The Rule of Law is the basis for communities of opportunity and equity. But it is challenged and threatened almost on a daily basis by factors as diverse as religious and ethnic discrimination, violent nationalism and economic and political corruption. Where the Rule of Law is weak, medicines fail to reach health facilities, criminal violence goes unchecked, laws are applied unequally and foreign investments are held back. What can lawyers, and non-lawyers, do to help strengthen the Rule of Law in their own communities?
James R. Silkenat served as President of the 400,000 member American Bar Association (the world's largest voluntary professional association) in 2013-2014. He is currently Treasurer and Director of the World Justice Project and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He serves on the Leadership Council of the Legal Services Corporation and as a Bencher of Middle Temple Inn in London.
He previously served as Chair of the Lawyers Committee for International Human Rights (now Human Rights First) and as Legal Counsel of the World Bank Group's International Finance Corporation.
He is the author or editor of 16 books and more than 100 articles on law, international affairs and public policy. He has also been recognized for his work in advancing diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, receiving the Diversity Champion Award of the New York City Bar Association, the Allies for Justice Award of the National LGBT Bar Association and the Business Law and Leadership Award of the Lawyers Alliance for New York.
Co-sponsored with the Woodrow Wilson School's Program in Law and Public Affairs (LAPA) and the Julis-Rabinowitz Center for Public Policy and Finance (JRCPPF).