It was Dr Mark Ellis, together with other ILAC founder members, who held the vision that led to the creation of ILAC, being an organisation that could coordinate and manage the activities of legal assistance organisations to be more effective in the re-establishment of the rule of law in war-torn countries.
Dr Ellis has been the Executive Director of the International Bar Association (IBA) since 2000. The IBA is the foremost international organisation of bar associations, law firms and individual lawyers and under Dr Ellis’s leadership, the IBA has been one of ILAC’s most active members.
Over the last 17 years, the IBA has participated in many of ILAC’s programmes, beginning in 2003 in Afghanistan where the IBA assisted in the development of an independent bar association, to a current ILAC programme in Cuba designed to deepen the knowledge of Cuban lawyers in international commercial law. The IBA has also played a vital role in ILAC’s rule of law assessments. I met Dr Ellis when we were both part of ILAC’s assessment team in Libya in 2013. Dr Ellis was central to the assessment for his analysis of the role of the Libyan Bar Association in the country’s efforts to rebuild its justice system following the fall of Gaddafi in 2011.
Dr Ellis also took the initiative in conjunction with the Swedish Bar Association and ILAC to establish the Stockholm Human Rights Award, now in its 10th year. The award has been bestowed upon many leading jurists and human rights supporters in recognition of their outstanding work in advancing international justice, for their contributions to democracy based on the rule of law, and for strengthening respect for, and the protection and promotion of human rights.
Dr Ellis is committed to ILAC’s mandate of advancing the rule of law in conflict-affected and fragile countries and is a fearless exponent of human rights. As the President of ILAC, I had great pleasure in commending Dr Ellis as a recipient of Honorary Life Membership of ILAC.
Elizabeth Howe OBE
Given his outstanding contributions to ILAC and the rule of law, Dr Mark Ellis received his lifetime membership awards at ILAC’s 2019 Annual General Meeting in London.
Dr Ellis is a founding member of ILAC and former member of ILAC’s Executive Committee. The idea for an international legal consortium began in the 1990s when a number of international rule of law development organisations and leading international legal figures convened a series of roundtable policy discussions on post-conflict challenges.
Founded in 2002, ILAC brings together more than 50 professional associations and legal professionals from all over the world to share their wealth of expertise with national stakeholders who are rebuilding their justice institutions in countries that are in conflict, post conflict, or in transition to peace and democracy.
Other Lifetime members are: A.J. Bennazar-Zequeira, Christian Åhlund (founding ILAC Executive Director), Guiseppe Bisconti (former International Bar Association President), Hans Corell (Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and the Legal Counsel of the United Nations), Rodger Chongwe (former ILAC Executive Committee member), Mike Enwall (former ILAC Representative in Liberia), Paul Hoddinott (founding ILAC Chair), William Meyer (former ILAC Chair and founding member), Anne Ramberg (former ILAC treasurer), Francisco Diaz Rodriguez (former ILAC representative in Haiti), Joan D. Winship (ILAC founding member)