ILAC’s 2019 Annual General Meeting Examines the Closing Space for the Judiciary

On 30-31 May, ILAC held its 2019 Annual General Meeting (AGM) in London, UK, hosted by The Law Society of England and Wales. The meeting focused on the global trend of closing space for the judiciary and the challenges of implementing Sustainable Development Goal 16 of the 2030 Agenda.

As part of the AGM, ILAC and The Law Society of England and Wales hosted a public seminar, titled “Pushing back – implementing global justice and gender goals in a time of closing space for the judiciary”.

Participants of the ILAC 2019 AGM at the Law Society in London. Photo: Vanessa Passos 

A panel of high-level experts discussed how access to justice and gender equality are affected by a closing space. The panellists included Baroness Helena Kennedy, Director of IBAHRI (moderator), Professor Staffan Lindberg, Director, V-Dem Institute, Dr Mark Ellis, Executive Director of the International Bar Association, Christina Blacklaws, President of The Law Society of England and Wales and Agneta Johansson, Executive Director of ILAC.

ILAC members welcomed David Steven, Director of the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies, who presented The Task Force on Justice’s recently published report, Justice for All. The Task Force on Justice has explored the delivery of Sustainable Development Goal 16 of the 2030 Agenda. As a partner of the Task Force, ILAC has contributed to the ongoing dialogue on Goal 16 and to the Justice for All report.

The AGM is ILAC’s highest decision-making body and governance decisions taken by the AGM this year included the election of Christopher Lehmann, Executive Director of the CEELI Institute, to ILAC’s Board of Directors; the re-election of Rolf Ring, Deputy Director of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute, as ILAC’s Treasurer; the election of the Public International Law & Policy Group to ILAC’s Advisory Council; and the election of the World Justice Project and the Center for Justice & Accountability as new members to the consortium. ILAC also awarded Dr Mark Ellis with Honorary Lifetime Membership.

In addition, the Secretariat’s Assessment and Legal Analysis Department presented the first findings of its ongoing justice sector and rule of law assessment in Liberia — to be launched in the upcoming months –, its continued work in Palestine and a discussion on the review of ILAC’s methodology for conducting assessments.

The ILAC Programmes Department, along with implementing members, presented on the Syria and Cuba Programmes, along with the second phase of the MENA Programme. The Secretariat also presented other upcoming projects, including the launch of a new ILAC website scheduled for late 2019.

ILAC wishes to express its gratitude to The Law Society for hosting our AGM and especially thanks Lizzette Robleto de Howarth, International Programmes Manager at The Law Society, for her support in organising the AGM and associated events.

We look forward to another year of continuing to work with our members in pursuit of ILAC’s mission of equal access to justice for all.