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LJD Week 2023 | Law, Justice, and Development: Judges’ Perspectives

November 15, 2023
Virtual & In-Person

Years of research have consistently affirmed that effective legal systems, underpinned by the Rule of Law, are fundamental prerequisites for achieving sustainable development. However, the effectiveness of these legal frameworks hinges on the fair and effective operation of justice systems that are accessible to all. Judges, attorneys, and enforcement agencies have a pivotal role in providing stability, predictability, and ensuring the enforcement of contracts and property rights, all of which are essential for fostering trade, investment, and more inclusive societies. In 2021, the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index revealed a staggering 61 percent decline in adherence to the Rule of Law in most countries.

In this context, this session seeks to explore the intersection of justice systems and sustainable development by bringing together Supreme Court Justices from different jurisdictions, who have been actively reflecting and tackling these challenges in their roles. This session aims to reevaluate the significance of independent and efficient justice systems in addressing the ever-evolving challenges of sustainable development. It will engage in an insightful discussion, tackling critical questions that revolve around the role of law and judicial services in our contemporary world, and where they can contribute to reversing the decline of the Rule of Law around the world.

  • Hassan
    Hon. Hassan B. Jallow
    Chief Justice, The Gambia

    Hon. Hassan Bubacar Jallow is currently the Chief Justice of The Gambia. He is also the former Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) (2013-2015), the former Prosecutor of the United Nations Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) and Under Secretary-General of the United Nations (2012-2016). Chief Justice Jallow previously worked as Attorney General and Minister of Justice in The Gambia (1984-1994) and as Justice of the Gambian Supreme Court (1998-2002), Judge of the Appeals Chamber, UN Special Court for Sierra Leone (2002), Judge Ad Litem of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (2001), and Judge of the Commonwealth Arbitral Tribunal. He has served the UN, the Organisation of African Unity, the African Union and Commonwealth as a Legal Consultant on various matters, and is the author of Journey for Justice (2012), Prosecuting International Crimes: Recollections and Reflections, Law, Justice and Governance as well as several other books and papers.

  • Michael-Leburu-2
    Hon. Michael Leburu
    Judge, High Court of Botswana

    Hon. Michael Lebruru has been a Judge of the High Court of the Republic of Botswana since 2010. As High Court Judge, he presides over Civil, Criminal and Constitutional cases. Before his current role, Justice Leburu had served as General Counsel, at various times, for three State owned parastatals, namely Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority, Motor Vehicle Accident Fund, and Botswana Development Corporation. Before joining the corporate sector, he held the position of Magistrate (Botswana). Justice Leburu has extensively written judgments on a broad spectrum of legal issues and is credited with writing a judgment that decriminalized same sex relationship in 2019. He has acted as Chief Justice and Justice of Appeal (Botswana) on various occasions.

  • Vera
    Hon. Vera N. Nkwate Ngassa
    Justice, Supreme Court of Cameroon

    Lady Justice Vera N. Nkwate Ngassa is currently a Justice of the Supreme Court of Cameroon and has served in the Cameroon Judiciary as a prosecutor and judge for the past 36 years. Justice Ngassa is a certified and rostered Justice Rapid Response Expert in Conflict Related Sexual and Gender-based Violence, a fellow of the Public Policy, Leadership and Advocacy for Women in Africa and the African Mediators and Conflict Resolution Experts. A self-styled judicial activist, Justice Ngassa has contributed to many ground-breaking decisions and precedents. In her defense of human rights, she broke new ground in the areas of women’s access to justice, property rights and violence against women. Part of her work is featured in the BBC International award-winning documentary “Sisters in Law.” She is also a prolific writer and speaker, and an Adjunct Lecturer teaching “Women, human rights and law” at the University of Buea Cameroon.

  • Natalia Cabo
    Hon. Natalia Ángel Cabo
    Justice, Constitutional Court of Colombia

    Hon. Natalia Ángel Cabo is serving as a Justice on the Colombian Constitutional Court and Professor of Law at the Universidad de los Andes. Prior to her current roles, she was Deputy Justice on the Colombian Constitutional Court and directed the Support Office for the Constitutional Court’s Special Follow-up Plenary on Judgment T-025/04, focusing on internal forced displacement issues. She has also served as the Editor of the Latin American Law Review and played a pivotal role as the Founder and Director of the Program for Equality and Social Inclusion (PAIIS). Over the years, Justice Ángel Cabo has provided consultancy services to various national and international organizations, including the Inter-American Court of Justice, World Bank, United Nations, and the Inter-American Development Bank. She has earned multiple distinctions for her contributions to a wide array of areas, including constitutional law, access to justice, participatory democracy, local governance, and the protection of rights for women and persons with disabilities.


