History of ABA Rule of Law Letters

In 1975, the House of Delegates expressly authorized the President of the Association, or his/her designee, to urge the government of the United States, where appropriate, to bring to the attention of foreign governments the concern the Association has for lawyers and judges who are striving to uphold human rights and fundamental freedoms under tremendous difficulties, and, in many cases, at great personal risk.

In furtherance of such policies the President of the Association is authorized to send "rule of law" letters to the government leaders of countries where violations are alleged to have occurred requesting the facts as to such situations. Copies of each letter are sent to the U.S. Secretary of State.

The ABA Center for Human Rights is committed to the Rule of Law letter process as a part of its mission. To bring to the forefront those cases of international concern regarding human rights violations is crucial to the Center's role in promoting the rule of law globally.