By Michael E. Scullin (Article from the Philadelphia Bar Reporter)

There is a new initiative in Philadelphia to promote professional and public education about the International Criminal Court and the global embrace, in many different forms, of a culture of the Rule of Law.

The International Law Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association, the Temple University Beasley School of Law and the United Nations Association of Greater Philadelphia have developed a program of activities to educate and raise awareness of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and its implications in the many aspects of legal practice. This ad hoc working group has styled its effort as the Philadelphia Global Initiative on the Rule of Law.
Under the slogan “Celebrate, Reflect, Promote,” the Global Initiative kicks off with its first event on Monday, Sept. 10 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the ICC in conjunction with the 225th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution in Philadelphia. Many distinguished guests will participate (see www.una-gp.org/global.initiative/ for more details). Members of the Philadelphia Bar Association, (promotional partner) the Pennsylvania Bar Association and others are invited to attend this event at the Free Library on the Parkway. The Global Initiative acknowledges the efforts of Enid H. Adler, longtime Philadelphia Bar Association member and representative to the NGO Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC), to have the national celebration of the 10th anniversary of the International Criminal Court take place in Philadelphia. In conjunction with the 225th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution, such a celebration recognizes the special place that Philadelphia holds as the birthplace of modern democracy and the rule of law.

Moreover, the Global Initiative is also inspired by the American Bar Association’s (ABA) call for urgent professional education about the International Criminal Court and the implications of the ICC for professional practices worldwide. Members of the Global Initiative are working with the ABA Center for Human Rights, the International Law Section of the ABA, the American NGO Coalition for the ICC (AMICC) and educational law experts nationwide.

Two more events for law professionals are planned, granting a total of 10-12 CLE credits for all three events. An afternoon seminar (four credit hours) is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 8 at Beasley School of Law, under the general rubric of “Jurisprudence and Jurisdictional Issues.” Another afternoon session (also four credit hours) is planned for February 2013 at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, with a focus on “Enforcement and Victim Issues.” These events will be organized in cooperation with the International Criminal Court, and ICC judges are expected to attend. The members of the Global Initiative are working with experts to prepare thought-provoking, specialized lectures and presentations. Stay tuned for further details on both seminars.

Beyond these seminars, the Global Initiative is working with the leadership of the six area law schools in the region to convene a special Deans’ Forum on “Globalizing the Law School Curriculum.” This initiative should be understood as a contemporary reflection by institutions of higher learning on the impact of globalization on the human experience and how to prepare the next generation of lawyers to work effectively in the global market place.

In close relation to these professional educational activities, the Global Initiative also intends to organize a special Model United Nations Conference on the Rule of Law for students in our high schools and colleges. That Model United Nations Conference is tentatively scheduled for early March 2013.

Michael E. Scullin (mscullin@mdmc-law.com), counsel to McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, LLP, is co-chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s International Law Committee.