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ABA Advances Professor Stein’s Vision

Over his 12-year term (1994-2006) as its Executive Director, Professor Robert A. Stein saw a great expansion of the international mission of the American Bar Association. The Association’s Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative (CEELI) was established following the fall of the Berlin Wall to assist in developing the Rule of Law in countries formerly part of the Soviet Union or within its control. By 2001, CEELI had grown enormously, the ABA had established the Center for Human Rights, and Regional Councils were created to carry out technical legal assistance to new and struggling democracies throughout the world. Then in 2004, it created the Center for Rule of Law Initiatives to bring together the Central European and Eurasian group and the ABA Latin American Legal Initiative Council, ABA-Africa, and ABA-Asia.

Since returning to the Law School, Stein continues to serve as a member of the ABA’s Rule of Law Initiative that includes the active leadership of four Justices of the Supreme Court of the U S–Justices O’Connor, Kennedy, Breyer and Ginsburg.

As of February 2007, 40 countries are involved in the Rule of Law Initiative, a substantial increase over the 22 countries that Stein cited in 1996 as having programs “for assisting fragile democracies develop the rule of law.” Today, one of Stein’s earliest priorities at the ABA is one of its fastest growing programs and has an annual budget of about $40 million for its projects.

For more on the new consolidated program, go to www.abarol.org.

Portrait of Prof. Stein
Professor Robert A. Stein