The Rule of Law Expertise Programme

Advocates for International Development’s ROLE UK programme focuses on building long-term partnerships between the UK legal sector and legal actors in developing countries to strengthen the rule of law and facilitate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The programme focuses on the eradication of poverty; gender equality; reduced inequalities; peace, justice and strong institutions; and partnerships for development.

Building Partnerships

Collaborative working and sustainable partnerships are fundamental to improving conditions for poor and vulnerable people and providing greater access to justice for all parts of society. To that end, the programme provides advice, logistical assistance and some funding to develop and support such partnerships between UK pro bono legal actors, and governments, professional bodies and civil society organisations in developing countries.

Explore our work in action

Knowledge Hub

The ROLE UK programme generates and shares evidence and learnings on what works in the rule of law development space, particularly to improve the quality and effectiveness of international pro bono legal support.

Discover our knowledge resources

Networking and Events

The programme facilitates opportunities for the UK legal sector, the international development sector, and stakeholders in developing countries to collaborate and coordinate through networks, forums and collective knowledge-sharing events.

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Work with us

The ROLE UK programme provides free development expertise and advice, logistical support and some funding (travel and activity costs, personnel time etc.) for initiatives which: ​

  • address specific rule of law and poverty reduction goals in developing countries ​
  • are developed within a partnership between UK legal or rule of law organisations and developing country actors, including private legal sector institutions, governments and judiciaries, civil society organisations and academic institutions ​
  • mobilise UK pro bono legal expertise, when appropriate, to achieve the desired impact


We encourage joint applications from UK legal sector stakeholders and developing country partners, including:

  • Public or private legal sector institutions
  • Governments / government departments / judiciaries
  • Civil society organisations
  • Academic / professional institutions
  • UK Government posts and programmes in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s priority countries

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