Event Overview

The Rule of Law is not merely the stock and trade of lawyers. It is our core value, the fulcrum of our profession and the polestar of our activity.  It is the social fabric that ensures human rights, democratic principles, economic opportunity, social development, and the fundamental freedoms we all recognise as self-evident. And with the world now facing unprecedented challenges, lawyers remain the first line of defence against efforts to undermine, circumscribe, or defeat the Rule of Law. To underscore the critical importance of that mission and the strong commitment shared by lawyers around the world, we have chosen to come together in an extraordinary way.
Three of the world’s major international lawyers associations: AIJA HRC (International Association of Young Lawyers - Human Rights Committee), UIA IROL (Union Internationale des Avocats - Institute for the Rule of Law), and ABA-SIL (American Bar Association – Section of International Law) have joined forces to launch the first 24-hour Webathon in defence of the Rule of Law

We are proud to present a continuous series of two-hour panel discussions that will move like the sun across the planet, spanning continents and time zones. 

Each panel will address a different aspect of the challenges faced by the Rule of Law and will be hosted by a leading bar or international law association, including: the Law Society of England and Wales, the Barcelona Bar Association, Barra Mexicana de Abogados, the Inter-American Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the California Bar Association, the Law Council of Australia, LAWASIA, the NUPL (Philippines), the Society of Indian Law Firms, the Bar Association of India, the Deutscher Anwaltverein, the Warsaw Bar and the Paris Bar.
The Webathon will start on Tuesday 4 May from 16:00 CEST (14:00 GMT) to Wednesday 5 May at 16:00 CEST (14:00 GMT).   

Have a look at the programme below. Find your topics, find your time zones, but most importantly, find your passion and join your fellow lawyers across the globe in defending the Rule of Law. 

NEW!! Madeleine Albright, U.S. Former Secretary of State, will be a speaker in the ABA panel on Tuesday 4 May at 22:00 CEST (20:00 GMT).

How to join

The Webathon is open and free to everyone.

To join, subscribe to the YouTube channel and click here


16:00 - 18:00

Organised by the Law Society of England and Wales

Introduction: Stephanie Boyce, President of the Law Society of England & Wales

Moderator: Christoph Sicking, EBRD Deputy General Counsel and Chair of the Law Society’s International Committee


- The Hon. Justice Robin Knowles, CBE
- Sir Iain Macleod, FCDO Legal Adviser
- HHJ. Joanna Korner, CMG QC of the International Criminal Court
- Dame Fiona Woolf, British corporate lawyer, former Law Society President and former Lord Mayor of London
- Ian McDougall, Executive Vice President and General Counsel for LexisNexis

18:00 - 20:00

Organised by Barcelona Bar Association

Moderator: Eugenia Gay, President of the Barcelona Bar Association


- Dominique Attias, President of the European Bars Federation (FBE)
- Sheila Boston, President New York City Bar Association
- Margarethe Von Galen, President of the CCBE (Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe)
- Melissa Pang, President of the Law Society of Hong Kong
Ewa Widlak, Consultant in Gender Equality
20:00 - 22:00

Organised by Inter-American Bar Association and held in Spanish

Moderator: Lourdes Escaffi Venes, Secretary General, Inter-American Bar Association

- Allan Brewer-Carias, Professor Emeritus, Central University of Venezuela;
- Sergio Diaz Ricci, Principal Professor, National University of Tucuman;
- Mary McCord, Legal Director of the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection, Georgetown University Law Center;
- Dolores “Lola” Aguinaco, Founding Partner, Aguinaco + Aja Abogados.

Organised by the American Bar Association International Law Section

Moderator: Joseph L. Raia, Chair ABA International Law Section

Keynote speaker: Madeleine Albright, U.S. Former Secretary of State


- Trish Refo,
President American Bar Association
- Alberto Mora,
Director Rule of Law Initiative, American Bar Association

00:00 - 02:00

Organised by State Bar of California


- Jerry Roth, UIA Immediate Past President; Partner, Munger, Tolles & Olson; Member, State Bar of California
Leslie Caldwell, Partner, Latham & Watkins, former Chief of the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice


- Sean SeLegue, Chair, Board of Trustees, State Bar of California; Partner, Arnold & Porter
- Emilio Varanini, President, California Lawyers Association; Supervising Deputy AG, California Office of the Attorney General
- Stephane Bonifassi, Former First Secretary of the Paris Bar Conference; Partner, Bonifassi Avocats
02:00 - 04:00

Organised by NSW Council for Civil Liberties

Moderator: Pauline Wright, President NSW Council for Civil Liberties, former President of Law Council of Australia and Law Society of NSW and solicitor at PJ Donnellan & Co, Central Coast NSW

Keynote speaker: Dr. Teela Reid, Wiradjuri and Wailwan Lawyer, first Aboriginal person to be elected on the UNSW Law Society as Vice-President (Social Justice), Founding director of the UNSW Law First Peoples Moot, Inaugural recipient of the NSW Indigenous Barristers Trust award.


