The two main issues that dominated the just concluded 2016 Annual Conference of the International Bar Association in Washington DC were Corruption and Terrorism. Jude Igbanoi who was at the conference reports on why the two global issues formed the focal point at this year’s IBA Conference from September 18 – 23.
For good reasons the International Bar Association prides itself as the Global Voice of the Legal Profession and this year’s conference of the worldwide body of lawyers truly lived up to this reputation.
Over 6,000 lawyers from every country in the world converged in the United States Capital, Washington DC to participate in the conference. For Nigerian lawyers, IBA has become an instructive lesson on conferencing as the body has continued to deliver quality conferences over the years. Registration is smooth, seamless and hassle-free. On the average it takes less than 10 minutes to get registered with all conference materials, including bag given to delegates. This is a sharp difference from what obtains in Nigeria at the Nigerian Bar Association conferences.
In an exclusive chat with the IBA Executive Director, Dr. Mark Ellis, the key is ‘early planning.’ IBA meticulously plans its conferences years ahead. For instance preparation for its 2017 conference in Sydney Australia is already in top gear. Dr. Ellis also told THISDAY LAWYER that in fact plans for the association’s 2018 conference in Rome, Italy are already in advance stages.
Perhaps, Nigeria has a lot to learn from this and the President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. A.B. Mahmoud SAN in a chat with THISDAY LAWYER said ‘I had extensive meetings with the IBA President Mr. Rivkin and the Executive Director, Dr. Ellis on the possibility of our collaborating with the IBA with a view to improving on our conferences. I hope to visit the London Headquarters of the IBA with some staff of the NBA to enable some staff of the NBA National Secretariat understudy the IBA and see what we can learn from them. They have been successful at organizing their conferences for many years and we must acknowledge this.’
This year’s Keynote Speaker was the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde and her presentation Mending the Trust Divide was quite emotive and inspiring. Lagarde told the august body of lawyers that the unique mandate of the IMF is to promote economic prosperity and financial stability, through international cooperation and an open system for the free flow of goods and investments.
She anchored her paper on corruption and public trust saying ‘A key factor fueling this distrust is corrupt and unethical behavior, actual or perceived – and in both the public and private sector. Addressing corruption and unethical behavior involves not only improving the quality of the legal framework but also the quality of the individuals who implement this framework.’
Other distinguished personalities who spoke at the conference included Jack Straw, British Foreign Secretary 2001-2006, Arlene Foster First Minister of Northern Ireland, General Colin Powell US Secretary of State (2001-2005), Christopher Dodd Former Senator from Connecticut and Ben Bernanke, former Chairman, Board of Governors, US Federal Reserve.
Nigerian lawyers also presented papers at the various sessions of the conference including Mr. Femi Falana SAN, Dr. Babatunde Ajibade SAN and Mallam Yusuf Ali SAN.
Our 69 Years of Global Commitment to Lawyers – IBA President, David Rivkin
We are here to see old friends, to meet new ones, and to enjoy the hospitality and the sights of Washington, but also of course to engage in the many important substantive conversations that will take place at our keynote, showcase and committee sessions throughout the week.
Given the many challenges faced by lawyers and our clients around the world, the work of the IBA has never been more important, and I thank all of you for being involved in it.
Since its founding in 1947, the IBA has been dedicated to the promotion and preservation of the Rule of Law throughout the world. Today, as we face many new challenges to the Rule of Law around the world, it is important to remember that it is neither a new concept nor one rooted only in the tradition of some countries. The Rule of Law is an ancient and universal concept. As early as the 5th century BC, China developed and advocated the philosophy of legalism – a political system based on laws.
In ancient Greece, Plato wrote, “Where the law is subject to some other authority and has none of its own, the collapse of the state is not far off; but if law is the master of the government and the government is its slave, then the situation is full of promise and men enjoy all the blessings that the Gods shower on the state.”
When I had the honor of visiting the Mexican Supreme Court last month, I saw on its walls a statement by Cicero that “We are servants to the Supreme Court in order to be free.”
In Islamic law, the concept of justice is paramount. The Quran says “David, we have made you master in the land. Rule with justice among men.” The Prophet is said to have proclaimed, “one hour of justice is worth more than 60 years of divine service.”
