National Association of Attorneys General
NAAG and INL: A Productive Partnership
Roushani Mansoor, Justice Advisor, Bureau of INL, U.S. Department of State
Offices of attorneys general throughout the United States have developed dynamic and innovative solutions to pressing criminal justice issues, both on substantive legal topics and in administrative areas. The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) supports foreign governments in building their capacity to address similar issues. One unique way INL does this is by partnering with U.S. legal experts and practitioners. Given the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) vast array of knowledge and resources, INL and NAAG entered into a formal partnership in February 2014 to facilitate working together on foreign training and mentoring opportunities.*
Since then, NAAG has supported several of INL’s programs by identifying experienced and qualified individuals from among its membership for various assistance activities. In particular, NAAG has assisted INL in sending attorneys to deliver trainings on legal drafting for the African Union, media and public relations for the special prosecutor in Macedonia, and independence and ethics for the newly established inspector general’s unit in Ukraine. In addition, attorneys general offices have hosted delegations from several countries including Kosovo, Pakistan, and Somalia, who are interested in learning from their U.S. counterparts.
Engagement by U.S.-based practitioners with foreign attorneys benefits all sides involved, as the expertise of attorneys general offices is used to support our nation’s foreign assistance objectives, while important professional development opportunities are provided to attorney general staff. Attorneys are able to return home with enhanced credentials, international experience, and contacts with foreign counterparts. The relationship between INL and NAAG is mutually beneficial and one INL hopes to continue to call on in the future.
*NAGTRI Journal Editor’s Note: Staff counsel with the National Attorneys General Training and Research Institute (NAGTRI), a NAAG branch, are working on this partnership with the U.S. Department of State.