Bolch Prize awarded to Ninth Circuit’s Wallace
Chief Judge Emeritus J. Clifford Wallace of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, received the 2022 Bolch Prize for the Rule of Law during a ceremony in San Diego on March 18.
Several distinguished speakers praised Wallace’s efforts to improve the administration of justice in his circuit and in the federal courts over more than 50 years on the federal bench, as well as his service to his community and church through a wide variety of leadership roles. They highlighted his commitment to the rule of law and the administration of justice globally, noting that through travel to more than 70 countries, often at his own expense, he has worked with judges and governments to strengthen judicial processes, improve court structures, and develop innovative solutions to logistical and legal challenges.
Wallace said he has focused his life’s work on strengthening the rule of law because it offers “the hope of fundamental fairness, distinguished from a rule developed by an individual such as a political executive or some other person in power.” But, he said, the rule of law cannot be effective in countries that do not have a separate, independent judicial system to enforce laws.
“However well-intentioned each country’s constitution and declarations may be, the judiciary must be strong enough to implement the rule of law. It was this realization that started me on the path 50 years ago, of strengthening judiciaries worldwide, so that the rule of law could be implemented. My five decades with this effort has taught me that we will never finish with this project. There will always be more to be done, in some country somewhere, to strengthen a judiciary, so the judiciary in turn can protect the rule of law.”