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Penn Law recognized by Financial Times for rule of law innovation and collaboration

December 14, 2017

Penn Law, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and multinational insurer Chubb have received the Financial Times’ 2017 “Highly Commended” award for innovative collaboration, in recognition of their partnership that places a globally trained Penn Law post-graduate fellow each year within the UNDP’s Rule of Law team at the United Nations.   

The Chubb Rule of Law Fund, the only corporate fund of its kind dedicated to supporting the rule of law globally, also won the 2017 Innovation in the Rule of Law and Access to Justice Award. The Penn Law/UNDP Fellowship is a centerpiece of Chubb’s innovative initiatives. 

The FT Innovative Lawyers 2017 (North America) is a program comprised of ranking and awards, presenting a unique analysis of the legal industry, assessing lawyers on their innovation both for clients and in their own businesses. The FT established the Innovative Lawyers program in Europe in 2006, which it then launched in North America in 2010 and in the Asia-Pacific region in 2014. 

“This collaboration serves as a model for law schools that seek to create extraordinary opportunities for multilateral and transnational engagement,” said Rangita de Silva de Alwis, Associate Dean of International Programs at Penn Law. “And this partnership engages emerging leaders in law in a way that has not been done before, at the nexus of the United Nations, the academy, and the private sector, through Chubb. We also want to thank the Honorable Helen Clark, the former President of New Zealand and former head of UNDP, for her leadership and guidance in this collaboration.”  

“The Chubb Rule of Law Fellowship is the first corporate/academic fellowship at the UNDP Rule of Law, Justice, Security and Human Rights at the Bureau of Policy and Programme Support at UNDP,” commented Ana Patricia Graca, Team Leader of the Rule of Law, Justice, Security and Human Rights Bureau for Policy and Programme for the UNDP. “This groundbreaking partnership will help expand the strategic vision of UNDP to provide rule of law assistance to support governments and national partners. Working together with the Chubb Rule of Law Fellow, the Chubb Rule of Law Fund, and Penn Law, we look forward to advancing our shared goals of strengthening the rule of law and transformative change in countries and regions around the world.”

The UNDP’s rule of law programs are focused on seven areas of interrelated work: 1) A political environment which strengthens rule of law and human rights; 2) Effective justice and security systems; 3) Community security and armed violence reduction; 4) Strong national human rights institutions; 5) Access to justice for vulnerable and marginalized groups: 6) Transitional Justice; and 7) Justice security and human rights for women and girls. The UNDP portfolio delivers around $220 million on rule of law assistance each year.

According to U.N. Assistant Secretary General Magdy Martinez- Soliman, “UNDP remains committed to delivering context-specific rule of law, justice, security and human rights assistance that is informed by the political environment and conflict analysis to contribute to sustaining peace. We look forward to enhancing our partnerships within and beyond the U.N. to ensure that our support is strategic and responds to the needs and aspirations of the communities in which we operate to build resilient communities.”

The FT Innovate Lawyers rankings are based on independent research by the Financial Times and its research partner RSG Consulting, who for this year’s awards conducted nearly 2,000 interviews with law firms, in-house legal teams, and legal services organizations, checked client references, and collected assessments by market experts, all of which were then reviewed by a panel of judges who assessed the research and reached conclusions on shortlisted nominees and the ultimate winners of each award.