In addition to his work with the IACHR, Judge García-Sayán currently serves as the director general of the Andean Commission of Jurists and as a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. He has served as Peru’s minister of justice, helping normalize Peru’s relationship with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and as its minister of foreign affairs, leading Peru’s ratification of the Rome Statute. He has also worked with the United Nations (UN), including as the chair of its Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances.
With the award, ABA ROLI celebrates the legal profession’s highest ideals and respect for the rule of law worldwide. The Rule of Law Award is bestowed annually upon those who have undertaken a significant role in effectuating legal system reforms, protecting human rights or otherwise advancing the rule of law in a country, in a region or internationally. Judge García-Sayán joins a notable list of past award recipients, including the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem (Navi) Pillay, former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, the Honorable Hilario Davide, Philippine Supreme Court Justice (ret.), and the Honorable Stephen Breyer and the Honorable Anthony Kennedy, both of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Also during the event, ABA ROLI recognized the contributions of R. William Ide, a former ABA President and multi-year member of the ABA ROLI Board of Directors. During the presentation, Zack credited Ide, a partner in the Atlanta, Georgia, office of McKenna, Long and Aldridge, with being a stalwart and visionary champion of ABA ROLI and its predecessor organization, the ABA Central and Eastern European Law Initiative or ABA CEELI.
In his remarks, Ide referenced the importance of dreamers, from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to ABA CEELI founders Homer Moyer and Talbot (Sandy) D’Alemberte, who, through their enthusiasm and dedication, foster hospital environments that ultimately change the world for the better. While acknowledging that ABA CEELI’s initial efforts in the former Soviet Union have led to great strides in strengthening the rule of law worldwide under ABA ROLI, he also spoke of enduring threats to peace, prosperity and the rule of law, suggesting that only “global and bold” action can address them. He spoke directly to lawyers, encouraging them to draw upon the inspiration of dreamers and to answer the pressing call that they serve to advance the rule of law.