\ Our work

“2015 was one of our most important years. With the help of our many stakeholders, including funders, NGO partners, clients, staff, trustees and volunteers, ISLP carried out an internal review to assess its overall impact and ability to meet client’s needs. What emerged was the most significant shift in the organization to date, refining ISLP’s strategic focus on just, accountable and inclusive development, and strengthening collaboration between the UK and U.S. offices.”

 

Susan Hazledine, Executive Director, ISLP-UK

Our Focus Areas

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Anti-Bribery & Corruption

Anti-Bribery & Corruption

 

Incorporated in much of ISLP’s work to date, Anti-Bribery & Corruption is now a defined focus area, which seeks to promote transparency, integrity and accountability in public and private institutions. ISLP provides targeted legal support to both local and international efforts to reverse the corrosive economic, political and social impacts of corruption identified as key barriers to sustainable development.

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Civil Society Space

 

ISLP’s Civil Society Space work seeks to create and protect space for civil society to operate effectively, particularly with regard to safeguarding its ability to monitor the behavior of government and corporate actors. Building upon the expertise of the Media Freedom Working Group, ISLP helps NGOs and journalists navigate potential legal risks associated with investigative and reporting activities through pre-publication reviews, newsroom-style training and defense in defamation cases.

Civil Society Space
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Community-Inclusive Development

Community-Inclusive Development

ISLP’s Community-Inclusive Development work empowers local communities at risk of being marginalized or exploited by large-scale natural resource and infrastructure development. By providing legal tools and strategic guidance alongside building local capacity, ISLP helps to ensure communities benefit equitably from development projects that impact their land and traditional livelihoods.

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Economic & Social Development

 

ISLP’s Economic & Social Development work helps build capacity among legal professionals in developing countries, as well as provides legal support to social entrepreneurs in support of sustainable and inclusive economic growth. ISLP’s initiatives aim to stimulate social impact investment opportunities and support access to finance for SMEs that embed social benefit into their business models.

Economic & Social Development
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Investment, Trade & Tax

Investment, Trade & Tax

 

ISLP’s Investment, Trade & Tax work provides support on policy issues critically important to developing economies. ISLP’s high-level legal advice and capacity-building programs help governments incentivize investment and generate fair revenues to support social services and economic growth, as well as promote local business access to global markets.

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Natural Resource Management

 

ISLP’s Natural Resource Management work assists governments in reviewing, analyzing and negotiating contracts with regard to the exploration, development and use of natural resources. Additionally, ISLP helps design and draft legal and regulatory frameworks that encourage fair returns, transparency and accountability, as well as helps to build the capacity of government officials so as to better enable them to implement those frameworks.

Natural Resource Management
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Current Program Work

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Anti-Bribery & Corruption

/  MADAGASCAR: High level advisory support to the newly formed Malagasy Commission for Judicial Integrity, led by ISLP experts Colin Joseph, former Senior Partner of D J Freeman, and Mary McGowan Davis, OHCHR Commissioner and former Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York

 

/  UKRAINE: Training with national Anti-Corruption Bureau and Special Prosecutors, scheduled for Q1 2017

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Civil Society Space

/  COLOMBIA: Meetings with Colombian public authorities and trial observation in support of prominent lawyer and human rights defender

 

/  EUROPE: Expert commentary and articles for the AIRE Centre’s Human Rights Legal Bulletin on freedom of expression and related issues

 

/  MULTIPLE JURISDICTONS:

 

/  Expanding program of pre-publication reviews by specialist lawyers to reduce risks associated with the publication of investigative reports on business, development and human rights for watchdog NGOs

 

/  Delivering defamation primer, jurisdiction-specific libel law reports, advice on freedom of information laws and newsroom-style training for an influential human rights NGO working on transnational human rights issues affecting the developing world

 

/  Legal support for an organization that promotes uncensored news and open debate in countries where a free press is either banned by the government or not fully established

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Community-Inclusive Development

