Georgia Bar Journal
GSB Vol. 14, NO. 1, Pg. 52.
Georgia's First Rule of Law Conference
GSB JournalVol. 14, NO. 1August 2008Georgia's First Rule of Law ConferenceSarah I. CooleA distinguished crowd of more than 100 participants gathered at the Bar Center on April 24 to convene the State Bar of Georgia's first Rule of Law Conference. Opinion leaders from a diverse array of occupations and disciplines met together to contemplate the challenges that exist to the rule of law and to exchange ideas on how individuals might work across occupational and disciplinary lines to sustain the rule of law in Georgia and elsewhere.
The conference was inspired by American Bar Association President William Neukom, who challenged state and local bars across the country to convene multidisciplinary meetings to explore and to promote the rule of law. President Neukom's Rule of Law Initiative "is a public service project of the American Bar Association dedicated to promoting rule of law around the world. The Rule of Law Initiative believes that rule of law promotion is the most effective long-term antidote to the pressing problems facing the world community today, including poverty, economic stagnation and conflict."
State Bar President Jeffrey O. Bramlett, then president-elect, accepted Past President Gerald Edenfield's request to coordinate a Rule of Law Conference for the State Bar of Georgia. "I was pleased that Gerald asked me to do it because I agree with President Neukom's premise that we need to reach beyond the legal profession for support in the ongoing struggle-here and abroad-to promote peaceful conflict resolution. Lawyers alone cannot sustain the rule of law; it is a hard-earned, priceless gift that belongs to all."
Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears began the conference by welcoming all those in attendance. "Each and every generation has to play their part of protecting the rule of law," Chief Justice Sears said. Edenfield also gave a few remarks and said that he was "delighted to join with the judicial branch for this first-ever conference in Georgia."
Judge Janis Gordon delivered the first of two co-keynote addresses. She discussed her experience as a former federal prosecutor detailed to Eastern Europe after the Bosnian/Serbian conflict to serve as an advisor to emerging governments in the former USSR in the process of...