Rule of Law

ABA and 2 former ABA presidents to be recognized for promoting rule of law

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World Law Congress

The World Jurist Association is recognizing the ABA and past ABA presidents Patricia Lee Refo and Hilarie Bass for their work to promote the rule of law in a ceremony today in Barranquilla, Colombia.

Refo, a partner with law firm Snell & Wilmer in Phoenix, and Bass, the president and founder of the Bass Institute for Diversity & Inclusion in Miami, will receive the Medal of Honor during the World Law Congress. The two-day conference brings together more than 2,000 global leaders to discuss the legal profession’s role in addressing current events.

An ABA press release is here.

“The rule of law is the most powerful force on earth to ensure the essential human rights of men and women,” said Refo, the association’s immediate past president. “I am proud to accept this award on behalf of the ABA and all who defend the rule of law every day.”

“It is the duty of lawyers throughout the world to be a voice for the voiceless and to ensure justice, especially in difficult circumstances,” said Bass, who served as ABA president from 2017-2018. “I accept this award on behalf [of] all lawyers who defend liberty and human rights.”

The World Jurist Association is a nongovernmental organization that is based in Washington, D.C., and has special consultative status at the United Nations Economic and Social Council. Since its founding in 1963, it has provided judges, lawyers, law professors and other legal professionals with a forum to work to strengthen the rule of law around the world.

During the World Law Congress, Bass and Refo will participate in the “COVID-19: Boon or Detriment to Gender Equality?” panel, and Bass will read an act granting the World Jurist Association’s World Peace & Liberty Award to the Colombian civil society and democracy.

ABA President Reginald Turner will also give brief remarks at the World Law Congress via video.

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