University of South Carolina

USC receives contract for rule-of-law studies

The Rule of Law Collaborative at USC, an interdisciplinary program for promoting justice and rule of law, especially in areas of conflict, has been awarded a contract by the Army Contracting Command.

Managing the contract for the U.S. Government will be the Army’s office of The Judge Advocate General. The contract, which is for $500,000 in the first year, may extend over a three-year period for a total of $1.5 million. The money will support USC’s efforts to foster greater cooperation and coordination among U.S. government officials from the departments of Defense, State and Justice, as well as the U.S. Agency for International Development, non-governmental organizations and academic specialists in designing and delivering more effective rule-of-law programs.

This broad interdisciplinary effort, led by Professor Gordon B. Smith, is being coordinated out of the Walker Institute of International and Area Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences.

“The development of rule of law is vital in stabilizing war-torn regions and requires a comprehensive, holistic approach that takes into account the history, culture, traditions and dynamics of nations,” Smith said.

The funding will enable USC to organize conferences and training workshops to bring experts from government agencies, human-rights organizations, policy think tanks and academic institutions to campus to develop strategies that can assist stabilization efforts in countries as diverse as Iraq, Afghanistan, Georgia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uganda and Indonesia.

“Law is one of the pillars of civilization,” said USC President Harris Pastides. “It is essential to forming viable societies and protecting the quality of life. The university is honored to be a leader in the examination of this fundamental yet complex subject, and we look forward to building partnerships with other organizations working in this arena.”

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, a JAG officer in the USAF Reserves who has experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, was instrumental in USC’s launching the Rule of Law Collaborative in 2009.

“The Rule of Law Collaborative at USC would not be possible without Sen. Graham’s leadership,” Pastides said. “His interest and considerable background in the law, including his days as a law student at the university and years as a military lawyer, have prepared him to establish this foundation for collaborative efforts among those with a vested interest in promoting public awareness and advancing the rule of law. It is our hope that the Rule of Law Collaborative, with this support, will become a leading academic and training institution, attracting not only U.S. government personnel, but practitioners and scholars from all over the world.”

By Office of Media Relations

Posted: 09/08/10 @ 1:00 PM | Updated: 09/08/10 @ 1:00 PM | Permalink