The World Jurist Association (WJA) will celebrate the 28th edition of the World Law Congress, under the motto “Peace Through Law”, coinciding with the 60th anniversary of its foundation. Going back to his roots in the United States, this event will take place in New York on July 20 and 21.
On the 20th, at the New York City Bar Association headquarters, more than 300 speakers will participate in nearly 50 panels. World-leading speakers at the Congress include heads of State, ministers, national and international high court magistrates, legislators, academics, lawyers, activists and students.
Among the panelists of this first day are Guillermo Lasso, President of Ecuador; Egils Levits, President of Latvia and former member of the Court of Justice of the European Communities; Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the Organization of American States; Iván Duque, former president of Colombia; Ricardo Pérez Manrique, president of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights; Edward Asante, President of the Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS); Luz Ibáñez, Vice President of the International Criminal Court; Anthony Kennedy, Senior Justice of the United States Supreme Court; Berit Reiss Anderson, President of the Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee; Masih Alinejad, Iranian activist, writer and journalist; Andrew Young, US civil rights leader who fought alongside Martin Luther King; Jeff Jarvis, American professor, journalist, writer, and media analyst; Leopoldo López, founder of the World Liberty Congress and Venezuelan pro-democracy activist; Deborah Enix-Ross, president of the American Bar Association (ABA); Kerry Kennedy, President of the Robert F. Kennedy Foundation for Human Rights; among others.
The discussion panels are framed in different blocks that will structure the congress. Topics include environmental Rule of Law, Human Rights, energy transition, rights in the digital environment, freedom of expression, Artificial Intelligence, and the vision of young people on the Rule of Law.
Javier Cremades, president of the WJA and the WLF, has recognized that the World Law Congress “is a very special event where we celebrate the rule of law, because avoiding tyranny is promoting the rule of law and the only way to promote peace is the right”.
World Peace & Liberty Award to the European Commission
The closing ceremony of the World Law Congress New York 2023 will take place on Friday the 21st, at the ECOSOC Chamber of the United Nations. During the ceremony, the World Peace & Liberty Award will be presented to the European Commission and collected by Ursula von der Leyen, president of the institution, with Laudatio by Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada.
This recognition, considered the Nobel Prize in Law, is the highest award given by the World Jurist Association. It is awarded to outstanding personalities and institutions for their commitment to promoting peace through law and the rule of law as a guarantor of freedom. Previous awardees include Sir Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela, René Cassin, Felipe VI King of Spain, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Colombian society -received by its then president Iván Duque- and Andrew Young.
The WJA will recognize the Commission for its performance in establishing laws and for the way in which it applies the rule of law. The European Union is a construction based on respect for the European Treaties, founded on instruments of international law, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Through the Commission, the EU acts on a daily and dynamic basis as “guardian of the Treaties”, ensuring that Member States and their citizens respect the rule of law.
As previous winners, HM Felipe VI of Spain and Andrew Young will participate in the award ceremony. The event will be inaugurated by Earle Courtenay Rattray, Chief of Staff of the Secretary General of the United Nations, and will also feature the intervention of Javier Cremades, President of the World Jurist Association; Viviane Reding, Vice President of the World Law Foundation; Rowan D. Wilson, President of the New York Court of Appeals; and Anthony Kennedy, Senior Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
Medals of Honor of the World Jurist Association
During this closing ceremony, WJA Medals of Honor will be awarded to prominent personalities and institutions that promote the Rule of Law right all over the world.
The medals will be delivered to the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs, which will be represented by Miguel de Serpa Soares, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and UN Legal Counsel; Eric Adams, Mayor of New York; David Mills, a professor at Stanford University; Martin Baron, former editor of the Washington Post and the Boston Globe; Santiago Martínez Garrido, General Secretary and Board of Directors of Iberdrola; Brad Karp, President of Paul Weiss and Trustee of the World Law Foundation; and Jed S. Rakoff, Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Furthermore, the WJA Ruth Bader Ginsburg Medal of Honor will be awarded to former Supreme Court Justice of Canada Rosalie S. Abella. This recognition is given to women lawyers whose careers have broken through the glass ceiling, generating value for society by promoting gender equality, democracy, and the rule of law.
The session will end with the intervention of HM King Felipe VI of Spain, who has highlighted the importance of each new edition of the WLC since “mutual learning and the exchange of ideas and legal concepts are crucial to build a global legal consensus based on in the inherent dignity of all people and, therefore, recognize it”.