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Rangita de Silva de Alwis leads UN global conversation honoring Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s global legacy on International Human Rights Day

December 01, 2020

The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School will join UN Women in honoring the global legacy of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on December 10, International Human Rights Day.

UN Women, together with the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, Harvard Law School’s Center on the Legal Profession, and Stanford Law School’s Center on the Legal Profession honored the global legacy of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on December 10, International Human Rights Day.

The Law School’s Rangita de Silva de Alwis lead this partnership.

The global conversation, “Equal in Law and Life: Tribute to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg,” convened an intergenerational group of women leaders and male allies to reflect on the transformative impact of Justice Ginsburg’s work on equality in the law and in life.

Watch here:


Phumzile Mlambo Ngcuka

United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, former Vice President of South Africa

Gillian Lester

Dean of Columbia Law School

David Wilkins

Lester Kissel Professor of Law at Harvard Law School

Deborah Rhode

Ernest W. McFarland Professor of Law at Stanford Law School

Justice Sisi Khampepe
Constitutional Court of South Africa
Justice Susan Glazebrook

Supreme Court of New Zealand

Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella

Supreme Court of Canada

Aminata Touré

former Prime Minister of Senegal


Rangita de Silva de Alwis will moderate the first conversation.
Clara Spera, Legal Fellow at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Justice Ginsburg’s granddaughter, will moderate the second conversation.


On International Human Rights Day, as we rededicate ourselves to the bedrock guarantees of human rights, we recall the words of Judith Resnik of Yale Law School, writing in the Columbia Journal of Gender and the Law in 2013: “One way to honor Justice Ginsburg’s path-breaking inquiries is to continue the ‘international human rights dialogue’ in which she has long engaged. Resnik writes that “she urged us to take up the central issues afresh – to focus on what role law can play in empowering women in all corners of the world, with very different governing legal systems, and to consider what needs yet to be accomplished.”

Under Secretary General Ngcuka emphasizes the importance of Justice Ginsburg’s focus on the underrepresentation of women in leadership positions.

“As we pay tribute to Justice Ginsburg,” said Ngcuka, “ we recognize that Justice Ginsburg’s feminist theory of justice connects with other feminist jurists around the world to advance this moment of global public reckoning on gender and intersectional identity equality.” de Silva de Alwis is the distinguished adviser to Ngcuka.