Mary Robinson was one of three recipients of the inaugural LexisNexis Rule of Law Awards at an event hosted by LexisNexis in association with the Atlantic Council in New York City on 19 September 2013.
Mary Robinson was one of three recipients of the inaugural LexisNexis Rule of Law Awards at an event hosted by LexisNexis in association with the Atlantic Council in New York City on 19th September 2013. Mrs Robinson received the award in recognition of her significant contributions to promoting the rule of law. Awards were also presented to Mr Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations; and Ms Laurel Bellows, Founding Partner of the Bellows Law Group and Past President of the American Bar Association.
Accepting the award, Mrs Robinson said that the Mary Robinson Foundation –Climate Justice would work with others to ensure that the rule of law is used “to address the injustice caused by the impacts of climate change on the most vulnerable”. She said that it is only via the rule of law that injustices, at both the national and international level, can be challenged and those who are accountable held to account. Mrs Robinson also stressed the need for strong legal frameworks to ensure transparency in the enforcement of climate and environmental policies.
In a discussion on the advancement of the rule of law and the mission of the United Nations, Mrs Robinson highlighted its prominence in current discussions on the post-2015 development agenda. She referred to the report of the High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, and the UN Secretary General’s own report, A Life of Dignity for All, both of which underscore the importance of rule of law and respect for human rights in efforts to realise a sustainable future for all.
The event also saw the introduction of an initial draft of the Global Rule of Law Business Principles developed by LexisNexis and the Atlantic Council in consultation with the United Nations. Mrs Robinson welcomed the introduction of the principles as a complement to the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights developed by Professor John Ruggie, formerly United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Business and Human Rights, and unanimously approved by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011. She said that the business and legal professions must use their individual and collective voices to make the case for adherence to international standards of good corporate practice and called for an independent accountability mechanism that would allow for reporting on adherence to the principles.