In 2020 and 2021, we at PROLAW were part of a world which was grappling with challenges that in many ways were unanticipated. The COVID-19 pandemic closed schools and businesses, including PROLAW itself. Instead of gathering in Rome at the John Felice Rome Center, we were the first class which never met in person. At the same time, through Zoom, WhatsApp, and Teams, we had glimpses into each other’s lives--seeing make-shift offices, bedrooms, roommates, pets, and families--in ways that we would have never experienced if we were in Rome together.

Although separated from each other, our interests had commonalities. We all worried about the health of people within our own country and in countries far from us. And along with the health of those around us, we watched with concern as the needs of the pandemic exposed some longhidden or long-ignored problems with elements of the rule of law which became, not afterthoughts, but top priorities. The questions were not easy to solve:

  • How does one ensure the health of a population when elements like corruption were rampant, or when justice was lacking?
  • What do we do when inequities impede how our fellow citizens are treated in their daily lives?
  • How do we ensure that elections are fair and safe, when the safety of the health of all is a paramount issue which requires electoral flexibility?
  • And how do we ensure that we use our skills and knowledge to advance the rule of law for all?

These questions were just some of the directional markers we were examining. Along with challenges, we could identify opportunities. Maria Gabriela Carnevali conducted an interview with two esteemed PROLAW professors to help celebrate Loyola University Chicago’s sesquicentennial anniversary and to recognize the first decade of PROLAW.

We chose “The World at a Crossroads” as our Journal theme because, in many ways, the world as we know it stood at this virtual crossroads this year. Collectively, we weighed our best options before deciding which path we could take to arrive at a better future. We hope you see this  choice in our journal selections.

The financing of rule of law through the origins of aid and where we go from here is addressed by Allison Page, while Terry Jennings raises questions on how we finance the UN Sustainable Development Goals while also “digging out” from the costs of the global pandemic. Tiffany Mane provides insights into China’s Belt and Roads Initiatives, a tempting choice for cash-strapped countries, but with a cautionary note as to future ramifications thereto. Ganna Schvachka invite us to think about the participation of migrants and diaspora in the development of countries of origin and destiny. Finally, María Gabriela Mata makes us question several issues of the emergency aid regarding the beneficiaries, donors and impact.

We met each other on a road like no other. We gained from the experience, and we hope that the world will be better for our collaboration—even if from our virtual space.

Best regards,

Pedro Castillo                Tiffany Mane
Co-Editor in Chief             Co-Editor in Chief

Board Members
Teresa L. Jennings, María Gabriela Mata Carnevali, Khushi Pandya, Maryanne Wamahiu, Mohammad Asil Zarang 

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