At the outset, the WJA recognized that the key to strengthening the Rule of Law was to encourage a dialogue among lawmakers, legal practitioners, and educators. With this in mind, the Congress on the Law of the World became a biennial event where a broad range of legal issues could be discussed among both government officials and individual practitioners. These congresses are held around the world with the support of the host country.
Additionally members of the WJA convene at regional conferences to discuss timely and topical issues.
Declarations and Resolutions passed during the conferences and congresses are presented to representatives of every nation for ratification and are influential in developing both national and international laws that protect world peace. In this way, the WJA provides innovative information and diverse perspectives which help to expose and resolve obstacles that prevent peaceful development and growth in today’s world.
We have been honored to bring the world’s leading scholars and diplomats together in many groundbreaking events.
Heads of State and Government Who Have Addressed Congresses on the Law of the World
Most of the Congresses on the Law of the World have had the distinct honor of being addressed by the Head of State or Government of the host country. Some of the most prominent inaugural addresses given include:
2011 Ms. Karolina Peake, Deputy Prime Minister and Chair of the Legislative Counsel Representative of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic (Czech Republic)
2009 Mr. Mykola Onishchuk, Minister of Justice (Ukraine)
2005 President Hu Jintao, (China)
2003 Major General Michael Jeffrey, AC, CVO, MC, Governor-General (Australia)
2001 The Hon. Ronan Keane, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (Ireland)
1999 President Árpád Göncz (Hungary) & H.E. Heinz Fischer, President of the Austrian National Assembly (Austria)
1997 Eng. Ahmed Mohammad Ali Al-Subaie, Minister of Electricity and Water (Qatar)
1995 The Rt. Hon Roméo LeBlanc (Canada)
1993 President Fidel V. Ramos (Philippines)
1991 The Hon. Sr. Agustí M. Bassols I Parés, Minister of Justice of Catalonia (Spain)
1990 Premier Li Peng (China)
1987 President Chun Doo Hwan (Korea)
1985 President Richard von Weizsäcker (Germany)
1983 President Hosni Mubarak (Egypt)
1981 President João Figueiredo (Brazil)
1979 His Majesty King Juan Carlos (Spain)
1977 President Ferdinand E. Marcos (Philippines)
1975 President Gerald R. Ford (USA)
1973 President Felix Houphouet-Boigny (Ivory Coast)
1971 President Josip Broz Tito (Yugoslavia)
1969 His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Thailand)
1967 President Roger Bonvin (Switzerland)
1965 President Lyndon B. Johnson (USA)
1963 His Majesty King Paul (Greece)
The Heads of State and Government have continued to refer to the important role of the WJA in strengthening the rule of law in all nations through personal messages sent to our delegates during their work at the Congresses on the Law of the World.
In 1957, when the original concept for the World Jurist Association was envisioned, Sir Winston Churchill of the United Kingdom praised the program and its goal of strengthening international law and its institutions.
President Dwight Eisenhower of the United States praised the creation of the World Jurist Association and recognized the need for such an organization by stating, “The world no longer has a choice between force and law; if civilization is to survive it must choose the rule of law.”
His Holiness Pope John Paul II placed himself firmly behind the WJA’s program in his Homily at each of the private audiences of the WJA membership in 1979, 1985, 1992, and 2004, attended by judges and lawyers throughout the world.
In June 1993, H.E. Archbishop Jean Louis Tauran, Secretary of State of the Holy See at the Vatican, signed an accord establishing permanent relations between the WJA and the Vatican.