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It is now my pleasure to introduce our distinguished speaker William Neukom, president of the American Bar Association whose topic is "Advancing the Role of Law in the U.S. and Abroad". With over of 410,000 members the American Bar Association is the largest professional voluntary membership organization in the world. A graduate of Dartmouth College and the Stanford Law School, William Neukom is currently a law partner in the Seattle office of K&L Gates. Mr. Neukom rejoined that firm in the fall of 2002, from his position as the Executive Vice President of Law and Corporate Affairs at Microsoft, where he spent 17 years managing the company's legal, government affairs and philanthropic activities. Long accretive and organized bar work Mr. Neukom served on the American Bar Association Board of Governors a secretary of the ABA from 1983 to '87. And later he was in the ABA House of Delegates; he chaired the ABA fund for justice and education, and the ABA Governance Commission. Mr. Neukom served on the board of Dartmouth College from 1996 to 2007 and his board chair for the last three years. He is also a board member of the Dean's Council at Stanford Law School and a general partner in San Francisco Baseball Associates LP, the ownership group of the San Francisco Giants. Let's give a big welcome to my friend and our speaker William Neukom, president of the American Bar Association. Good evening, thank you for being here with us this evening. I am going to spend the next 20 or 25 minutes introducing you to a project that we think it has great promise. And I look forward to your questions about that project. The point of the project is justice. We call that the World Justice Project and its fundamental goal is to find ways to advance the rule of law in this country and in other countries. It's always a challenge to talk about the rule of law, because it's been defined in so many different ways by so many different smart people and organizations. The purposes of our project, we think we have a pretty practical set of universal principles that together constitute provide some meaning for the rule of law. They are just four of the principles. The first is to be a rule of law community. It is essential that there exists a system of self government, the self part of that means a government which is subordinate to the folks that yet seeks to govern. And then that system of self government be accountable as a government and that the individuals in that community be accountable under a set of laws or rules. So accountable self government is universal principle number one. Number two is that, that system of self government has to be based up on a set of rules, and not just any rules, we all know of regimes based on rules, very order oriented, very rules based. But the notion is that those rules have to be just fair rules, they have got to be broadly publicized by the government in question. They have to be not just clear and coherent and understandable, but they have to be actually understood by the folks in that community who design their work and their lives around those rules, and they have to be reasonably stable. We can't have the rule of the month club, a moving target on one hand; you don't want to be lock into somebody's bright idea. A rule etched and still that can not be changed as we get smarter and learn about a better rule. So a rule based system of self government which thirdly affords to the community, a process by which rights and responsibilities can be assorted and enforced. And that process has to be at least two things we believe, it has to be both robust and it has to be accessible. By robust we mean, that process which permits on the one hand the frame work for commerce means that we know how to make a deal, we know how to perform a deal, we know how to break a deal, we know how to enforce a deal, we know how to consummate a deal. A deal is a deal. And then we move on to another deal. Opportunities for peoples, the form transactions to undertake the commerce to support the economy. Robust also has a meaning in terms of resolution of disputes, however formally or informally a controversy might be resolved, we believe that it is important that the system provide a mechanism, a process such that once that controversy has been resolved, there is a certain finality to it. And the parties move on and the community moves on. So that's what we mean by a robust process. And in terms of an accessible process, I think that's self evident. Process to enforce rights and responsibilities can't be a process which is selective. It has to be a process in which anyone or any entity can have access, and it can have if you have a proverbial day in court or the day in the process. And fourthly fourth and final universal principal that makes up our notion of the rule of law is that that system has to have the active participation of a diverse set of advocates and umpires who reflects the diversity at the broadest sense of the community that it seeks to serve. And those umpires and advocates, those judges and lawyers if you will, depending on the location and question also have to be competent, they have to be independent and they have to be ethical. And by independent, we mean lawyers have to be not only unafraid but willing to work with unpleasant clients and represent unpopular causes, in order for the system to work evenly, and it means the judges of course and anyone who results a dispute whether it be a mediator or it be a counselor or it be an elder in more informal system, that the umpire make decisions based on reliable information and applying sound principles. So that is the notion of the rules of law. And the premise of our project is simply this, that in those communities whether it be in this country or others, where there is the will to establish and to nurture and to invest