FACULTY PROFILE Joseph Saba
Keeping the rule of law strong
Joseph Saba trains leaders to prevent conflict and sustain peace
With more than 40 years of experience working in international affairs, Joseph Saba brings a wealth of knowledge to his role as senior adviser at the World Bank, where he advises on legal reform in fragile and conflict states. He also leads the Rule of Law in Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding course for Loyola’s Rule of Law for Development Program (PROLAW).
A renowned rule of law practitioner, Saba has led programs and evaluations of international assistance in Afghanistan, Yemen, Lebanon, Somalia, South Sudan, and Palestine. With vast on-the-ground experience and knowledge of development practice and transition reforms, Saba regularly incorporates situations from both past and ongoing development projects to frame classroom discussions and give the students some real-world experiential learning.
In 2021, Saba was asked to join the European Union’s (EU) rule of law evaluation team, which was tasked with providing an evidence-based assessment of how well the EU contributed to the rule of law, as well as recommendations on how to improve policies, programming, and implementation for future rule of law assistance.
“Rule of Law is the bedrock of peace, stability, and development. The PROLAW program provides critical tools for those in the front lines of the battle for rule of law.”
The full report, published in late 2022, found that since 2010, the EU has been able to advance the rule of law agenda, including independence of the judiciary and engagement with civil society as a key driver for rule of law and anti-corruption reforms. The report identified positive effects of the EU interventions, including contributions to core policy, and legislative and administrative reforms. However, the report found that the EU was less successful in fighting corruption and connecting rule of law to social and economic justice, such as citizens’ equal access to public goods and services.
Saba uses the innovative EU rule of law evaluation methodology and objectives to motivate his PROLAW students. As part of PROLAW’s Rule of Law Lecture Series, Saba delivered an inspiring message to students. “In the most challenging circumstances,” Saba says, “I have witnessed, many times, the intellectual and operational contributions of the PROLAW program.” (April 2023)