- Cheryl Axelby, Chair of Change the Record. Cheryl is a proud Narungga Woman who is passionate about improving the quality of life for her people. Cheryl has spent the last 40 years working within the Aboriginal community, Federal Govt and South Australian Government to improve the lives of First Nations peoples;
John McKenzie AM, NSW Legal Services Commissioner. was principal solicitor at the 1987-91 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, received his AM for significant service to the law, the legal profession, and to social justice for the indigenous community. For over 40 years John held senior positions in Legal Aid NSW, was chief legal officer for the Aboriginal Legal Service (ALS) from 2006-2014, and has been NSW Legal Services Commissioner since 2015.
- Pr. Thalia Roberts, expertise in the areas of criminal law and procedure and Indigenous people and the law, with a particular specialization in Indigenous criminalization and Indigenous community justice mechanisms;
- Barry ‘BJ’ Duncan, founding member and Board member Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council. Barry is a proud Gomeroi/Gamilaraay man from North West NSW.

04:00 - 06:00

Organised by LAWASIA

Moderator: Yasushi Higashizawa, Co-Chair, Human Rights Section, LAWASIA; Professor, Meijigakuin University (Tokyo)

 Keynote speaker: Mark West, Human rights activist


Mr. Christopher Leong, Immediate Past President of LAWASIA;
- Mr. CM Chan, Vice President of The Law Society of Hong Kong;
- Jerry Roth, Immediate Past President, UIA; Partner, Munger, Tolles & Olson (San Francisco)
06:00 - 08:00

Organised by National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (Philippines)

Moderator: Czarina Musni, National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers, Philippines

Keynote speaker: Mr. Diego García Sayán, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers.


- Jacqueline R. Scott, Director General of UIA-IROL (UIA Institute for the Rule of Law);
- Emin Abbasov, Independent Lawyers Network, Azerbaijan;
- Angelo Karlo Guillen, National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers, Philippines;
- Sinan Naipoğlu, LL.M., Member of the Board of the Istanbul Bar Association, Turkey;
- Stephen McNamara, Tharthi Myay Foundation, a Myanmar CSO;
- Avi Singh, Co-Director, Protection of Lawyers, UIA-IROL.
08:00 - 10:00

Organised by Society of Indian Law Firms, Bar Association of India

Moderator: Dr. Lalit Bhasin, President, SILF

Keynote speaker: Hon’ble Justice Madan Lokur, Supreme Court of India, Chief Guest


- Mr. V Lakshmikumaran, Managing Partner, Lakshmikumaran and Sridharan;
- Ms. Aarthi Sivanandh, Partner, J Sagar Associates;
- Mr. Deepak Acharya, General Counsel Wipro Limited;
- Ms. Gowree Gokhale, Leader – IP, Technology and Media, Nishith Desai Associates.
10:00 - 12:00

Organised by Deutscher Anwaltverein

Keynote speaker: Dr. Annette Mutscher-Siebert, M.Jur. (Oxon)

- Dr. Petya Androva, Senior Analyst, EASO;
- Phil Worthington, Managing Director, European Lawyers in Lesvos;
- Dr. Maria Papaioannou, Information and Analysis Officer, EASO;
- Mr. Ulrich Weinbrenner, Head of Department for Migration, Refugees and Return Policy at the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community;
- Dr. Boštjan Zalar, Chairperson European Section, International Association of Migration and Refugee Judges.
12:00 - 14:00

Organised by Warsaw Bar

Moderator: Anna Wyrzykowska, Vice President of AIJA, partner at WKB Wierciński, Kwieciński, Baehr sp.j.

Keynote speaker: Dr. Przemyslaw Tacik, Assistant Professor, Jagiellonian University in Kraków

- Paweł Filipek, Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Republic of Poland and Associate Professor (Adiunkt), Institute of Law, Krakow University of Economics
- Mikolaj Pietrzak, Dean of the Warsaw Bar;
- Martin Pradel, Deputy Director General of the UIA Institute for the Rule of Law, Chairman of the Commission on The Exercise of Rights, CNB (National French Council).
14:00 - 16:00

Organised by Paris Bar and held in French

Moderator: Stéphane de Navacelle, AIJA HRC Co-Chair; Former Member of the Paris Bar Council

Keynote speaker: Olivier Cousi, President of the Paris Bar

- Marie O’Leary, Counsel, International Criminal Court
- Matthieu Bagard, Paris Bar Attorney, Avocats Sans Frontières France Secretary
- Ghislaine Doucet, Doctor of Law, specialized in international humanitarian law, terrorism and international criminal law, Senior Legal Advisor to the ICRC Delegation in France
- Amélie Ferey, Postdoctoral researcher (CERI), IRSEM resident

Fees & General Info

There are currently no registration fees available.

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If you are a lawyer under 35 years old and meet the requirements, apply to our Scholarship Programme for this event. You can check more details here.

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