in the rule of law that can be a platform, a foundation if you will for a community which then can be a community of opportunity and of equity. Of opportunity in the sense that you then have a foundation of justice on which a viable economic system can be built. And with that comes the opportunity for people to earn a living way to job or better to start a business, or to invest in somebody else's business. The equity side of that means that is community where there is a free and fair government that has the confidence of the people that it is organizing and governing. The premise has a converse side to it, which we also believe is playing and proven if you will. And that is that in those communities where there is not an adoption and an investment in the rules of law, that community is many times more likely to be vulnerable to the five horrors of the human condition if you will. That community is going to be much more likely to suffer from violence, which can lead the terrorism and mutate into even genocide. That community is more likely to be subject to object poverty and all of the ugly aspects of object poverty on a large scale, that community is going to more likely to be the victim of corruption both in the private sector and in the public sector. That lawless community is much more likely to be vulnerable to poor health and sickness, it's hard to imagine a public health system that can work on a cryonic community and finally but just as importantly that community is likely to be subject to ignorance. How can one build and maintain the opportunity for discovery, research and scholarship, and teaching whether public or private and a chaotic, dangerous, self interested community. So that's the definition - meaning by the rules of law. That's why we think it is important and we are trying to do about it in a concrete way is to launch four programs under the umbrella of the project falling if you will. And the programs have no particular order are these. First we think it's time and professor Sullivan and others in the audience of a scholarly persuasion may think this is a bit naive - but we think it's time to gather some of the best sectors we can and to assign them homework and ask them to review the literature in this area and write what ever papers need to be written, so that the so that the full compliment of the literature proves to an intellectual certainty, but we believe to be the case. That the rule of law understood according to these principles, matters materially across the community. That it is important to every aspect of a functional community. So you don't need to process the threshold any longer and say why do we care about the rule of law? The answer is, in the scholarly literature, because it does matter because it is the starting point for communities of opportunity and equity. Now let's talk about how we advance that concept. So that's program number one. We have the great good fortune, thanks to the American Bar Foundation, misnamed, it doesn't give money, it tries to get money to support scholarship, it ought to be called the American Bar Research Institute its in Chicago where the headquarters is, and it's headed by a wonderful scholar named Bob Nelson, who has joined appointment in sociology and law at Northwestern. And with Bob's great help we have managed to enlist the assistance of two Nobel Laureate economists Amartya Sen, who I think spends most of his time at Harvard these days, but he is all over the world. James Heckman from the University of Chicago, department of Economics. And we have political theorists and scientists and we have legal scholars of that quality who are organizing themselves into workshops. We had a wonderful session just a month ago that I was telling professor Sullivan about at the Stanford Center for the Advanced Study of behavioral sciences, wonderful day with political sciences and law professors, discussing our index which I will come to in a minute. And the subject of the rule of law and what it means and why it matters and how it matters. You are going to have a larger scale workshop in Chicago at the American Bar Foundation with Heckman and Sen and the like. And they will begin work on their papers which will be published in the spring in time for our world justice forum to be held in July, where they will have a full area. The third program is a main streaming program. As we talk with audiences about this project, there is always often I should say, the question of what it really means to be advancing the rules of law and why should it matter to any of us. We have two themes about this project. We believe for us to make any progress for advancing the rule of law. We have to try to form a movement. A movement has to have two characteristics; it has to be multi disciplinary. It has to include many more disciplines than the law, if it's going to be successful. And in this staying age of a small interconnected world, it has to be multilateral. This project cannot be seen as an American export project. So we hard at working the main stream program, both domestically and internationally to invite to a very round table, leaders and members of leading organizations who represent the interests of other disciplines. And by inviting business representatives, and labor leaders, and environmentalists, and teachers, and public health officials, and religious leaders, and public safety, and military leaders to the table, and asking them if they will in good faith and open mind talk with us about this concept of justice. Can we share in understanding of what justice means? And if we can, they will go the next step with us, and will they ask themselves, does that concept of justice, does that notion of laying that primary foundation for communities of opportunity and equity doesn't matter to what they do. Does it matter in their work, does it matter into their constituents? Are