And of course, last year, the IBA joined with many others in celebrating the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, a document that continues to inspire the conviction that no person, not even a Ruler, is above the law, as well as the fundamental principle that any accused person is entitled to due process.
Since we last met in Vienna, the IBA has had an extraordinary year in serving this mission.
In January in Myanmar, I had the honor of joining Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in addressing the inaugural conference of the Independent Lawyers Association of Myanmar. Thanks to the diligent work of the IBA’s Human Rights Institute in forming this association, thousands of lawyers came together in the recognition that independent lawyers serving their clients’ interests, free of government interference, are an essential step in the creation of a new democracy.
Similarly in Cuba, the IBA has been conducting training programs for Cuban lawyers on the essential aspects of international business law: corporate organization, intellectual property, international sales and dispute resolution. In my meetings last year with the Chief Justice, Attorney General and other senior officials, they recognized that Cuba cannot open its doors to new trade and investment unless lawyers have the ability to serve their clients in these areas.
As you know, earlier this year the IBA Council adopted the IBA Practical Guide for Business Lawyers on Business and Human Rights. To serve our clients effectively these days, lawyers must understand the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and similar documents. And no matter what our practice area, we must advise our clients in a manner that assists them in avoiding human rights impacts and promotes their, and our, integrity.
The IBA’s Presidential Initiatives have taken many important, practical steps towards solving some of our most difficult problems. Thanks to the time that many of you took in completing our survey on judicial corruption, our Judicial Integrity Initiative published an enormously useful report on the types of corruption that arise in judicial systems and the manner in which such corruption occurs. Building from that base, the Judicial Integrity Initiative is now undertaking many projects designed to have a practical impact in reducing corruption in judiciaries where it occurs: Last month, I attended a ceremony in Mexico City at which the Chief Justice and the presidents of the three Mexican bars signed the IBA Judicial Anti-Corruption Compact.
The Compact is designed to be signed by individual judges, lawyers, prosecutors and court administrators; they commit to each other and to the public that they will not engage in corrupt activities and that they will report any such activities that they may witness. By publishing the Compact and its signatories on the websites of our member bar associations and the judiciaries, we hope to change the expectation in many countries that corruption is the only way to succeed in a judicial proceeding. We look forward to many other countries following Mexico’s excellent example.
We are also working on developing a set of standards and an organization through which judiciaries may be certified as having procedures in place that will prevent corrupt activities. We are researching best practices in investigating allegations of judicial corruption, and also the manner in which all of our member bar associations and law societies investigate and sanction potential corrupt conduct by their members. And we are surveying national laws to determine if the laws, in fact, make illegal the types of corruption found in our survey. If we find gaps and deficiencies, the IBA will propose a model statute to correct them.
The Presidential Task Force on Human Trafficking has issued a seminal report on the impact of corruption on human trafficking. The report makes vividly clear that human trafficking could not occur without corruption, and it proposes concrete steps that governments, private companies and NGOs should take to prevent human trafficking. I had the honor of presenting these findings, along with the IBA’s efforts on judicial corruption, to a conference of judges and prosecutors organized by the Vatican at which Pope Francis gave a beautiful and passionate speech about how much the law is needed in order to preserve morality. The Pope proclaimed, “Justice is the first attribute of society.”
The Presidential Task Force on the Independence of the Legal Profession has also issued an important report on the essential criteria of an independent bar and why an independent bar is so essential to democracy. These reports are available on the IBA website, and I encourage you to read them. Whatever your area of practice, you will find them illuminating.
The IBA’s work on Climate Change Justice and Human Rights has continued aggressively as many IBA committees have worked to implement the recommendations of our flagship 2014 report.
Our working groups on remedies and adaptation have drafted important proposals that will be discussed at this conference.
From the Vatican to David Cameron’s governmental conference on corruption to a UN conference on climate change headed by Ban Ki-Moon, and in many other fora, the IBA’s voice has been sought and listened to as the authoritative voice of the legal profession – for the ideas that we present and the contributions we have made and will continue to make. I strongly encourage you to attend the showcase sessions this week at which the work of each of these task forces – Judicial Integrity, Climate Change Justice, Human Trafficking and Independence of the Profession – is discussed. You will be proud of the work they have done.
And of course, the 77 committees of the IBA have remained enormously active. Their accomplishments are far too many for me to mention tonight, so let me highlight one as an example.
