Vienna Multidisciplinary Conference on Movement for Justice to Unveil Rule of Law Index, Headline World Leaders
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 24, 2008 – Imagine trying to do business in an environment where there is constant threat of violence against you and your employees. Place yourself in the shoes of health care workers who aren’t able to reach the people who need their help during a pandemic. Picture yourself in a nation where environmental regulation is lax, and illegal mining and manufacturing leads to contamination of land and water.
This is a world without rule of law. And for many professionals in countries around the world, that is a reality. The upcoming World Justice Forum, July 2 – 5 in Vienna, Austria, will bring together a broad spectrum of professional disciplines – business, public health, faith, education, environment and engineering – to develop collaborative solutions to address rule of law issues. Participants from 95 countries on five continents will be represented.
As part of the forum, a new, comprehensive Rule of Law Index will be unveiled. The index measures adherence to the rule of law in such areas as: respect for property rights, government officials’; accountability to the law, corruption, access to services and an impartial judiciary.
The World Justice Forum, hosted by the World Justice Project, will be held at the Austria Center in Vienna.
Among the highlights of the conference:
“Welcome Remarks and Keynote Address: Why the Rule of Law Matters” 9 – 10:30 a.m.
Speakers: William H. Neukom, President, American Bar Association
Mary Robinson, Former President of Ireland
Emil Constantinescu, Former President of Romania
“Peace, Prosperity and the Rule of Law” 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Panelists: Mohammed Sa’ad Abubakar, Sultan of Sokoto, Abuja, Nigeria
Robert Badinter, Senator, Parliament of France
Stephen G. Breyer, Associate Justice, U.S. Supreme Court
Salih Mahmoud Osman, Winner of the 2007 Sakharov Prize for
Freedom of Thought; Member, Sudan National Assembly
Moderator: Beverly McLachlin, Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Canada
“The Rule of Law and Poverty Reduction” 12:15 – 1:45 p.m.
Panelists: Ashfraf Ghani, Former Finance Minister of Afghanistan
Anthony M. Kennedy, Associate Justice, U.S. Supreme Court
Mary Robinson, Former President of Ireland
Moderator: Claudia Dumas, Executive Director, World Justice Project
Topical Plenary Sessions 2 – 3:30 p.m.
Track One: Scholarship on Rule of Law Issues
Panelists: Hilario G. Davide Jr., former Chief Justice of the Philippines
James Heckman, Winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, University of Chicago
Timur Kuran, Duke University, Durham, N.C.
Margaret Levi, University of Washington, Seattle, Wash.
Moderator: Robert L. Nelson, Director, American Bar Foundation
Track Two: Rule of Law Index
Panelists: Mark Agrast, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress
Juan Botero, Director, Rule of Law Index, World Justice Project
James Parsons, Director, Substance Use and Mental Health Program,
Vera Institute of Justice, New York
Moderator: Dr. Samuel Muller, Director, Hague Institute for the Internatiolisation of Law
Track Four: Access to Justice Issues
Panelists: Cherie Booth Blair, Queens Counsel, London
Hannah Irfan, Legal Consultant, Lahore, Pakistan
William K. Slate II, President, American Arbitration Assn., New York
David V. Williams, Professor, University of Aukland, New Zealand
Moderator: Yash Ghai, Chair, Constitutional Advisory Unit for Nepal, UN Development Programme
Track Six: Multidisciplinary Approaches to the Rule of Law: The Example of Africa
Panelists: Kemi Asiwaju, Regional Representative, Altus Global Alliance/CLEEN Foundation, Abuja, Nigeria
Nemata Majeks-Walker, Founding President, The 50/50 Group of Sierra Leone, Freetown, Sierra Leone
Martin Manuhwa, President, Zimbabwe Institute of Civil Engineers, Harare, Zimbabwe
Onesmo Matei, Country Coordinator for Tanzania, The Global Challenge, Arusha, Tanzania
Moderator: Adama Dieng, Assistant Secretary-General and Registrar, UN Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Arusha, Tanzania
[Note: The World Justice Project has held multidisciplinary outreach meetings on five continents leading up to the Forum. Participants in the Accra, Ghana meeting were invited to submit proposals for small projects involving multidisciplinary collaborations in their communities to advance the rule of law. About a dozen projects have been funded, and several of these will be showcased at the World Justice Forum.]
Throughout the conference, there will be breakout sessions by professional discipline, by topical area (such as human rights, anti-corruption, etc.) and by region. These breakout sessions are intended to advance collaboration and then lead to the development of concrete proposals to build the rule of law.
Small Group Breakout Sessions by Discipline 4 – 6 p.m.
Track Five: Law and Judiciary
Moderators: Kunio Hamada, former Justice, Supreme Court of Japan
Suet Fern Lee, Managing Director, Stamford Law Corp., Singapore
Rapporteur: M. Margaret McKeown, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth District
Topical Plenary Sessions 9 – 10:30 a.m.
Track Seven: Human Rights
Panelists: Silvia Casale, President, U.N. Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture, London
Elisabeth Fura-Sandstrom, Judge, European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg, France
Parvez Hassan, Lawyer & Human Rights Activist, Lahore, Pakistan
Michael Posner, President, Human Rights First
Moderator: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice, U.S. Supreme Court
Luncheon Noon – 1:30 p.m.
Introduction: Yash Ghai, Chair, Constitutional Advisory Unit for Nepal, U.N. Development Programme
Keynote: Arthur Chaskalson, former Chief Justice, Constitutional Court of South Africa
Followed by a conversation with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice, U.S. Supreme Court
[Note: Prior to the closing remarks, sessions will cover the reports of the regional breakout sessions held earlier in the conference.]
Summary and Conclusion: Next Steps for the Rule of Law – Charge and Adjournment 3 – 3:15 p.m.
Speakers: Hilario G. Davide, Jr., Former Chief Justice of the Philippines, Manila
William H. Neukom, President, American Bar Association
The World Justice Project’s sponsors include the World Federation of Public Health Associations, People to People International, Karamah: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights, the International Trade Union Confederation, the International Chamber of Commerce, Human Rights Watch, the Association of International Educators and the American Society of Civil Engineers. The American Bar Association, the world’s largest volunteer professional association, is a founding member of the project.
With more than 413,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.