they stake holders in helping to lay that foundation? Will that mean something to what they care about and if so, will they go the third step? Will they join us in a collaborative effort to find ways to design and carry out programs which will increase justice around the world. As members of the steering committee of the project, we have to and we have to persuade our colleagues who are our evangelist and organizers of these kinds of meetings to be humble. We don't have all the answers. We don't even have most of the answers probably. It's an additive process. We have to be nimble, we have to accept what we learn and change course accordingly. But we think we have a design of a good idea. And we have been very delighted by the response that we have had. Domestically, we had a meeting at the end of February in Washington DC to which we collected 85 folks representing nine new disciplines as we call it, new to the concept of the rule of law. And we sat with these colleagues of ours and we had a plenary session and we had the break out sessions by disciple, they came back and talk with us. The program went an hour beyond, the full day we had allocated for it. They said we will the most really skeptical, why would we want to come to an ABA launched program, and talk about the rule of law. What does it mean to me? I am a labor guy. What does it mean to me, I am trying to save the environment? At the end of the day, the virtually unanimous opinion was we were glad, we came; we understand that we are stakeholders. Now we want to meet again and talk about things we could do that would be concrete to help the project be successful. And as something of an afterthought, I will admit; we decided that we should start it at a state level. And so just six weeks ago, we launched a pilot program. And we impose it upon our friends in four states who were willing to volunteer to take on in an enviable assignment. We said, "There is no budget, there is no president, we have an idea, why don't you invite to a roundtable discussion in your community the leaders of 10 or 12 disciplines. Here are some examples. Once you talk about the "Rule of Law", here is some literature materials just we are trying to accomplish. See if you can get them to agree that there are stakeholders at the State and Local level. That there is something that they can do because justice matters at that level. This is not some esoteric notion, this is not something which only applies at national scale, it matters at the State and local level as well. And the State of Washington, I suppose not surprisingly but the state of States of Missouri and North Carolina and Tennessee ginned up these kinds of meetings on about two weeks notice to the invitees, and they had a wonderful attendance over a 100 folks came to three of those States on very short notice. And they talked about the subject and out of it came an enthusiastic response that they want to meet again. And they want to start designing programs. And the pitch of those people was, "Look, for years, Lawyers and Judges have been baying at the moon about the fact that 80 percent of Americans who lives at poverty level are locked out of the civil justice system. The pregnant mother who doesn't speak English who has two kids and gets a notice from the welfare agency has one chance in five to get a phone call though to a lawyer at legal services across this country. That's hardly equal justice. And we have been going to the Legislatures and the County Councils and the City Councils for years. And its too easy for them to say to us, "Its you system, its your problem, more pro bono or more of the interest on your trust accounts, more the residuals from from a transaction litigation, find the ways to fund, that is you problem". But if we go to our State Capitals, the doctors and educators and Labor Leaders and Environmentalists and Public Safety Folks, and say to them two things. First of all, these peoples deserve their day in court, they deserve to have some some participations, some access to Civil Justice in our State. And secondly, if they don't and because they don't, we don't know enough about poverty. This process is an intermediary process. The extend that you lock them out of Civil Justice, so they can't even get advice let alone participation, resolve a controversy. Then Civil Society and the Government of our State knows less about poverty, and that's unacceptable to us. We don't like poverty in our communities. Imagine that kind of an argument coming from a multidisciplinary group of people who understand that poverty and access to the judicial system is a community problem. It not just a Lawyers and the Judges problem. Similarly, the least understood Branch of Government, the judicial branch, you all know examples of tax on the judiciary, two problems, one is not enough folks in this country know enough about why the Judiciary exist and what it does, and why it does, what it does in terms of a separation of powers of three branch government, what it does is fundamentally important and it is essential to the balance and the effectiveness of a free government. We don't believe, I think in this room. But in South Dakota you can have a proprietary group bring a ballet measure to have which if adopted and it was leading in the polls until the last three weeks when the business community stepped up and told people in the state this is unacceptable this will hurt business and the community broadly, they had a plan whether it could be civil grand juries, citizen grand juries to pass judgment on the merits of the decision by a state court judge and throw her in jail if her - if her misconduct was severe enough, and fine her as well. How can you have a judicial process in a state if that becomes the law of the state? In Washington State we had a single issue candidate run against our state supreme court chief justice on