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Statement of American Bar Association President James R. Silkenat Re: The Life of Nelson Mandela

Statement of American Bar Association President James R. Silkenat Re: The Life of Nelson Mandela

By John Glynn

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 5, 2013 — The American Bar Association recognizes Nelson Mandela for his courage in life and the lesson he taught a grateful world — that there is a stark difference between the rule of law and rule by law.

In 1985, the ABA called for an end to apartheid in South Africa. Though apartheid was dismantled two decades ago, systems of oppression, political repression, and racial, ethnic and gender discrimination remain across the world.

The ABA believes that human rights and fair courts are cornerstones of a free and just society. Nourishing the rule of law is the best opportunity to confront state-sanctioned violence, intolerance and discrimination.

The ABA carries the banner of Mandela’s vision through our Rule of Law Initiative's projects in Africa and elsewhere to develop local systems of justice.

As South Africa and the world confront the remnants of apartheid and other forms of racial and ethnic discrimination, the American Bar Association is a partner in our common struggle.

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