Our committees on Access to Justice and Legal Aid conducted an extensive research project on the challenges children face gaining access to justice and the strategies and solutions employed by countries around the world to address them. By raising awareness of the problem and highlighting best practices, the project has demonstrated the fundamental importance of access to justice as an empowerment tool for children to help reduce poverty and realize the UN’s Sustainable Development Agenda. The results of this work will also be presented at a committee session on Thursday morning.
Indeed, the conference this week offers more than the usual number of extraordinary sessions. In addition to the showcase sessions that I have already mentioned, this conference offers special opportunities, and I hope that you will take advantage of them. To be in Washington at the end of an Administration I very much admire gives us a chance to hear from high government officials about their view of the world and what the Obama Administration has achieved.
Whatever else you have planned for this week, please come to the special Morning Keynote Addresses, to be presented by three Cabinet officers and Congressman: On Monday, the Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, who has a unique perspective on how to combat terrorism while maintaining adherence to the rule of law; on Tuesday, the Deputy US Trade Representative Ambassador Robert Holleyman, who will discuss the latest status of TPP and TTIP and why the Administration believes that TPP can have a direct and meaningful impact developing the rule of law in the region; on Wednesday, we can hear directly from Attorney General Loretta Lynch –who has been called the savior of FIFA — about US efforts to combat corruption, human trafficking, terrorism and cyber-crime. And on Thursday, we will discuss the Presidential election and the stalemate that affects Washington politics with Congressman Scott Peters.
I hope that you will join me at all of these keynotes at 9:30 each morning; we have scheduled the committee sessions to start after they are concluded, so that everyone has a chance to attend.
And we have a roll call of other guests: Colin Powell and Robert Mueller, among others, in the lunchtime Conversations With; SEC Chair Mary Jo White at the LPD lunch on Wednesday and Legal Adviser to the State Department Brian Egan at the SPPI lunch on Thursday.
On Friday, come hear Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy at our Rule of Law Day. And of course, in a few moments, we will get to hear from a leader with enormous influence around the world: IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde. I am looking forward to hearing her, as I know you are.
At the Rule of Law Day, you can also share in an IBA project that has been very meaningful and thoroughly enriching. At the beginning of my term, we searched for young Israeli and Palestinian lawyers who would one day be leaders in their communities in the hope that bringing them together to discuss issues of common interest and how international law could impact the conflict in their region could one day lead to peace.
We found 12 extraordinary lawyers: Israeli Jews, Arab Israelis and Palestinians. We brought them to Prague for three three-day sessions and again this weekend in Washington, and the results have far exceeded our expectations. They have bonded; they have cried together; they have respectfully disagreed; and they have found common approaches to international law to propose solutions to intractable problems. Witnessing their discussions has been among the most memorable moments of my IBA Presidency.
On Friday morning, many of them will appear together in our Rule of Law program to discuss what they have learned from one another. They will be joined by two experts who have worked towards Middle East peace. Please come and share the experience that has so touched me.
This has been a challenging year for lawyers around the world. We have seen lawyers and judges imprisoned, disbarred and removed from office in China, Turkey, Venezuela, Egypt and elsewhere. In Pakistan, we have witnessed the premeditated slaughter of lawyers who had come to a hospital in respect of a bar leader who had been previously assaulted. Those who want to rule autocratically know that they have to intimidate and remove lawyers who will use the rule of law to oppose them.
As lawyers who have been fortunate enough to be successful in our practices, we have an obligation to defend them, to speak out, to make clear that this cannot stand. As IBA President, I have used the power of the office to speak directly to those who suppress lawyers and freedom. All of us have the power to do so, as individuals, collectively or through our bars, and we must do so.
Our Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, little knowing that he would one day be the subject of perhaps the most successful musical in Broadway history, wrote in the Federalist Papers, “Justice is the end of government. It is the end of civil society. It ever has been, and ever will be, pursued until it be obtained, or liberty be lost in the pursuit.”
One way to benefit lawyers under attack is for all of us to do a better job explaining to the general public the important role that we play in defending everyone’s liberties, the time and expense we commit to defending those who cannot afford to pay us, and in making the law more fair and just for all.
Write a piece in your local newspaper or social media. Speak at your place of worship or a local school about the rule of law. And to do this, we also have to preserve the reputations of all lawyers, because publicity about one lawyer who has crossed the line harms all of us.
By all means defend your clients’ interests but do so in a way that respects the ethics and morality that we expect of one another. The law does not give us an excuse to turn a blind eye to what we know is right or wrong.
In this respect, we will soon announce an important project to explore the proper ethical rules for lawyers in light of the disclosures of the Panama Papers, and also how government should properly fight corruption without infringing on the attorney-client privilege and professional secrecy that are vital to our serving our clients.
John F Kennedy famously said, “For those to whom much is given, much is required.” The late great Muhammad Ali stated succinctly, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.”
I have had the privilege and the honor the last two years to represent the IBA and all of you in fighting for these principles. I thank you for that opportunity; it has been a remarkable and memorable time in my life. This is a complex and difficult time to be a lawyer, but it is also a great time.
After this ceremony, we will celebrate at the Museum of the American Indian, as well as the Air & Space Museum.
Native Americans tell the following legend about human nature. A chief is speaking to a young child. He tells the child that in him, as in every person, there are two wolves fighting with each other, one good and one bad. The child asks which one will win. The chief answers, “Whichever one you feed.” I ask that each one of you feed your good wolf to help us fulfill our role as protectors of democracy and of the rule of law.
That the World May Be Safer For All – US Attorney-General Loretta Lynch
I want to address the recent events in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Charlotte, North Carolina. The Department of Justice is aware of, and we are assessing, the incident that led to the death of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte. We are in regular contact with local authorities as their investigation into the shooting begins to unfold. And on Monday, the Justice Department opened a civil rights investigation into the death of Terence Crutcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma. As always, the Justice Department will be thorough, impartial and exhaustive in reaching a determination about this incident.
These tragic incidents have once again left Americans with feelings of sorrow, anger and uncertainty. They have once again highlighted – in the most vivid and painful terms – the real divisions that still persist in this nation between law enforcement and communities of color. And in Charlotte, they have once again led to widespread protest. Unfortunately, we saw several instances of violence during the protests and 12 police officers and a number of demonstrators were injured as a result. Protest is protected by our Constitution and is a vital instrument for raising issues and creating change. But when it turns violent, it undermines the very justice that it seeks to achieve and I urge those demonstrating in Charlotte to remain peaceful in their expressions of protest and concern.
At the Department of Justice, we are working tirelessly to build trust between law enforcement officers and the communities we serve and we will continue to do so. We will continue to forge dialogue between citizens and police officers. We will continue to do everything we can to give the brave men and women who wear the badge the tools and training they need to do their jobs safely, effectively and fairly. And we will continue to protect the rights and liberties of every American – no matter who they are, what they look like, or what uniform they wear.
I also want to take a moment to address recent developments regarding the bombings that occurred last weekend in New York City and New Jersey. Last night, the Department of Justice filed multiple charges against Ahmad Khan Rahami for conducting and attempting to conduct bombings in New York City and various locations in New Jersey.
Charges were filed in both the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. In the near future, it is our intention to bring the defendant to the federal District Court for the Southern District of New York, which has jurisdiction over the Manhattan neighborhood where more than 30 innocent people were wounded – and countless others were gravely endangered – by his bombs. I have full confidence that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, led by Preet Bharara, will succeed in bringing the defendant to justice for his heinous actions. And I know that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, led by Paul Fishman, will also seek to hold the defendant accountable for his deplorable actions in their district.
These filings reflect the Justice Department’s unwavering determination to find, capture and prosecute all those who attempt to commit or commit acts of terror against our nation. I want to thank my colleagues in the National Security Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Offices, the FBI, the ATF and other parts of the Department for their tireless efforts over the last several days. I want to commend our local law enforcement partners and first responders for their vital contributions to this ongoing investigation. I applaud the citizens who played a crucial role in preventing further harm by alerting law enforcement when they discovered unexploded bombs. And I want to once again offer my prayers for the swift and full recovery of all the law enforcement officers and citizens who were harmed by the defendant’s actions.
It is a privilege to join so many distinguished colleagues, devoted public servants and good friends as we gather to reaffirm our shared commitment to fostering international cooperation, upholding the rule of law and promoting justice and human rights around the world.
