Governments exercise several elements across the spectrum of sovereign national power - diplomatic, informational, military, and economic. Traditionally, exercising military power comes with the greatest costs, both in lives and resources. However, recent experience shows that the military can be used as a mechanism of cooperation, a catalyst of influence, and capacity building, aside from the traditional use of force. Specifically, it can be used to reinforce both the notions and institutions pertaining to the rule of law. Often, post-conflict circumstances are not conducive to rule of law principles, due to either the security situation or lack of infrastructure. Further, differing social, religious, political and economic systems can be difficult environments in which to cultivate rule of law principles.

Panelists will discuss the inherent challenges faced by militaries when advancing rule of law principles and offer ideas that have proved successful in promoting rule of law principles in post-conflict, fragile or unstable states.


  • James E. Baker, Chief Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (USA)


  • Óscar Leonardo Cadena Plata, Legal Advisor to the Secretariat of the Cabinet and Deputy Minister for Political Affairs (Colombia)
  • Ben F. Klappe, Director, Administrative Law Department, Ministry of Defense (The Netherlands)
  • William K. Lietzau, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Rule of Law & Humanitarian Policy (USA)
  • Henry Odillo, Commander, Malawi Defence Force (Malawi)
  • Kevin Riordan, Director General of Defence Legal Services, New Zealand Defence Force (New Zealand)

Back to the World Justice Forum IV (July 8-11, 2013)