Network for the Arab World, a peer-learning network among justice officials in MENA launched in 2021.

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    Ferid Belhaj

    Ferid Belhaj, Regional Vice President Middle East and North Africa He is Vice President for Middle East and North Africa since 2018 after serving 15 months as the Chief of Staff of the President of the World Bank Group. A Tunisian national, he joined the Bank in 1996 as Senior Counsel in the Legal Department He was Special Representative to the United Nations from 2007 to 2010 before serving as Director for the Pacific Department. From 2012 to 2017, Mr. Belhaj was World Bank Director for the Middle East, in charge of programs in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Iran.


    Henry Khoury

    Minister of Justice Lebanon

    Judge Henry Khoury was appointed Minister of Justice of Lebanon since September 2021. Khoury studied law at Saint Joseph University in Lebanon. He then practiced law before becoming a judge in 1994. Khoury held different positions in the judicial sector including President of the Criminal Court. In 2017, he was appointed as the President of the State Council (the highest administrative court in Lebanon) until his retirement from the judiciary in February 2019.


    Dr. Salaheddin Al-Bashir

    Senior Partner, International Business Legal Associate, Jordan

    Dr. Salaheddin Al-Bashir is the Founder and Senior Partner of one of the largest law firms in Jordan. Al-Bashir represented private companies and sovereign states in a wide range of matters before Jordanian and regional arbitration fora, the International Chamber of Commerce - International Court of Arbitration, and the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes. He previously served as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Government Performance, Minister of Justice, Minister of Prime Ministry Affairs, and Minister of Industry and Trade. During his Government service, he championed the program of Justice Sector Reform and Economic legislation reform.


    Dr. Ziad Bahaa-Eldin

    Managing Partner, Thebes Consultancy, Egypt

    Dr. Ziad Bahaa-Eldin is an Egyptian lawyer and managing partner at Thebes Consultancy. Bahaa-Eldin previously held public positions includes the Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Development and Minister of International Cooperation, Member of Parliament, Chairman of the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority, and Chairman of the Egyptian General Authority for Investment and Free Zones. He is also a former non-executive member of the Board of Directors of the Central Bank of Egypt, the National Bank of Egypt, and a former Senior Legal Advisory to the Central Bank. Prior to that he was a practicing lawyer and senior legal advisor to the Minister of Economy.


    Ms. Hadeel Abdel Aziz

    Executive Director, Justice Center for Legal Aid, Jordan

    Hadeel Abdel Aziz is a founding member and the Executive Director of the Jordanian NGO Justice Center for Legal Aid (JCLA). JCLA operates through a national network of legal aid clinics providing quality legal services to the poor, implementing a national legal literacy program, and advocating for reforms in the justice system. Abdel Aziz has two BA degrees in Management and Law; she is certified as a judicial administrator by Michigan State University. She has over 20 years of practical experience mainly focused on judicial reform, court administration and access to justice. Abdel Aziz serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Center for Human Rights.


    Jens K. Kristensen

    Practice Manager, Middle East & North Africa Governance

    Jens K, Kristensen, a Danish national, joined the Bank in 2006 as a Senior Public Sector Specialist in the EAP PREM Department. He has since held various positions in Europe and Central Asia and Africa, including as Lead Public Sector Governance Specialist as both Cluster Leader for Anglophone West Africa and as Governance Focal Point in East Africa for the Governance GP. His most recent assignment being Head of the PEFA Secretariat in the Governance GP.


    Nadir Mohammed

    Regional Director for Equitable Growth, Finance, and Institutions, World Bank Group Middle East and North Africa Region

    Prior to this appointment, Mohammed was the Director of Strategy and Operations in the Human Development Practice Group of the Bank overseeing the Human Capital project; as well as the Global Practices for education; health, nutrition and population; and social protection and jobs. From 2014-2018, Mohammed served as the Country Director of the GCC Countries in the MENA region of the World Bank.

  • Zoom Topic: The Role of Justice for Sustainable Economic Growth in the Middle East and North Africa

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  • Title : The Role of Justice for Sustainable Economic Growth in the Middle East and North Africa
  • Date: Thursday, January 27, 2022
  • Time: 9:00 - 10:30 AM EST
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