Tag Archives: Philippine Women Judges Association (PWJA)

IAWJ 2012 Brings the Women Judicial Worlds Together in “Keeping Safe, Keeping Well”

On May 2-5, 2012, more than 600 participants from 50 countries converged in London to attend one of the world’s most prestigious international judicial gatherings, the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ) 11th Biennial International Conference. The last conference was held in Seoul, Korea in 2010.

This is the venue, the Church House Conference Centre at Westminster Abbey, London

For this year,   I was one of the delegates from the Philippines, along with other women judges from Cebu and Manila.

Together with other Filipino judges.To my left is Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo de Castro of the Supreme Court of the Philippines.

The conference was hosted by the UK chapter of IAWJ  and convened by IAWJ President, Lady Brenda Hale, with the theme:  ‘Keeping safe, keeping well.”  There were lively discussions on topics ranging from women, work and health, incarcerated women, human trafficking and forced marriage, sextortion, judicial health and safety, violence and the problem-solving court, services for victims of sexual violence, and women and girls as armed combatants.

Speaker is a Judge from the US who documented the threats and violence committed against judges in America.

In the Opening Ceremony, there was a roll call of member nations and the delegates stood up as their country they were representing was called.  I was surprised that there were lady judges from Afghanistan and Bangladesh. The African nations were also well represented. The lady judges were welcomed by UK dignitaries:  Lord Chancellor, the Lord Chief Justice, the Deputy Secretary General of the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Vice-President of the Law Society and the President of the Supreme Court.

The Philippine Women Judges delegates were acknowledged during the Opening Ceremonies

There was   a plenary session on Judicial Leadership on the third day of the conference. Evening events include concerts, cocktails and fellowships, Delegates also attended meetings of their regions where they elected their new regional representatives to the IAWJ’s Board of Directors.

The last day of the conference brought a Closing Keynote Speech by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay, a former IAWJ member and former judge from South Africa.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay, delivers closing speech.

It was capped by a  Gala Dinner held at the lovely City of London Guildhall. Delegates were asked to wear their national dresses, so I came in my terno.  The cavernous and majestic hall was reminiscent of the scenes of the Harry Potter movie. Trumpeters clad in medieval attire heralded the serving of the food and the important parts of the evening program. Lady Judges were served with delectable dishes and were entertained by world-class opera singers.

During the Gala Dinner at the City of London Guild Hall with my friend, Judge Mengshan of Taiwan

Afghan Delegates in their colourful traditional dress
National Association of Women Judges Nigeria
Delegates from Tanzania. They will be hosting the next IAWJ Conference.
Women Judges from Bangladesh
Can you spot where I am?

The next conference will be in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania in 2014. Delegates from Tanzania promised the IAWJ members that they will be in for a wonderful experience in their country and that they will arrange for an exciting safari trip for everyone.

Tanzania 2014 | Cheers filled the conference hall when Tanzania won the bid for IAWJ 2014
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