By David Shaheed
The last phrase in the Indiana Oath of Attorneys reads, “I will never reject, from any consideration personal to myself, the cause of the defenseless, the oppressed or those who cannot afford adequate legal assistance; so help me God.”
People become lawyers for many reasons. The Code of Professional Responsibility in most states of […]
Experts in the fields of law and economics find in Chiara Lubich’s charism elements to inspire new ideas and perspectives for the vision of a ‘culture of unity’.
Brought together by the desire to look at law as a necessary and useful tool to help transforming any group with genuine communion among its members, academics and professionals in the field of jurisprudence form an international network: Communion and Law.
It came into existence in 2001 following Chiara Lubich’s intuition of fostering a ‘culture of unity’ across the most varied branches of knowledge. The title Communion and Law emphasizes the commitment to share knowledge and experience from various professional activities in the realm of jurisprudence.
It strives to spread positive values and to focus cultural attention upon the human person recognized as having the fullest dignity, seen in the context of human relational capacity, of openness to the transcendent, and of the ability to forge a world today in harmony with the best aspirations of individuals and peoples.
Communion and Law takes on board the need for relationality felt also among people active in the field of the law, without losing sight of the varieties of environments and cultures where they work.
In various parts of the world groups of people involved in Communion and Law have spontaneously come together and, in their meetings, they share their experiences with one another, telling of their efforts, successes and failures, and giving support to the development of a legal system that seeks to favor fulfilling the potential of persons and local communities.
Academic research, undertaken by groups of university professors from different nations, is looking at relationality and the principle of fraternity in the field of law. They are seeing how to maintain contact as they strive to find a common grounding despite the diversity of their disciplines. The possibility of a common approach can be seen; it would be part of a response to the need for a new way of relating, conducted according to the value of reciprocity.
Particular attention has been given to young people, both students and those beginning their careers. Every summer in various places in Europe a study session is held and, every few years, there is an international congress where there are also sizable delegations from outside Europe. In this way young people discover a new vision of law, not simply as a mass of rules but as a way of building positive relations, an instrument for bringing about a fraternal vision of relationships.
By David Shaheed