behalf of the trade association that he represented in private practice, was only when the newspapers reveal the fact that over half of the money and he had a much better funded campaign and he coming - was coming from outside the state, but the voters in state of Washington rejected the candidate. He was leading in the polls until the last month. Oregon had a ballot measure, lets have our state Supreme Court justices qualify from districts in the state, that's the legislative branch, it's not the judicial branch. All what of this is because not enough of our colleagues who vote and pay their taxes understand what the judiciary does, but its in some perill, and imagine how much more effective that public voice is, the petitioning voice to government is about a better way of selecting and compensating and supporting the judiciary, if its this broad cross section of the community saying this is about separation of powers this is about a tripartite government, its free and fair and works for us. Let's do something together about it. Civics and public education, they don't teach civics any more, shouldn't they? If we are going to have be vigilant about protecting and advancing this democracy how can we do it. Our kids are coming out of school with no exposure to civics. Its not enough for lawyers to parachute in the classrooms, once a year and a half 50 minutes with Sophomore intercity high school and say this is what the bill of rights is, it is got to be built through the curriculum, doesn't it? Teachers know how, have to know how to teach civics, its fundamentally important to the preservation of a democracy. Again lawyers can can howl about that, tell the cows come home. But until you get the full community behind that idea its not going to change. So we fell very, very strongly about the power of a multi disciplinary movement at the local level and the response has been outstanding we anticipate that we will have in virtually every state and the union, a multi disciplinary out reach meeting of this kind and the by the time we come to law day, which is May 1 of 2008 the 50th law day in the history of the country, that we will have states we will have rule of law meetings, out reach meetings, multi disciplinary meetings in every state and the union and in most cases that would be a second meeting and that will be a meeting at which programs are designed and launched. And the fourth program is the justice forum that I referred to earlier it's a some what presumptuous title but its a some what audacious project you all know about Davos which is the world economic forum. We think with all do respect that are to be room on the world stage for a competing forum on an annual basis, which focuses on justice, because our belief is that justice is even more important than economics because without justice you cant have a viable economic system, now the smart people in Davos do talk about the rule of law to some extent but we will talk about to a greater extent, we think and in a more learned and persuasive way. We can do it in Vienna, ironically on July 3rd, 4th and 5th of next year we will invite six or 700 leaders from probably 15 disciplines, we will have a plenary session on the scholar's papers and break outs to follow, we will have a plenary section on technical legal assistance to work to the AVA has done so well in terms of helping countries who want the right constitutions and they are like, that is a corner stone of this. We will have a plenary session on the rule of law index, which would now occurs to me I haven't talked about yet. I should mention that briefly. Well, the plenary session on the power of multi disciplinary efforts, we will have plenary session most importantly to incubate ideas for new programs. Quickly on the rule of law index, there are 65 indexes in the field today under the general heading of the rule of law. All different definitions, but what's true of all of them is that they only cover one or two aspects of what we think is within an a broad notion of the rule of law. Ours will be the first comprehensive index; we are working hard on the content and on the methodology. We are deep in the beta testing process. We have beta test version 2.1, publishing internally today. We will go into the field in five countries in the fall. The first will have to be this country if you are going to be legitimately multilateral. And there are problems with the rule of law in this country. And we will go into probably a likely country, a Nordic country, which will score well. We will pick three of four problematic countries and go into those countries, where the government will co-operate terrific where it well we will have to avail ourselves of colleague's injustice who are in organizations within civil society. The job is not to shame and blame, this is not Transparency International, good for them, but that's not us. This is just a constructive tool to divulge useful, accurate information that a government and a civil society would want to have to determine how it can improve its performance in delivering justice to the community. We will go into five more countries in the winter and we will bring a proposed version 3.0 of the index into the World Justice Forum for a full wedding there. We have a budget of about $7.5 million. We have pledges of over $5 million towards that budget. We have co-sponsors of four multinational law organizations. We want sponsorship from prominent multinational organizations representing other disciplines. We have a list of honorary co-chairs which is a list of immortals from a number of countries. We want to continue to add to that. But to come back to where I started it is the launching of a multilateral, multidisciplinary movement to advance justice in the way we have described it, in this country and in other countries. And I will be happy to answer try to answer the questions from you.