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The American Bar Association hosted the first International Rule of Law Symposium in Washington, D.C. on November 9-10, 2005. The Symposium brought together representatives from all over the world who share a common interest in advancing the rule of law as a means to tackle major obstacles that hamper social and economic growth and development around the globe. Some were ministers and government officials, others entrepreneurs and business people, yet others represented non-governmental organizations or employees of multilateral donor organizations. The topics addressed at the Symposium were equally far reaching in scope, covering everything from poverty alleviation and improving public health, to fighting corruption, promoting private business development and dealing with the terrorist threat. For two days, participants at the conference listened to panels, participated in discussions and engaged in Q&A sessions.

Given the range of people in the room and topics addressed, it should not surprise anyone that the views varied widely as to the definition of the rule of law, its meaning to different constituencies and how best to promote it in different settings. Yet, there was sufficiently common ground at the close of the two day symposium for a standing ovation when Hilario G. Davide, Jr. Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, pronounced the launch of a "global rule of law movement."


International Law | Law | Rule of Law