For 69 years, achieving those noble aims has been the mission of the International Bar Association. In the decades since you were founded to bolster the cooperative aims and timeless principles of the newly created United Nations, this organization has become an indispensable champion of human dignity and equal justice the world over. By providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and perspectives, you have created a community of lawyers that transcends the boundaries of nations and the barriers of language. By providing human rights training, you help your members to fight for rights and liberties in their home countries – especially in those nations where democracy is young and institutions are fragile. And by monitoring trials, investigating human rights abuses and advocating on behalf of judges and lawyers facing harassment or intimidation, you make clear that might does not make right – and that laws must not be the tools of repression, but the bulwarks of liberty. Through these and so many other efforts, the IBA has fought tirelessly so that all people around the world can enjoy the freedom, the dignity, the opportunity and – above all – the justice that is their birthright.
That work has never been more important. As information flows ever more freely around the world; as our economies are bound ever more closely together; as the threat from terrorists and cyber actors continues to grow without regard to national borders, those of us in the legal profession – especially those of us who serve in government – must acknowledge that our work to protect our people from harm, to fight crime and to secure justice increasingly requires international cooperation. Today, I would like to talk to you about four areas of the Justice Department’s work where this is certainly true: fighting terrorism; strengthening our cybersecurity; eradicating international corruption; and protecting the most vulnerable among us. Each of these goals is one of my top priorities as Attorney General and they are all in the core interest not only of the United States, but of others around the world. None of them can be achieved by the U.S. alone. They require us to work with other nations to strengthen international norms and to deepen international cooperation – and I am proud to say that in each of these vital areas, we are doing just that.
My highest concern as Attorney General of the United States is defending our nation and protecting our people – and citizens worldwide — from terrorism. At the Department of Justice, we are working tirelessly to detect, deter and disrupt plots that target not only the U.S., but also nations around the globe. We are relentlessly investigating and prosecuting those who seek to harm innocent people. And we are using all of the resources at our disposal to prevent American citizens from traveling overseas to fight with groups like ISIL and then returning home or traveling elsewhere to commit further attacks. Since 2013, we have publicly charged more than 100 individuals for conduct related to foreign terrorist fighter or homegrown violent extremist activity and we have thwarted a number of plots on American soil.
These are all notable achievements, but they leave us with no illusions that we can successfully combat terrorism alone. That’s why we have been so committed to deepening international ties that allow us to share information, uncover plots against ourselves and our allies and ensure that violent extremists can find no safe haven on our shores or those of our partners. Through bodies like Interpol and Europol, we are sharing information on foreign fighters and their movements across borders, giving us a seamless view of those who might be planning an attack. We have provided a range of resources, including FBI agents, to Interpol’s Fusion Cell, which tracks terrorist training, planning and financing around the world. We have entered into information-sharing agreements with more than 45 nations in order to identify and follow suspected terrorists, providing Interpol with profiles on approximately 4,000 foreign terrorist fighters. And we have helped to establish the 24/7 cyber network, which now has more than 70 members. This rapid reaction system allows investigators to work with internet service providers to preserve valuable digital data before it disappears – exactly the kind of collaboration that the fight against terrorism demands.
Similar cooperation is essential to meeting yet another modern challenge that doesn’t stop at the water’s edge: the variety of threats we face in cyber space. Our growing reliance on the internet provides an abundance of enticing targets to wrongdoers – from criminals attempting to steal consumer data, to state-sponsored actors seeking to commit espionage or disable crucial infrastructure, to rogue hackers looking to sow mayhem. Preventing these incidents before they happen – and bringing perpetrators to justice when they do happen – requires increased cooperation among nations and the Justice Department is doing its part to advance that goal in a number of ways. The FBI’s Cyber Division recently created three new Cyber Assistant Legal Attaché positions in London, Ottawa and Canberra, allowing us to embed our personnel with foreign law enforcement agencies in order to streamline information sharing and further our cooperation on a range of cyber issues. Our Office of International Affairs has expanded the staff of its Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty Modernization Project, a critical effort to keep pace with the increasing volume of requests for electronic evidence from foreign authorities. And we are strongly committed to our obligations under the Budapest Convention, a landmark agreement that established global cooperation on cyber issues as a core aspect of international relations in the 21st century. Working with international partners, we have succeeded in a number of notable cyber cases, including the takedown of a number of online marketplaces for drugs, firearms and other illegal goods; the shuttering of more than 200 websites that trafficked in child pornography; and the elimination of the Darkode hacking forum, an illicit online marketplace for the sale of malicious software and other tools of the cybercriminal’s trade.
