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October 24, 2006

First Woman President of Ireland Headlines Quarterly Meeting

Mary Robinson, the first woman to serve as President of Ireland and the former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, will deliver the keynote address at the Philadelphia Bar Association’s October Quarterly Meeting and Luncheon on Monday, October 30 at the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue.

“It's fitting that on the day we celebrate the achievements of women in our profession, we are honored to have Mary Robinson as our keynote speaker at our October Quarterly Luncheon. As the first woman President of Ireland and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as an accomplished barrister, Ms. Robinson has been a world leader in the struggle to promote the fundamental rights of all human beings,” Chancellor Alan M. Feldman said. “We look forward to hearing from this global opinion leader, who has made a difference for so many throughout the world.”

A longtime champion of human rights, Robinson has been outspoken during her career as an advocate for the rights of women, the availability of contraceptives, and the rights of gays and lesbians.

After becoming the youngest Reid Professor of Constitutional Law at Trinity College in 1969, Robinson was elected to the Irish senate where she served for 20 years. She campaigned for the right of women to sit on juries and fought against the requirement that all women upon marriage resign from civil service. Robinson resigned her presidency just weeks before her term ended to accept an appointment as High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations in 1997. A year later, she became the first person in that office to visit China, where she signed an agreement of cooperation for the improvement of human rights in that country. She was responsible for sending human rights workers to such areas as Indonesia and various parts of Africa. Robinson also undertook the responsibility to monitor human rights in conflict areas, including Kosovo in Yugoslavia.

A graduate of Trinity College, Robinson has law degrees from Kings Inn and Harvard University. She founded The Ethical Globalization Initiative in 2002, a New York-City based foundation that focuses on equitable international trade and development, the HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa, and humane migration policies. She also lectures at Columbia University on international affairs.

The Justice William J. Brennan Jr. Distinguished Jurist Award and the Sandra Day O’Connor Award will also be presented at the luncheon. The Brennan Award recognizes a jurist who adheres to the highest ideals of judicial service, while the O’Connor Award is conferred annually on a woman attorney who has demonstrated superior legal talent, achieved significant legal accomplishments and has furthered the advancement of women in both the profession and the community.

Tickets to the luncheon are $50 for Association members and $55 for non-members. Purchase your ticket online today!

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