FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 8, 2013
Featured speakers include United States Supreme Court Justices Anthony Kennedy and Ruth Bader Ginsburg; Deputy Speaker of the Tunisian National Assembly Mehrézia Labidi-Maïza; retired Director General of the Indian Police Service Kiran Bedi; lawyer, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, and Founder & President of Defenders of Human Rights Center in Iran Dr. Shirin Ebadi; Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba; Advocate, Security Researcher & Developer of the TOR Project Jacob Appelbaum, Malian Singer & Executive Director of the Festival au Désert Manny Ansar; Writer, Activist, & Former Director General of the Egyptian Health Education Department Dr. Nawal El Saadawi; Founder & Executive Director of the Afghan Institute of Learning Sakena Yakoobi; Founder & Chief Innovator, Grupo 42 Santiago Siri, and more.
THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS – The World Justice Project (WJP), an independent organization working to advance the rule of law worldwide, today opened the World Justice Forum IV – a global gathering designed to engage nearly 600 leaders, dignitaries, and innovators from more than 120 countries to address critical rule of law issues related to economic development, technology, supply chains, women’s rights, freedom of expression, and more.
Over the course of three days, participants will engage in formal plenary and active breakout sessions, learn about innovative rule of law programs, meet with researchers and scholars during Index office hours, and work together to develop practical, on-the-ground programs to strengthen the rule of law. Examples of past programs include ensuring women’s rights in Sierra Leone, helping marginalized communities in India obtain basic health care, promoting labor rights of indigenous workers in Mexico, combatting corruption in construction in Tunisia, protecting the rights of pollution victims in China, and increasing access to civil justice for the poor in the United States.
The Forum also provides a venue for discussion and debate about the findings of the WJP Rule of Law Index®, the most comprehensive assessment tool of its kind that measures how well countries adhere to the rule of law in practice, reflecting the actual conditions experienced by their citizens.
“We all benefit when communities near and far embrace the rule of law,” said William H. Neukom, founder and CEO of The World Justice Project. “Over 120 countries and even more backgrounds are represented at this Forum, all of whom share our appreciation for the rule of law as a foundation for communities of opportunity and equity. In that spirit, the next three days are designed to spark the conversations, knowledge sharing, and practical planning needed to move this ideal forward.”
At the Opening Plenary session of the World Justice Forum, thought leaders from diverse sectors and regions will bring to life the topic of rule of law and why it matters to daily life, including Anthony Kennedy, Associate Justice, U.S. Supreme Court; Peter Rees QC, Legal Director, Royal Dutch Shell plc; Sakena Yacoobi, Founder & Executive Director, Afghan Institute of Learning; Thabo Makgoba, Archbishop of Cape Town; Santiago Siri, Founder and Chief Innovator, Grupo 42; and Maria Livanos Cattaui, Former Secretary-General, International Chamber of Commerce.
Key sessions at the Forum include findings from the latest WJP Rule of Law Index and topical panels covering such diverse areas as ethical supply chains, sports and the rule of law, security and law enforcement, sustainable water solutions, access to technology, improving the legal framework for disaster relief, food justice, and more. Other highly anticipated sessions include an “Open Discussion with the UN on the Role of Rule of Law in Peace & Security, Development, and Human Rights” and a special panel on women leaders who have faced challenges in regard to the rule of law, featuring U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg; Iranian lawyer and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Dr. Shirin Ebadi; and Former Chief Justice of the Federal Supreme Court of Brazil, Ellen Gracie Northfleet.
On Thursday, July 11, the World Justice Project will announce the winner of its Rule of Law Award at the Forum.
The full agenda, speaker biographies, and multimedia are available at www.worldjusticeproject.org. Follow us on Twitter @TheWJP and on Facebook for meeting news and highlights. The event hashtag is #WJForum.
About the World Justice Project
The World Justice Project (WJP) is an independent, nonprofit organization working to advance the rule of law around the world. Establishing the rule of law is fundamental to achieving communities of opportunity and equity—communities that offer sustainable economic development, accountable government, and respect for fundamental rights. Our multi-national, multi-disciplinary efforts are dedicated to stimulating government reforms, developing practical programs at the community level, and increasing public awareness about the concept and practice of the rule of law. For more information about the World Justice Project, please visit www.worldjusticeproject.org.
The WJP Rule of Law Index
The WJP Rule of Law Index® is a quantitative assessment tool designed to provide a detailed picture of the extent to which countries adhere to the rule of law. It is the most comprehensive index of its kind, reflecting the actual conditions experienced by the population. The Index uses expert questionnaires and general population polls to assess issues of government accountability, security and fundamental rights, openness of government and the regulatory environment, and delivery of justice. To date, over 97,000 people have been interviewed in 97 countries. A new Index with expanded coverage will be released in late 2013. To learn more, please visit: www.worldjusticeproject.org/rule-of-law-index.