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April 29, 2021

Secretary Madeleine Albright highlights unique 24-hour global rule of law event May 4-5

WASHINGTON, April 29, 2021 – The American Bar Association International Law Section and two international bar groups are sponsoring a virtual 24-hour webathon to spotlight the importance of the rule of law, universally recognized as a society's legal underpinning guaranteeing human rights and creating economic opportunity and development.

“Lawyers Across the Globe and Around the Clock for the Rule of Law: An Unprecedented Rule of Law 24-hour Webathon”

Tuesday, May 4, 10 a.m. EDT through Wednesday, May 5, 10 a.m. EDT

Online at You Tube / rule-of-law webathon

The novel event will present nonstop two-hour panels spanning continents and time zones, with each panel addressing a different aspect of the challenges faced by the rule of law. Besides the ABA International Law Section, the Association Internationale des Jeunes Avocats Human Rights Committee and Union Internationale des Avocats Institute for the Rule of Law are chief sponsors, with contributions from bars across the globe, including from Spain, Australia, the Philippines and India.

“The rule of law is the bedrock of American rights and liberties — in times of calm and unrest alike,” ABA President Patricia Lee Refo said. “This extraordinary presentation by so many lawyers and bar groups across the globe serves as a reminder that all of us in the global law community share the responsibility to promote the rule of law, defend liberty and pursue justice every day.”

Tuesday’s opening program, “Rule of Law Colloquium: Why is the Rule of Law Relevant Today and What Can We Do to Protect It?” sets the tone for the next 24 hours. Sponsored by the Law Society of England and Wales, the panelists include a United Kingdom justice, former mayor of London, and other top UK legal experts.

The ABA panel, “Developing Strategies and Programs to Support the Rule of Law,” will begin with a keynote address by Madeleine Albright, who was the first woman to serve as U.S. secretary of state (1997–2001) and previously represented the U.S. as ambassador to the United Nations during the first term of the Clinton administration. The discussion that follows will feature ABA President Refo; Alberto Mora, associate executive director for ABA Global Programs, including the Rule of Law Initiative; and Joseph L. Raia, chair, ABA International Law Section. The ABA program will be from 4-6 p.m. EDT on Tuesday.

Other webathon programs will cover a range of topics, from lawyer discipline to electoral democracy. The complete schedule can be found here.

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews).