Editorial - December/January 2019

James Lewis

It’s become traditional for the edition of Global Insight that follows the IBA’s Annual Conference to publish an extensive selection of highlights from the event. So, as well as the vibrant photo-spreads from this year’s event in Rome, we include edited excerpts of keynote speeches and various in-depth and exclusive interviews conducted with leading authorities on some of the major issues dominating the international agenda.

Romano Prodi, twice Italian Prime Minister and formerly President of the European Commission, was keynote speaker at the Opening Ceremony. He’s able to draw on many years of experience at the highest level to address major developments influencing the rise of populism and the fragmentation of Europe. The IBA’s President, meanwhile, took the opportunity to devote his Opening Ceremony speech to highlighting the IBA’s current drive for popular education about the rule of law, through its innovative series of short films.

This overarching theme – the importance of and challenges to the rule of law – was picked up and further developed in the interview with Mona Rishmawi, Chief of the Rule of Law, Equality and Non-Discrimination Branch at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Ken Clarke, a British MP since 1970, has served as Chancellor, Home Secretary and Justice Secretary. Staunchly pro-European, Clarke shares his ever-robust views on Brexit and the state of democracy.

Also in this edition we have interviews with Jennifer Rubin, a columnist for The Washington Post and Fatou Bensouda, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. Rubin’s highly informed and prolific coverage of the Trump administration is written from a right-of-centre perspective, but her criticism is no less coruscating for that. Bensouda, for her part, makes clear that the pushback she has received, not least from the Trump administration, will not deter her from continuing the drive for a rule-based order – more important now than ever.

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