Today, we are exporting these professional legal services, and the ethics and principles which underpin them, around the globe to an overseas market hungry for those educated and experienced in our system of justice and jurisprudence.
I am delighted that London will host the Global Law Summit, described as the Davos of where law meets business, endorsed by Prime Minister David Cameron. Taking place in Westminster from 23-25 February 2015, the summit will bring together over 2,000 leaders in law, business, government and academia to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta.
Doing business under the Rule of Law framework
Our country has been central to the development of an international Rule of Law, starting with the concept of binding arbitration between states to resolve disputes and prevent conflict. It is no coincidence that our country has been regarded as a place where one could enjoy the protection of the law and where in more recent times upholding, protecting and promoting the Rule of Law has been a central activity of the state.
As such, the Global Law Summit will focus heavily on the impact of the Rule of Law in securing global business growth and competition. It will cover themes including international trade and investment; regulation, competition and dispute resolution; demographics, technology and globalisation, human rights, the accessibility of justice and copyright protection.
Adherence to the Rule of Law makes sense for people, businesses, governments and economies, as it provides a framework for “doing things” and investing for the future with confidence. The Rule of Law is not about providing a carpet of red tape, but instead creating clear rules, a high level of certainty about the legal parameters of decision-making and clear consequences for unlawful actions. This allows businesses to operate efficiently and effectively in the knowledge that there are safeguards in place and should disputes arise, there is a clear and fair way by which they can be resolved.
Globalisation and the impact of technology are making the world a more competitive place than ever before and this will continue. Countries that adhere to and practise the Rule of Law at every level are those that will make it easier for investors and the business environment in general, thereby contributing to growth and more sustainable societies. It is a vital factor when deciding where to trade, grow or do business and those countries that observe the Rule of Law are the ones that will emerge ahead.
Critics assert that the Rule of Law is often not observed by those who have signed up to it, but the fact that many countries may fail in their obligations should not discourage our international promotion of the Rule of Law. Indeed, recognising its vital importance, the United Nations Global Compact announced in June this year that it will establish a Steering Group for “Business for the Rule of Law”, with the publication of a global framework in late 2015.
Eminent speakers and panellists
However, before then, the Global Law Summit is a “must-attend” event, supported by strategic partner Thomson Reuters, leading legal and professional services firm sponsors, the City of London Corporation, the Bar Council of England and Wales, and the Law Society of England and Wales, amongst others.
The summit includes a line-up of eminent speakers and panellists, with the most recently announced names being Boris Johnson, Cherie Blair QC, Lionel Barber and Trevor Manuel. Aung San Suu Kyi will address the Summit by video-link. I very much encourage you to put the Global Law Summit firmly in your schedule and book a ticket to this one-off , world-class debate, discussion and high-level networking opportunity about the Rule of Law.
The Global Law Summit runs from 23-25 February 2015 at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre and Central Hall Westminster, London. See www.globallawsummit.comEX.