Past Program


Respect for the rule of law ensures the recognition and protection of our rights – it can also help save our planet. Environmental threats, from toxic waste to climate change, are wreaking havoc on our planet and advocates, as well as activists, need to take action. By using the law, real, long-lasting and embedded change can be achieved and ultimately, both people and planet can be protected.

“A world protected by robust laws where people and nature thrive together” is the vision of ClientEarth, Europe’s first nonprofit environmental law firm, which seeks to “use the power of the law to protect people and the planet.” Established in 2007, the globally-operated law firm uses advocacy, litigation, and research to create practical solutions to key environmental challenges. ClientEarth has successfully closed down polluting industries and protected vulnerable habitats and species, and works to empower other NGOs and individuals to exercise their legal rights to fight their own environmental battles.

On November 14, James Thornton, founder of ClientEarth, will deliver the Eighth Lloyd N. Cutler Lecture on the Rule of Law in Washington, DC, drawing on his rich experience in harnessing the power of law, science, and policy to protect people and the planet.

Thornton’s experience includes advising the Supreme People’s Court of China on the development and enforcement of environmental law, preventing Poland from building a new generation of coal-fired power stations, and almost singlehandedly restoring the enforcement of the Clean Water Act in the United States. 

The Lloyd N. Cutler Lecture on the Rule of Law is presented in memory of Lloyd N. Cutler, who served Salzburg Global Seminar for more than two decades as Board Chair, and features a distinguished speaker on a vital legal issue of international interest. The Eighth Cutler Lecture will be hosted by Salzburg Global Seminar on Wednesday, November 14, 2018 at The Phillips Collection in Washington, DC. 


Venue & Time

  • Venue: The Phillips Collection | 1600 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
  • Date: Wednesday, November 14, 2018
  • Time: Doors open at 6:00 p.m.
  • Program: Reception and Lecture 

About Lloyd N. Cutler

Lloyd N. Cutler (1917-2005), who has been described as the last "super lawyer," had a brilliant legal career. A founder of the Washington, DC law firm, Wilmer Cutler & Pickering, and White House Counsel to two US presidents, he fulfilled the calling of a public servant over his lifetime. He was a long-time champion of Salzburg Global Seminar and a friend and colleague to many of the distinguished jurists, attorneys and policymakers whom he encouraged to attend its sessions.

For almost 30 years, Cutler played a central role in guiding Salzburg Global Seminar, serving as board chairman from 1984 to 1994, and as the visionary who helped broaden the focus of Salzburg Global's distinguished series of law sessions.

As a lasting tribute to the Cutler legacy, Salzburg Global Seminar has established the Lloyd N. Cutler Center for the Rule of Law whose mission is threefold: 

  1. To seek solutions to global problems in areas where the law is inadequate or unfolding
  2. To advance the role of independent judiciaries globally and promote universal access to justice
  3. To employ innovative methods to engage new audiences and raise awareness of legal principles and why they matter.

Lloyd Cutler's influence on both people and institutions is felt thoughout the United States and around the world. In his tradition and his name, Salzburg Global Seminar continues to advance the Rule of Law through the Lloyd N. Cutler Center with the Salzburg Cutler Fellows Program and the Annual Lloyd N. Cutler Lecture.