Sunday, December 12, 2010

Illinois State Bar Association Votes to Support U.S. Ratification of CEDAW

The Assembly of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) voted on Saturday to support U.S. ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), with appropriate reservations, understandings, and declarations.

The floor debate was a spirited one with almost all of the delegates who addressed the assembly speaking in favor of ratification.  Those opposed to the bar association taking a position believed that the issue was not an appropriate one for a state bar association to address or believed that the poor treatment of women in some countries that had ratified the treaty showed that it was not worth ratifying. 

Supporters noted that support for U.S. ratification of CEDAW had been considered not only by the American Bar Association but also the Connecticut Bar Association and the Civil Rights Section of the Oregon Bar Association.

The Illinois State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the United States.  The 201-member ISBA Assembly is the policy-making body of the association, akin to the House of Delegates for the American Bar Association.

I serve as Secretary of the Illinois State Bar Association and I had the honor of presenting the CEDAW resolution to the ISBA Assembly.  My co-blogger, Professor Cindy Buys of Southern Illinois University School of Law, joined me at the front of the ISBA Assembly to assist in the presentation.  A great many members of the state bar association had lobbied the Assembly, where the debate considered pros and cons of U.S. ratification. 

Congratulations to the ISBA and thanks to everyone who helped make yesterday's vote a positive one.

Click here to see a post from the ISBA about passage of the Assembly Resolution.

Click here to download a copy of the resolution and report.  Download CEDAW Resolution (Version 1.7a)


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