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Cape Town, South Africa to Host World Justice Conference

Western Cape Premier-Elect Helen Zille to present keynote address

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 29, 2009 – The eyes of the world have recently turned to the African continent as Somali pirates threaten cargo ships of many nations, a new study reveals that South Africans are not able to obtain necessary drugs to combat HIV/AIDS, and in light of the raid by Zimbabwe’s central bank on private accounts.

It is with this backdrop that experts from an array of disciplines will convene in Cape Town, South Africa, in an effort to build new partnerships and explore how the rule of law affects the work of all disciplines. The invitation-only World Justice Project Cape Town Conference 2009 will be held May 6-7 at the Vineyard Hotel & Spa (Colinton Road, Newlands, 7700).

Arts and culture, medicine and public health, law and the judiciary, human rights, education and faith are among the disciplines that will be represented at the two-day summit.  Among the featured sessions are keynote addresses by Colin Coleman, managing director, Goldman Sachs International and by Helen Zille, Western Cape premier-elect and head of the Democratic Alliance party in South Africa.

Conference participants will hear about programs already underway to promote the rule of law, which are being funded by the World Justice Project’s Opportunity Fund.  The fund is providing grant money to 36 programs around the world including ones that support freedom of information legislation, training and monitoring systems for anti-corruption in public works, and the translation and media dissemination of laws governing the rights of women to inherit land.

Attendees will also participate in small breakout sessions, by discipline, to develop ideas for additional multidisciplinary projects to strengthen the rule of law throughout Africa.

In addition, the program will feature the presentation of the Rule of Law Index, a comprehensive country-by-country tool to measure the rule of law in practice.  Participants will then have the opportunity to discuss index issues, especially those specific to African countries.

Featured moderators and other speakers include:

  • Ashwin Trikamjee, president, South African Hindu Maha Sabha, Durban, South Africa (opening invocation)
  • Leona Theron, judge, High Court of South Africa, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
    Mondli Makhanya, editor, Sunday Times, Johannesburg
  • Emma Kangethe, women’s project director, Africa, ACRL – Religions for Peace, Kenya
  • Arthur Chaskalson, chief justice emeritus, Constitutional Court of South Africa, Braamfontein
  • Cheryl Carolus, founder and executive director, Peotona Group Holdings, Ltd., Rivonia, South Africa

The Cape Town Conference is the sixth regional action-oriented multidisciplinary meeting convened by the World Justice Project, and follows meetings on five continents in 2007-2008 as well as the July 2008 World Justice Forum.  The meeting will bring together more than 80 participants from some 20 nations.

For more information, visit: http://www.worldjusticeproject.org/capetown

The World Justice Project is a multinational, multidisciplinary initiative which seeks to strengthen the Rule of Law for the development of communities of opportunity and equity. The WJP’s work consists of three complementary and mutually reinforcing program areas: Mainstreaming, Rule of Law Index and Scholarship. For further details, visit www.worldjusticeproject.org.

The World Justice Project is sponsored by a host of public health, business, labor, legal, civil rights and other organizations. Sponsors include the World Federation of Public Health Associations, the International Chamber of Commerce, the International Trade Union Confederation, Karamah: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights, Human Rights Watch, the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Club of Madrid. The _ is a founding member of the WJP.

With more than 400,000 members, the _ is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world.  As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.

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Learn More About:  World Justice Project