September 30, 2007

ABA President Bill Neukom Engages Chinese Stakeholders in the Worldwide Movement to Advance Justice

ABA President Bill Neukom and Justice Hu Yunteng of China’s Supreme People’s Court discuss the worldwide justice movement.

September 2007

During a recent visit to Beijing, ABA President Bill Neukom articulated a vision for a worldwide movement to advance justice.  Traveling on behalf of the World Justice Project and the ABA Rule of Law Initiative, Neukom invited Chinese stakeholders from the legal profession, the courts, the business community, and civil society to join in creating “a culture of justice, which makes it possible for people to live in communities of opportunity, of fairness, of equity, and of economic development.” 

From September 17 to 19, Neukom and ABA Rule of Law Initiative China Program Directors Allison Moore and Hyeon-Ju Rho met with leaders of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Supreme People’s Court, the All China Lawyers Association, the China Association for NGO Cooperation, and prominent Chinese advocates in the fields of women’s rights, environmental protection, children’s rights, and legal aid.  Reformers both within the PRC government and outside of it related to Neukom’s message, finding links between his work on the World Justice Project and their work to strengthen China’s legal, professional, and civil society institutions.  Since 2002, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative has worked with these reformers to increase public legal consciousness towards the goal of having a country governed under the rule of law.

During his visit, Neukom also met representatives of the American legal and business community in Beijing at a dinner reception hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in China and co-sponsored by the ABA Section of International Law’s China Committee.  The reception promoted greater involvement from the American legal and business community abroad in the ongoing work of the ABA Rule of Law Initiative, the World Justice Project, and other efforts to advance justice and the rule of law in China.

“We see an opening for the American legal and business community to support Chinese public interest lawyers and law reformers, be it through sharing experiences, modeling corporate social responsibility practices, or providing financial support,” said Rho speaking of local initiatives for better environmental health, safe and equitable workplaces, and other important legal, business, and social reforms.   

President Neukom’s visit to China was a strong success, laying the groundwork for greater Chinese engagement in the pursuit of justice as a prerequisite to all other aspirations of Chinese communities, and all people worldwide.