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Laurence Bory, the first female President of the UIA

Laurence Bory, a lawyer at the Geneva Bar and one of the founding partners of the law firm Bory & Associés, took over the presidency of the UIA during the closing session of the association’s congress on October 31 in Budapest, Hungary. She succeeds the French lawyer, Jean-Jacques Uettwiller, in this position.

During her investiture speech, the UIA’s new President urged those present at the congress to think deeply about the importance of the rule of law, and the dangers of using the public interest as a pretext to reduce the protection of individuals. Laurence Bory acknowledged the remarkable work of her predecessors on refugee rights and went on to state: “I will address the issue of refugee rights from a slightly broader perspective, namely that of the right for all individuals, regardless of who they are and where they live, when necessary, to obtain the recognition and implementation of their rights before an independent court with the assistance of a lawyer.”

With this in mind, Laurence Bory stressed the role of the legal profession in defending the rule of law: “[…] I therefore urge each of you, in your respective countries, to fight so that the separation of powers becomes or remains a reality.”

In her investiture speech, the President also spoke of her career and its guiding values, in particular the influence of Geneva, a city where she has practiced law for many years, which is the birthplace of humanitarian law and arbitration: “It was completely natural for me to make the same kind of commitment to the UIA, whose values of justice, solidarity and tolerance I fully share.”

Laurence Bory has been a highly active member of the UIA since 1993. Before becoming President, she held various positions within the association: President of the Banking Law Commission from 1995 to 1998, General Secretary from 1998 to 2003, President of the Geneva Congress in 2004 and UIA Vice President in 2014, at which time she was approached to take over the presidency at the close of the Budapest Congress.

Laurence Bory specializes in providing legal counsel services, in particular in the fields of commercial law, contract and company law, estate planning and inheritance law.

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