"The Rule of Law is one of the hot topics of the new century. Everyone agrees that it is the cornerstone of a civilised society. But in practice, what does it mean? And does it mean the same thing all over the world? Who better to answer these questions than the lawyers? And who better to marshal the answers from around the world than the International Bar Association (IBA), the global voice of the legal profession?
In October 2005 the IBA Council passed an important Resolution, which set out the minimum essential characteristics of the Rule of Law and ended by calling on all its members ‘to speak out in support of the Rule of Law in their respective communities’. Since then the IBA has held a number of Symposia in different parts of the world devoted to the Rule of Law. These have been
addressed by a variety of distinguished speakers, including the Hon Mary Robinson, former UN Commissioner for Human Rights, Lord Peter Goldsmith, former UK Attorney-General, Prof S Jayakumar, the Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore, Judge Hisashi Owada of the International Court of Justice, Valery Zorkin, President of the Constitutional Court of Russia, Justice Albie Sachs of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, among others. These speeches are reproduced in this book, together with other
contributions to broaden the global scope and assist insight into the issues. These include the text of the Sir David Williams’ lecture by Lord Bingham, recently retired Senior Law Lord in the UK, one of the more thoughtful examinations in recent years of the detail of the Rule of Law.
Issues addressed include:
• the meaning of the Rule of Law
• the Rule of Law and the war on terror
• the Asian and African perspectives
• the developing international Rule of Law
• Independence of the Judiciary
• Independence of the legal profession"
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