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n 1991, there were 10 national Christian lawyer groups in the world but only two, Christian Legal Society (USA) and Christian Legal Fellowship (Canada), were engaged proactively promoting and protecting religious freedom, family, reconciliation, human rights, the sanctity of life, justice for the poor, or governing integrity under the rule of law. Since its founding in 1992 by the late human rights attorney Samuel E. Ericsson (1944-2011), Advocates International (AI) has grown to be the world’s largest international faith-based network of legal professionals networked for these common goods. (More...)
Advocates International was launched in response to the fall of communism in Eastern Europe and the subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union. Advocates International is a work in progress. It puts in practice the strategy of Jesus whose chosen method was the formation of small bands of committed friends. He inspires them with a sense of his spirit and vision to build their lives into an intensive fellowship of affection, worship and work.
Through AI’s efforts since that time, as more fully summarized and chronicled in its ADVOCACY & GATHERINGS OVERVIEW and HISTORIC CHRONOLOGY (1991-2011), there are now more than 100 active or emerging Christian lawyer groups among 158 nations linked through AI’s six regional networks. Since 1992, 24,000+ people have attended conferences or other gatherings organized, funded or co-sponsored by AI, its regional networks or national affiliates, including 6,800 delegates who attended 40 regional and sub-regional conferences in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America and the Balkans, Middle East, and Caribbean; 1,200 delegates attended five Global Convocations in the USA since 1998, joined by 2,000 Christian Legal Society/USA members and friends; 3,900 justices, judges and magistrates have participated in 32 judicial conferences or seminars; and 7,000 lawyers, judges, clergy, students, business leaders and government officials have participated in 100+ meetings other than the global, regional or judicial conferences. Four AI Global Convocations and 32 Regional Conferences since 1998 have been especially instrumental in broadening and strengthening a unique global movement of advocates committed to doing “justice with compassion.”
oday, AI’s global network informally links 30,000 lawyers, law professors, jurists, law students and other law professionals and their colleagues in 700 cities, towns and law schools, in 150 nations on six continents. They have organized over 100 national fellowships. AI’s motto, “doing justice with compassion” comes from Jesus’ admonitions to the lawyers of his day (Matthew 23:23) and from His GOOD SAMARITAN parable (Luke 10:25-37). In the 19th Century, British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli defined justice as “truth in action”. Jesus gave a practical application for “compassion” in the “Golden Rule”: “do to others what you would have them do to us.”
Our Vision: AI is a worldwide fellowship of advocates bearing witness of Jesus Christ through the legal profession.
Our Mission: AI seeks to achieve this vision by encouraging and enabling its paid and volunteer advocates to:
Regionally cooperate; and
to promote human rights and equal justice for the poor, the sanctity of human life, religious freedom, the rule of law, peace and reconciliation, and family & community.
ur advocates are bound together by a common Statement of Faith, Commitment and Practice, as well as by a set of seven core functions that AI is organized to provide, preserve and protect through its Global Council composed of delegates from AI six regional organizations and its Board of Directors. The AI’s Global Council and Board of Directors work together under the terms of their Memorandum of Agreement.
Advocates International encourages followers of Christ within the legal profession to be pro-active locally, nationally, regionally and globally in the collaborative advocacy of AI’s six Global Resource Teams (GRTs). These are memorably defined by the acrostic P-R-A-Y-E-R-S, as follows:
Peacemaking and conflict resolution promoted through the Peace and Reconciliation GRT (Matthew 5:9);
Religious Freedom promoted through the religious freedom GRT (Galatians 6:9-10);
Yielding to protecting life at all stages through the Sanctity of Human Life GRT and the Law of Life Project (Deuteronomy 30:19-20);
Redeeming the rule of law and integrity in the face of governmental incapacity or corruption through its Rule of Law GRT (Romans 13).