Eliminating poverty: what can lawyers do?

Date: October 21, 2014
Place: Tokyo (IBA Annual Conference)

Presented by the Poverty, Empowerment and the Rule of Law Working Group, the Human Rights Law Working Group, the Law Firm Management Committee and the Young Lawyers’ Committee

 Session Chair

  • Peter Maynard Peter D Maynard Counsel & Attorneys, Nassau, Bahamas; Chair, Poverty, Empowerment and the Rule of Law Working Group
  • Norman Clark Walker Clark LLC, Fort Myers, Florida, USA; Advisory Board Member, Law Firm Management Committee
  • Carmen Pombo Fundacion Fernando Pombo, Madrid, Spain; Vice-Chair, Poverty, Empowerment and the Rule of Law Working Group

 The world has the resources to eliminate poverty in our lifetime. This session investigates responsibilities and obligations for lawyers, law firms, and bar associations in building prosperous societies, founded on the rule of law, where no person lacks basic health care, is under-nourished, homeless or uneducated, or is denied equal economic and social opportunity. We will examine what lawyers are doing, can do, and should do to alleviate the symptoms of poverty, to support institutions committed to building prosperous societies and to advocate changes in political, economic and legal systems that empower rather than obstruct people’s aspirations and efforts for a better life.


  • Professor Bryan Horrigan Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia
  • Yoko Komiyama Former Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare of Japan, Tokyo, Japan
  • Ruth Sebatindira LL.M Ligomarc Advocates, Kampala, Uganda; President / Chairperson, Uganda Law Society
  • Zak Yacoob Former Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, Durban, South Africa