IDLO was honored to host Judge Ann Claire Williams of the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit – only the third African-American woman to serve on any US Court of Appeals.
Judge Williams shares IDLO’s understanding of the rule of law as more than due process. “Yes, the rule of law is about a system of justice, about having laws and case law in place that ensures the rights of individuals. But I think it also has to do with access to justice – looking at some of the systemic ways in which people are denied justice. It is about not having the bus fare to get to court. Or what we call multiple continuances – you may have the bus fare to get to court once, but not have it the second or third time.”
Judge Williams, who has years of experience training legal professionals in Africa, has lately teamed up with IDLO in Kenya. She studied Law after working in education, a skill she described as essential in her capacity-building work. “At heart,” she said, “I’ve always been a teacher.”