The UN Charter on Universal Human Rights, established on 10 December 1948

The realisation of the principles in the Charter after 73-years remains a challenge, and many gains have been reversed over the past few years.

The UN has recognised this fact and proposed:

The international protection itself requires national measures of implementation of human rights treaties and the strengthening of national institutions (to include regional frameworks) linked to the full observance of human rights and the rule of law.

The international community must find new ways to prevent and hold accountable all those states who wantonly violate the basic principles of human rights of their citizens.

All states must protect the human rights of all its citizens, irrespective of the nature of their political and socio-economic structure.

The UN has acknowledged an urgent obligation to consolidate the human rights that are owed to all people of our planet.

Preamble: UN Charter on Universal Human Rights

“Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realisation of this pledge, …”

The LSSA has a core focus on the rule of law and the call to action of all legal practitioners to ensure that they continue to uphold, protect, and enhance the rule of law as an ethical, moral, and professional obligation in the broader interests of society.

Key elements of the rule of law:


The government, as well as private actors, are accountable under the law.



The laws are clear, publicised, and stable; are applied evenly, and protect fundamental rights,

including the security of persons and contracts, property, and human rights.



The processes by which the laws are enacted, administered, and enforced are accessible, fair and efficient.



Justice is delivered timely by competent, ethical, and independent representatives and neutrals who are accessible, have adequate resources and reflect the makeup of the communities they serve.