ABA, two former ABA presidents honored

The American Bar Association and two former ABA presidents recently were honored with the prestigious Medal of Honor from the World Jurist Association for their work promoting the rule of law around the world.

The medal was presented to the ABA, Patricia Lee Refo and Hilarie Bass at the World Law Congress last week in Barranquilla, Colombia.

Refo is a partner with the law firm of Snell & Wilmer in Phoenix. She is immediate past president of the ABA, serving from 2020-2021. Bass is president and founder of the Bass Institute for Diversity and Inclusion, based in Miami, and was ABA president from 2017-2018.

“The rule of law is the most powerful force on earth to ensure the essential human rights of men and women,” Refo said. “I am proud to accept this award on behalf of the ABA and all who defend the rule of law every day.”

Bass said, “It is the duty of lawyers throughout the world to be a voice for the voiceless and to ensure justice, especially in difficult circumstances. I accept this award on behalf all lawyers who defend liberty and human rights.”

The World Jurist Association is dedicated to pursuing a world ruled by law, not force. It was founded in 1963, in part through the work of the ABA, as a place where judges, lawyers and others work to strengthen the rule of law and its institutions. It is a nongovernmental organization with special consultative status at the United Nations Economic and Social Council.


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