Of course, in all of our efforts to counter both terrorism and cyber attacks, the United States is determined to protect privacy and civil liberties. This administration has taken a number of unprecedented steps to ensure that in our pursuit of security, we don’t undermine the very ideals that we are sworn to protect. In 2014, for instance, President Obama issued a presidential policy directive setting forth new principles for how the United States collects signals intelligence. Among other provisions, the directive requires us to review our intelligence decisions on an annual basis, ensuring regular scrutiny of how we safeguard the privacy of our people at the same time that we uphold their security – and, importantly, as President Obama stressed, the directive takes the “unprecedented step” of extending protections that previously applied only to the American people to people overseas as well. In addition, earlier this year, I had the privilege of traveling to Amsterdam to sign the “Umbrella” Agreement, which commits the European Union and the U.S. to protecting personal data when it is transferred for law enforcement and counterterrorism purposes.
The damage inflicted by international corruption may not be as visible as the harm done by terrorism or cyber incursions, but all of us here know that it is anything but a victimless crime. The Department of Justice is determined to work with our law enforcement counterparts around the world to ensure that the United States offers no shelter for the perpetrators – or the proceeds – of corruption. As all of you know, last May, we joined with our colleagues in Switzerland to indict nine FIFA officials and five corporate executives for illegally enriching themselves through the corruption of international soccer. Since then, we have indicted 16 more defendants and along with our Swiss partners, we remain committed to keeping the beautiful game free from the stain of corruption. In 2010, our Criminal Division established the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative, which has opened cases involving billions of dollars in criminal assets. Where possible, we use the funds forfeited by the Kleptocracy Initiative to benefit the people of the countries who were harmed and we will remain vigilant against those who seek to abuse positions of public trust for private gain.
Finally, the Department of Justice is working alongside our international partners to take a firm stand against one of the most appalling crimes of our time: human trafficking. Ending this heinous practice – which is nothing less than modern-day slavery – is not easy. It is a largely invisible crime, which makes it difficult to determine precisely how many millions of men, women and children are in its clutches. But we know that it occurs in countries around the world, including right here in the United States.
As in our counterterrorism operations, we have committed to sharing intelligence, combining resources and working through regional and international bodies to tighten the net against traffickers, resulting in operations like the one last June in the Ivory Coast, which arrested 25 suspects and rescued more than 75 children. And more and more nations are developing more stringent anti-trafficking measures within their borders. Here in the United States, the Justice Department has joined the Departments of Labor and Homeland Security in launching the Anti-Trafficking Coordination Team Initiative, which assembles specialized units of attorneys and agents from across the federal government to more effectively apprehend traffickers, rescue victims and support survivors as they begin to reclaim their lives. We recently expanded this vital initiative and I pledge that the Department of Justice will continue to vigorously pursue those who treat other human beings as little more than means to be exploited.
Of course, we still have a long way to go before human trafficking is erased from our planet – just as we have a long way to go before terrorism is ended, cyber threats are neutralized and corruption no longer plagues our societies. But we have made tremendous progress by working together as an international community – and I believe that if we meet our obligations and continue to deepen that cooperation, our progress will only grow. I say “obligations” because as lawyers, we have a fundamental responsibility to serve justice above all else. And in our interconnected world, serving justice increasingly requires a global outlook. So I would ask all of you to continue to champion these issues in your home countries. Explore ways to ensure that our laws do a better job of thwarting terror; of protecting our networks; of upholding public integrity; and of safeguarding human dignity.
That is your calling as lawyers – and that is your duty as members of the International Bar Association. After all, the IBA was established amidst the ashes of the deadliest conflict in human history, the Second World War, a struggle that was in no small part the result of a failure of justice – both within nations and between them. The hope that gave rise to the IBA was that through closer ties between the world’s lawyers – through a transnational group devoted to the highest principles of justice – the world would never again suffer the kind of cataclysm it experienced in World War II. For 69 years, the IBA has kept faith with that sacred mission. And I am certain that by keeping faith with it today, we will continue our shared progress toward a brighter, a safer and a more just future for all.