The CEELI Institute was delighted to welcome the Hon. Beverley McLachlin to Prague, as the keynote speaker for our Annual Meeting in late June. Justice McLachlin recently completed her 17 year term as Chief Justice; she was the first woman to hold that position, and was also the longest serving Chief Justice of Canada. Justice McLachlin spoke eloquently about the current challenges to establishment of the Rule of Law, the trends towards its “unraveling” in certain regions, and the need for effective responses to that trend. She promoted the notion of a shared international value and understanding of the Rule of Law, as something that transcends even national values. Justice McLachlin concluded by noting the work of the Institute in advancing the Rule of Law; She stated that “the CEELI Institute stands as a testament that the Rule of Law offers the best way forward.” Justice McLachlin continues to sit on the International Advisory Board of the Institute.

Judge McLachlin was joined by a number of other speakers at the Annual Meeting, including the Hon. John Walker, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit,  Andrew Kramer, New York Times, Moscow Bureau, Jacek Kucharczyk, Institute of Public Affairs, Warsaw, Poland, Marta Pardavi, Co-chair, Hungarian Helsinki Foundation, Budapest, Benjamin Tallis, Institute for International Relations, Prague, Artem Sytnyk, Director, National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU), Ukraine, Judge Marin Mrčela, President of the Council of Europe’s Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO) and Justice of the Supreme Court of Croatia, and Helen Darbishire, Executive Director, Access Info Europe, Spain.