                        @nangelcabo                    @CConstitucional

  • Sapana
    Hon. Sapana Pradhan Malla
    Justice, Supreme Court of Nepal

    Hon. Justice Sapana Pradhan Malla is Justice of the Supreme Court of Nepal. As practicing lawyer before her current role, she has been involved in almost all leading public litigation in Nepal, including cases involving legalization of abortion, criminalization of marital rape, and equality in marriage and family law. The Human Trafficking Act that she helped draft has become a legal model for the region. Hon. Justice Sapana Pradhan was also instrumental in securing the most recent legal reforms protecting the fundamental reproductive and property rights of women in Nepal. She has published extensively on the legal status of women in Nepal and has brought several landmark cases to Nepal’s Supreme Court. A member of Nepal’s Constituent Assembly, she participates in state restructuring through constitutional reform. She is also a strong advocate of women’s participation in the political process and, as a result of her efforts and influence, women now make up one-third of the Assembly.

  • Syed Mansoor
    Hon. Syed Mansoor Ali Shah
    Justice, Supreme Court of Pakistan

    Hon. Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah was elevated to the bench at the Lahore High Court in 2009 and after serving as the Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court for almost two years was elevated to the Supreme Court of Pakistan in early 2018. As a corporate litigator, he was a partner at Afrid, Shah & Minallah and took keen interest in public interest litigation with special focus on environmental issues and sustainable development. Justice Shah taught law for almost two decades at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Pakistan College of Law and Punjab Law College, Lahore. He was also part of the steering committee that established the law school at LUMS, now called Syed Ahmed Hassan School of Law & Policy (SAHSOL). His areas of special interest are constitutional law, human rights, climate and water justice, environmental sustainability, disability rights, criminology, digital surveillance, privacy and proportionality.

  • Maria
    Hon. Maria Filomena Singh
    Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the Philippines

    Hon. Maria Filomena Singh currently serves as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines. She is also the Focal Person for the Supreme Court in the Philippine Open Government Partnership Initiative, Co-Chairperson of the Committee on Gender Responsiveness in the Judiciary, and holds leadership roles in various sub-committees and technical working groups. Justice Singh's extensive contributions extend globally, as she has taken on roles in organizations like the International Association of Women Judges and the Global Judicial Institute of the Environment. Over the years, she has held various key positions, including Executive Judge and Representative of First Level Courts on the Board of Trustees of the Philippine Judicial Academy, and received several prestigious awards including the Don Antonio Madrigal Award for Most Outstanding First Level Court Judge in 2007. Justice Singh was the first Philippine Judicial Fellow at the Federal Judicial Center in Washington, D.C.



  • Vikram
    Vikram Raghavan (Moderator)
    Lead Counsel, World Bank

    Vikram Raghavan is Lead Counsel for international law at the World Bank’s Legal Department. He is the Bank’s legal adviser on international legal issues. Until recently, he was the lead counsel for operations policy and played a critical role in updating the policy framework for the Bank’s engagements in conflict situations, with militaries and non-state actors; dealings with coup-affected countries; and assistance for humanitarian crises and refugees. Over his two decades at the Bank, Mr. Raghavan has also been involved in projects in more than 50 countries. Besides his legal work, he has worked on two World Development Reports: the 2011 report on Conflict, Security, and Development and the 2023 report: Migration, Societies, and Development. Mr. Raghavan is passionate about the institution’s history, integrity, and its values. He frequently speaks about the Bank's evolution as a development institution. He was honored with the Bretton Woods@75 Award for his contributions to institutional knowledge and memory.



  • The World Bank
    Katy Thompson (Moderator)
    Head of Rule of Law, Security, and Human Rights, UNDP

    Katy Thompson is the Head of UNDP’s Rule of Law, Security and Human Rights Team. She has extensive experience in rule of law, security and human rights programming in conflict affected contexts; criminal, international and human rights law; war crimes/transitional justice issues; legal system monitoring; trafficking in human beings and gender-based violence; peace- building. Ms. Thompson has work experience in the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) which followed several years of activism with NGOs and a three-year stint as a criminal defense lawyer in England.


           @KatyThompsonROL                @UNDP                @UNDPLive


  • WHEN: November 15, 2023, 09:00-11:00 a.m. ET
  • WHERE: Preston Auditorium, World Bank Group Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
  • SOCIAL MEDIA: #LJDWeek2023