First Assembly of the Global Committee for the Rule of Law

First Assembly of the Global Committee for the Rule of Law


Palermo, February 29 – March 1, 2020

Palazzo dei Normanni, Piazza Indipendenza


The first plenary meeting of the Global Committee for the Rule of Law “Marco Pannella” will be held at the Palazzo dei Normanni of the Sicilian Regional Assembly on February 29th and March 1st. The Global Committee, set up in March 2016 and named after its founder the late Marco Pannella, is made up of fifteen Honorary Members from all continents, whose political and professional paths have “crossed” with that of Marco Pannella and the Nonviolent Radical Party in their common commitment to the protection and promotion of fundamental rights.

After almost four years of tireless activities conducted mainly in Europe, but with an attention to and concrete actions literally touching all corners of the world – through the dossiers from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia to Africa, Venezuela and the Middle-East, without forgetting the complex situations of Poland, Hungary and Catalonia – the Palermo Assembly aims to give new impetus to its initiatives for the democratic rule of law and the right to know, both through individual and concerted efforts at a global level.

In this sense, the main objective of the meeting is both to coordinate current initiatives and to define future ones to respond to attacks against the democratic rule of law and the advancement of authoritarian government all over the world, in particular through the affirmation of the right to know, to which the Committee has been dedicated since its creation. To this end, in concluding the meeting, the adoption of a “Palermo Declaration on the Right to Know” is foreseen, containing a shared legal definition of the right to know.

A right to know which must be reaffirmed first and foremost within Parliamentary Assemblies, victims of widespread and evident abuses which threaten democratic constitutional guarantees in many, too many countries around the world. Also for this reason, we are particularly pleased that our meeting will be held in one of the oldest parliamentary seats in the world. In an era of continuous and multiple attacks on representative democracy, Parliamentary prerogatives and freedoms are among the first targets of the enemies of freedom and tolerance, and at the same time, they are often the last bastion of democracy left standing in countries succumbing to authoritarian rule.

The Assembly is co-hosted by the Siracusa International Institute for Criminal Justice and Human Rights, with the support of the Luigi Einaudi Foundation and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty, whose representatives will contribute to the meeting.

Information: Matteo Angioli,




Saturday 29th February 

9:30 Arrival of guests

10:00 Opening remarks and morning session

  • Gianfranco Miccichè, President of the Sicilian Regional Assembly
  • Gaetano Armao, Vice President of the Sicilian Regional Assembly
  • Roberto Lagalla, Council Member with responsibilities for Education (to be confirmed)
  • Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata, President of the Global Committee for the Rule of Law; Ambassador, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy
  • Ezechia Paolo Reale, Secretary General of . the Siracusa International Institute for Criminal Justice and Human Rights
  • Maurizio Turco, Secretary of the Radical Party
  • Giuseppe Benedetto, President of the Fondazione Luigi Einaudi
  • Roberto Rampi, Senator of the Italian Republic; candidate General Rapporteur on the Right to Know at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

Moderator: Matteo Angioli, Secretary of the Global Committee for the Rule of Law

13:00 Lunch break

15:00  Afternoon session: Round table discussion with GCRL Honorary Members

  • Marou Amadou, Minister of Justice of Niger
  • Bakhtiar Amin, former Minister for Human Rights of Iraq
  • Armando Armas, MP, President of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly of Venezuela
  • Norman Baker, former Deputy Home Secretary of the UK
  • Ingrid Betancourt, former Senator, Colombia/France
  • Penelope Faulkner, Vice President of Action for Democracy in Vietnam
  • Michel Korinman, Professor of geopolitics at the Sorbonne University, France
  • Sid Ahmed Ghozali, former Prime Minister of Algeria
  • Sam Rainsy, former MP, leader in exile of the democratic opposition of Cambodia
  • Najima Thay Thay Rhozali, former Minister of Education of Morocco
  • Paul Strauss, United States Senator for Washington DC
  • Saumura Tioulong, former MP of the National Assembly of Cambodia
  • Vo Van Ai, President of Action for Democracy in Vietnam
  • Thubten Wangchen, Member of the Tibetan Parliament in exile
  • Jianli Yang, President of Citizens Initiatives for China, USA (tbc)

Moderator: Laura Harth, Coordinator of the GCRL Scientific Council

16:30  Coffee break

17:00  Afternoon session (part 2)

18:30  Closing

Sunday 1st March

  Morning session: Adoption of the “Palermo Declaration on the Right to Know”

11:30  Closing


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