May 24, 2018

ABA to celebrate 70th anniversary of human rights declaration at timely Paris meeting

CHICAGO, May 24, 2018 —The American Bar Association, the national voice for the U.S. legal profession, will pay tribute to the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with a four-day event in Paris next month that explores cyber interference in elections, international privacy protections, refugee relocation and other issues.

ABA 2018 Paris Sessions

June 7-10, 2018

InterContinental Paris Le Grand Hotel
2 Rue Scribbe 75009
Paris, France

ABA President Hilarie Bass, co-president of the international law firm Greenberg Traurig, will open the meeting on Thursday at 5 p.m. (local time), as part of a celebration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The declaration, which was drafted in 1948 as a proclamation of the United Nations, remains a milestone document in the history of human rights.

Also participating in the opening program will be Christiane Féral-Schuhl, a past president of the Conseil National des Barreaux (the Paris bar); Marie-Aimée Peyron, who heads the Squire Patton Boggs litigation practice in its Paris office; and Jane Coombs, New Zealand ambassador to France with accreditations to Monaco, Portugal and Senegal. It will be in the Salon Opera on the ground floor.

David M. Beasley, executive director of the World Food Programme (WFP), will discuss world hunger issues at a luncheon Friday at 12:45 p.m. A former governor of the U.S. state of South Carolina, Bealsey was appointed in March of 2017 and oversees the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. A program of the United Nations, the WFP delivers food assistance in emergencies, addresses hunger in other ways and promotes food security, assisting some 80 million people in roughly 80 countries annually. Beasley’s talk will be in the Salon Berlioz on the ground floor.

Other program highlights include:

“Improving the Practice of Law Before the ICC and the International Criminal Tribunals” — This panel will explore international criminal justice standards and examine the trends in international criminal law and pressing human rights issues. Panelists include Steven Kay, head of Chambers, International Criminal Law Bureau in London; Stephen Rapp, former ambassador-at-large for War Crimes Issues in the Office of Global Criminal Justice, Washington, D.C.; and Glenna MacGregor, International Criminal Tribunal, former Yugoslavia, Den Haag, Netherlands.
Friday, 9 – 10:30 a.m.; Salon Chopin, first floor; sponsor, ABA Criminal Justice Section

“Balancing Privacy and the Right to Know in Open Societies” — Even among democratic nations, the transparency of legal systems is all over the world map. Privacy law could not be more different on each side of the Atlantic, from the right to publish court records or conduct displays of affection in public places to criminal and civil codes surrounding digital protection. One notable example: the rise of European claims arising from a “Right to Be Forgotten,” which provides individuals with a legal right to remove personal information from the Internet.

Friday, 9 – 10:30 a.m.; Salon Lulli, first floor; sponsor, ABA Forum on Communications Law

“Cybersecurity Best Practices in Elections” — Hacker attacks and other global cybersecurity threats have emerged as key concerns for election security and integrity. Also, interference in elections through propaganda, fake news and social media manipulation has triggered alarm across the world. Experts from the Republic of Georgia, Germany and the United States will assess the effect of current cyber risks on the electoral process and provide recommendations for how these risks can be effectively managed in today’s turbulent global environment.
Friday, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.; Salon Lulli, first floor; sponsor, ABA Section of State and Local Government Law

“Managing the Refugee Crisis: Legal Issues and Challenges” — More refugees and displaced persons now more than at any other time in recorded human history poses one of history’s biggest human rights challenges. Addressing the global refugee crisis raises many legal issues, including principles of national sovereignty, standards for refugee status and the ability of refugees to work under a host country’s laws. Experts from both France and the United States, including a former U.N. Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees, will examine these issues.

Saturday, 9 – 10:30 a.m.; Salon Rameau, first floor; sponsor, ABA Section of Litigation

The program closes on Sunday with a 90-minute session at 10 a.m. titled, “Beyond the 30 Articles: Future Issues in Human Rights.” The session will focus on human rights issues that were overlooked in 1948 but would be included if the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were drafted today. It will be in Salon Lulli on the first floor.

A complete agenda for the Paris Sessions, which offers U.S. lawyers continuing legal education credit, can be found here.

Media must register to cover the event. Please email Bill Choyke at the American Bar Association at or call in the United States: 202-662-1864.

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