Compact and Forum Newsletter – Winter 2022-2023

Happy New Year!

The Law Societies’ Compact & Forum for SD6 16 (Compact & Forum) wishes you a happy new year and hopes that this 2023 is a fruitful year. The initiative is grateful for each and every one of its members and looks forward to continuing collaborating with you.

Welcome our General Counsel

As Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the World Bank Group, Christopher Stephens oversees the World Bank’s Legal Vice Presidency (LEG) consisting of approximately 200 professionals located around the world. He is responsible for overall coordination and support on legal aspects of the Operational Activities of the World Bank, including lending, advisory services, country engagement, operational policies, development finance, trust funds and partnerships, and sanctions and anti-corruption. He is also responsible for legal aspects of the corporate finance functions related to financial risk, financial reporting, treasury functions, capital markets issuances, and asset management, and provides legal advice on human resources, procurement, information technology, ethics and external affairs. Christopher has of course also taken up the position of Chair of the Compact & Forum.

Read the full note here.

Our first Goodwill Ambassador

The Compact & Forum wishes to recruit ambassadors that embody the initiative’s identity, values, and ethic as well as ambassadors that can represent the Compact & Forum in a positive light to increase awareness and promote the rule of law.

We are proud to welcome Louis Buchman as our first goodwill ambassador. He is a lawyer admitted to the Paris Bar in 1974 and to the New York Bar in 1989. In addition, he received his legal education at the University of Paris and is also an arbitrator and an accredited mediator.

Of particular importance, Louis is a past member of the Supervisory Board of the European Lawyers Foundation (2020-2022), a past chair of the European and International Affairs Commission of the French National Bar Council (2018-2020) and a past chair of the International Legal Services Committee of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of the European Union (2013-2018). Louis is also the author of many publications and articles, relating to Arbitration and Mediation, Corporate Governance, First Demand Bank Guarantees, Legal Ethics, and Business and Human Rights. A frequent lecturer, Louis speaks, in addition to his native French, English, Polish and Italian, and has a working knowledge of German. Lastly, Louis was a captain in the French Navy.

Do not hesitate to let the Compact & Forum Secretariat know if you have any suggestions for goodwill ambassadors of the initiative.

Updates on the Working Groups

i. Access to Justice and Law
This working group is led by the Paris Bar Association and aims to produce a “best practices” guide (“recipes”, and hence the name “cookbook”) that compiles key and crucial initiatives around the world on access to justice. The survey to be distributed as a core component to achieve the Cookbook has been finalized and is undergoing peer review. The working group is in the process of identifying a pool of contributors that can help answer the survey.

ii. International Women in Law
The Brazilian Bar and the Union Internationale des Avocats have been introduced to each other as the new co-leaders of the working group. They are in the process of identifying synergies to define the course of the working group and hope to welcome members to join their efforts as soon as the core project for the next two years is defined.

iii. Rights of Asylum
This working group is coordinated by the French National Bar Council, the Inter-American Bar Association, and the American Bar Association. A survey to be distributed is being finalized. The survey will be the basis of a publication of recommendations and best practices to adopt in light of international, regional, and national legal frameworks applicable to asylum seekers.

iv. Good Governance and Capacity Building by Bars and Law Societies
This working group is co-chaired by the Law Society of England and Wales and the Inter-American Bar Association. The working group has moved forward with meetings to concretize the path it will take. It is focused on helping law societies improve and strengthen their internal governance processes to make them more effective and enhance their transparency and accountability.

Please find further details of each working group here: If you would like to participate in any of the working groups, please contact and/or

Updates on the Compact & Forum Membership

The Compact & Forum has 17 members (see the full list here:

Do not hesitate to contact the Secretariat if you have suggestions about law societies or bar associations that can join our efforts.

Stay Tuned for the 2023 LJD Week

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4th Annual Board Meeting of the Compact & Forum

The Compact & Forum hosted its 4th annual board meeting on January 11th, 2023, from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM EST.
The meeting took place in a hybrid setting where eight items in the agenda were discussed. Such items included updates of the initiative’s progress, achievements, and objectives this 2023. In addition, the Board approved several important documents of the Compact & Forum and reiterated the importance of working conjunctly to further SDG 16 as member bar associations/law societies from around the world. Most of the members attended online but the World Bank Group hosted the American Bar Association and the International Bar Association in person.

Postponed Events

Latin American Event
The Compact & Forum and the Brazilian Bar Association have postponed the planning of a day dedicated to the initiative. The purpose of the future event will be to discuss ways of strengthening the rule of law and access to justice through the Compact & Forum’s work.

Members’ Newsroom

ABA Impact Report 2022
The American Bar Association issued its first-ever ABA Impact Report, which describes many of the tangible ways the ABA has helped its members use the power of law to advance the legal profession’s voice for justice in the United States and throughout the world. The full report can be read at

American Bar Association India Conference 2023
Registration is open for the ABA’s conference on “Law in the Age of Glocalisation: Convergence of India and the West.” The conference will take place in New Delhi, India, from March 3 to 5. The event is free. Advance registration is required. The target audiences include practitioners, academicians, educators, and research scholars. See

American Bar Association International Law Section Annual Conference 2023
Registration is open for the ABA International Law Section’s Annual Conference that will take place in New York City, United States, from May 1 to 5, 2023. See

3rd Annual Rule of Law Webathon Week
The third edition of the Rule of Law Webathon will take place from May 15 to 19. This year’s theme is “Upholding the Rule of Law in Challenging Times.” A series of panels will address issues such as economic rebuilding, environmental governance and climate change, armed conflicts, human trafficking, counterterrorism, surveillance technologies, and global rule of law. A special event will focus on this year’s 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The week is organized by the American Bar Association (ABA) International Law Section, the International Association of Young Lawyers (AIJA) Human Rights Committee, the Inter-American Bar Association (IABA), and the UIA-International Association of Lawyers. Watch the livestream on the Rule of Law Webathon Week YouTube channel:

Inter-American Bar Association Annual Conference

Our members often have exciting and interesting events that the Compact is happy to amplify and publicize. If your organisation has an upcoming event or other important news that you wish to share with our members, please contact the Secretariat and it will be included in our newsletter.

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