IBA Foundation Trustees Present at the IBA’s 2023 Annual Conference in Paris

IBA Foundation

The IBA’s 2023 Annual Conference was held on 29 October through 3 November in Paris. As part of the Annual Conference, on 3 November 2023, the Rule of Law Forum conducted a symposium discussion titled Rule of Law Symposium: Accountability and Justice. The panelists discussed key themes and significant challenges related to accountability and justice as key principles of the rule of law, including in the context of recent events around the globe.

The Rule of Law Forum invited IBA Foundation Trustee Homer Moyer, Senior Counsel at Miller & Chevalier, to deliver the opening address. At the International Bar Association, he was the first chair of the IBA’s Anti-Corruption Committee and Chair of the IBA’s Rule of Law Forum.

During his keynote address, Mr. Moyer discussed key principles of the rule of law and described significant challenges countries face during democratic transitions. In this context, he encouraged all to be informed and involved protectors of the rule of law and emphasized that sustaining these key principles and values takes continuous, intensive effort. Mr. Moyer also cautioned that “implementing rule of law values is not a simple task. Transitions predictably entail uneven progress, backsliding, and cycles of reform. Slippage can occur in the best of countries.”


IBA panel on Rule of Law Symposium: Accountability and Justice - November 3, 2023

Following Mr. Moyer’s introduction, Ms. Federica D’Alessandra, Co-vice-chair of the Rule of Law Forum, moderated a panel discussion. Over the course of the program, panelists addressed the importance of rule of law and the difficulty of achieving justice in conflict-ridden areas that face a history of deeply entrenched human rights abuses.

The panelists included IBA Foundation Trustee Ms. Alexandra Meise, Associate Teaching Professor Northeastern University School of Law and IBA Foundation Secretary (currently serving as a Visiting Professor of National Security Studies at the U.S. Army War College). She discussed emerging issues and perceived failures in international institutions and mechanisms for justice and accountability. In particular, she addressed, among other things, the perceived “legitimacy gap” facing these institutions, as well as fundamental questions of fairness and accountability, including for non-State actors, and offered comments on potential alternatives to provide increased access to justice.

Dr. Mark Ellis, the Executive Director of the IBA and IBA Foundation Trustee, discussed what the IBA Foundation has been doing in the space of international justice mechanisms, why it matters to international communities, and the overall importance of accountability, justice, and due process. In particular, he addressed the international community’s commitment and responsibility in the context of the Russia-Ukraine war. Moreover, in this context, Mr. Ellis addressed the key importance of international law in promoting accountability over impunity, and the supreme importance of due process.

Ms. Anna Ogrenchuk, Emeritus President of the Ukrainian Bar Association and Co-founder and managing partner of LCF Law Group, discussed how the support of the IBA is furthering justice and accountability efforts in Ukraine.

Finally, Col. Yevgeny Vindman, former U.S. Army colonel and expert on national and international law, addressed mechanisms of accountability and establishing rules-based order in the Ukraine war.