/  KENYA: In collaboration with the Justice & Corporate Accountability Project, sent a delegation of legal experts to accompany the Kerio Valley Community Organization (KVCO) to meetings with Tullow Kenya in Nairobi to explore how to improve stakeholder engagement processes, and to propose principles for enhanced information-sharing with communities that have been and will be impacted by oil exploration and development

 

/  LATIN AMERICA: Development of a program to empower civil society participation in large-scale development in the Andean region where indigenous communities have historically been prevented from having input with regard to development decisions, including target projects as follows:

 

/  BOLIVIA: Hydropower and oil exploration 

 

/  ECUADORIAN AMAZON: Oil exploration 

 

/  PERU: Palm oil production, oil exploitation and infrastructure development

 

/  MEXICO: In partnership with the ABA Center for Human Rights, preparation of a submission to the IACHR regarding the Government of Mexico’s failure to address illegal property seizures and destruction associated with a major dam development, as well as threats to landowners and their legal counsel

 

/  MYANMAR: Assistance to civil society groups and communities facing potential significant harm from a range of large-scale natural resource and infrastructure development projects including hydropower, mining and special economic zone development; advising on expansion of the Asian Highway, specifically capacity building for environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA), negotiation training and potential use of community benefit agreements (CBAs)

 

/  NEW YORK: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld to host training program for lawyers in ISLP’s network to familiarize them with the complexities of representing marginalized communities whose lives and livelihoods are threatened by large-scale resource development, including workshops on the application of corporate negotiation skills in the representation of communities, scheduled for Q1 2017

 

/  PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Development of a program of assistance to civil society organization Bismarck Ramu Group (BRG) to help prevent or mitigate impact of large-scale developments that pose significant risks to coastal communities’ livelihoods and traditional practices, including providing BRG with desk-based legal research to formulate legal arguments, and delivering workshops and direct transactional assistance to support BRG’s advocacy and negotiation efforts

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Economic & Social Development

/  ALBANIA: At the request of the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, provision of specialist training for judges, prosecutors and advocates at the Magistrates School and the National School of Advocacy in support of the Albanian legal reform program and EU accession agenda

 

/  KENYA: Training program, to be piloted in Kenya, targeted at supporting local legal professionals in various aspects of social impact investing, including how to structure investment terms that are beneficial for a social enterprise and internal environmental and social governance systems that foster growth as well as accountability, scheduled for Q1 2017

 

/  NEW YORK: In partnership with the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), co-facilitated the second annual Legal Practitioners Track meeting at the New York offices of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, to address complex issues facing practitioners working with social impact investments, including corruption in emerging economies and innovative investment exits

 

/  SOUTH AFRICA & ZIMBABWE: Commercial law training programs completed in September 2016, with proposals to repeat training in Zimbabwe and at least one other southern African country in 2017

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Investment, Trade & Tax

/  AFRICA: Regional dialogues on tax and fiscal policies in the extractive industries with NEPAD; support for development of a transfer pricing risk assessment tool, as well as development and promotion of a wider Africa tax initiative

 

/  IRAQ: Training of officials from State Owned Entities with regard to negotiating joint venture agreements with foreign investors

 

/  LIBERIA:

 

/  Drafting of legislation in preparation for WTO accession

 

/  Advising on engagement with the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes

 

/  Legal assistance on a range of tax administration and policy issues, including matters relating to international tax strategy as well as actual and potential cross-border investment and operational activity

 

/  ZAMBIA: Assisting with creation of an assessment framework to evaluate viability of exporting peanuts, cassava, refined copper and precious stones under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)

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Natural Resource Management

/  AFGHANISTAN, LIBERIA, & MALAWI: High-level legal analysis of and support for multi-million dollar investment contracts in the extractive, agriculture and infrastructure sectors

 

/  GHANA & LIBERIA: Analysis and drafting of legal and regulatory frameworks

 

/  GHANA: Negotiating and drafting of Oil & Gas contracts

 

/  MALAWI: Negotiating and drafting of Mining contracts

 

/  TANZANIA: LNG resource development and management and production-sharing agreements for Oil & Gas

 

/  ZAMBIA: Advice on contractual options for implementing regional hydroelectric project

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