This year’s lecture was held on Monday 5 December at Inner Temple Hall, by kind permission of the Inner Temple. The keynote speaker was Patricia O’Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs at the United Nations who spoke on “the UN and the rule of law: current challenges” to an audience of around 200 barristers, law students and judges.
Patricia gave an insightful and thoughtprovoking lecture on the importance the UN attaches to the rule of law and the wide range of activities it undertakes to promote it. Highlights were learning about the responsibility to protect and the way this has been engaged to protect citizens from their governments in those countries affected by the Arab Spring. It is encouraging to hear that enabling states to protect their citizens is the priority under the responsibility to protect doctrine. It is clear that a strong and independent judiciary and well trained lawyers that operate under a robust system of ethics form a cornerstone of preventative efforts.
This annual lecture gives barristers and law students a unique opportunity to hear from a range of leading international experts on major current international rule of law issues, who are drawing on a wealth of professional and personal experiences. It aims to stimulate debate and inspire barristers to participate in rule of law related projects.