The ACE Rule of Law Fund has awarded a $50,000 grant to the University of Pennsylvania Law School in support of a conference it is sponsoring in partnership with the National Constitution Center on the legal challenges facing new constitutional democracies in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is the Fund’s largest grant to date.
The conference will be held later this year at the National Constitution Center and at Penn Law. Expected participants include government officials, members of Parliament and academics from both Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as representatives from the United States.
In exploring structural and specific challenges, such as the role of Islam in the Iraqi and Afghan legal systems, Penn Law and the NCC aim to compile a body of research and identify training opportunities that will help secure the rule of law in both countries.
“We are grateful to receive such a generous grant from the ACE Rule of Law Fund,” said Amy Gadsden, associate dean and executive director of international programs at Penn Law School. “This support provides the resources to attract top scholars and experts from overseas and to publish several papers after the conference that will give further direction to current academic, non-governmental and U.S. governmental efforts. Penn Law is excited to partner with the National Constitution Center in focusing attention on the constitutional and other legal issues that will shape rule of law reform in Afghanistan and Iraq over the coming decade.”
"The National Constitution Center congratulates Penn Law and looks forward to hosting these important discussions, which coincide with the themes of the International Engagement Program here at the Center," said National Constitution Center President and CEO David Eisner.
The ACE Rule of Law Fund, established in 2008, is a unique partnership among the ACE Group, its legal staff and numerous partner law firms. Funded by voluntary contributions from individual ACE Group lawyers and matching contributions, this in-house legal charitable fund, quite possibly the first of its kind, supports projects to enhance the rule of law around the world.
Robert Cusumano, General Counsel of ACE Limited and a Penn Law alumnus, observed, “Sometimes corporate lawyers tend to take the existence of a rule of law for granted since we work with developed legal systems every day. But we have to keep in mind that the rule of law is not yet universal, not always available to all who need it, and very much in need of a support system. The ACE Rule of Law Fund allows our lawyers to pool resources from the ACE legal community to support organizations around the world who are our advocates for the rule of law, the people who are doing the hard work every day. Penn Law’s effort to shape and strengthen the rule of law in Iraq and Afghanistan is critically important for those countries and the world, and we are excited to be a sponsor.”
The ACE Group is a global leader in insurance and reinsurance serving a diverse group of clients. Headed by ACE Limited (NYSE:ACE), the ACE Group conducts its business on a worldwide basis with operating subsidiaries in more than 50 countries. Additional information can be found at: www.acelimited.com.
Penn Law School has collaborated with NCC since 1997 to promote discussions about constitutional issues through a range of symposia, conferences and seminars.