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Thursday, 11 January 2024

Portuguese President Rebelo De Sousa receives the GRoL Commission members during its 3rd Meeting in Cascais

European Public Law Organization (EPLO) - Regional Branch in Portugal

Global Rule of Law Commission - 3rd Session - January 11-12, 2024

The European Public Law Organization (EPLO) Regional Branch in Portugal successfully hosted the third session of its Global Rule of Law Commission (GRoLC), referred to as the Cascais Commission, from January 11 to 12, 2024, at the Municipality of Cascais.

The primary focus of this session was the adoption of the Commission’s initial Report on the Rule of Law, scheduled to be submitted to the UN General Assembly's Sixth Committee in March 2024. This comprehensive Report examines the state of the Rule of Law in Europe, outlining fundamental principles and implementations. In a significant development, a Master's program in Global Rule of Law and Democracy was announced, reflecting the Commission's commitment to education and advancing the rule of law. This initiative will be feasible from the academic year 2024-2025 through the valuable support of the Municipality of Cascais and the cooperation of the EPLO European Law and Governance School (ELGS) and the Institute for the Global Rule of Law, based also in Cascais.

The Director of EPLO, Professor Spyridon Flogaitis, expressed gratitude for the Commission's dedicated efforts in promoting the Rule of Law globally. The President of the Commission, Professor Giuliano Amato, highlighted its mission to harmonize and improve legal systems worldwide, recognizing their diversity and incorporating specific indicators. Ms. Teresa Violante, Director of the Institute for the Global Rule of Law, engaged in a thorough discussion with the Commission and its President, incorporating valuable insights, which led to the adoption of the above-mentioned Report.

Notable attendees included the UN Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and the UN Legal Counsel, Miguel de Serpa Soares, who commended the Commission's impactful work and emphasized its valuable contribution to the UN's shared objectives in advancing the principles of the Rule of Law globally. The Minister of Justice of the Republic of Armenia, Grigor Minasyan, added significance as a special guest and speaker by presenting the Constitutional Reform of Armenia.

On January 11, 2024, the GRoL Commission was honored with an audience by H.E. Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, President of the Portuguese Republic, at the Presidential Palace, during which they discussed the activities and notable advancements of the Commission in promoting the principles of the Rule of Law.

The two-day meeting concluded with a closing ceremony at the Casa de Santa Maria, the premises of the EPLO Regional Branch in Portugal, featuring impactful remarks by the Minister of Justice of the Portuguese Republic, Professor Dr. Catarina Sarmento e Castro, who affirmed the collective goal of building, defending and implementing the rule of law. Moreover, the Secretary of State for European Affairs, Professor Dr. Tiago Antunes, acknowledged the Commission's vital role, drawing inspiration from principles beyond court legality, as outlined in Portugal's transformative Carnation Revolution. The Chief of Staff of the Secretary of State, Dr. Pedro Espírito Santo Silva, was also present.

Invitations were extended to all Embassies, Diplomatic Missions, and International Organizations accredited to the Portuguese Republic, resulting in the participation of distinguished guests. Among them were the Ambassador of Cyprus, Elpidoforos Economou, the Ambassador of Greece, Vassilis Papadopoulos, and the Ambassador of Italy, Carlo Formosa, along with representatives from many other Embassies, such as Angola, Brazil, Egypt, Estonia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Cabo Verde.

tags: Global Rule of Law Commission, 3rd Meeting, UN report