The Carl and Susan Bolch Prize for the Rule of Law is awarded annually to an individual or organization who has demonstrated extraordinary dedication to the rule of law and advancing rule of law principles around the world.
By honoring those who do this work, the Bolch Prize draws attention to the ideals of justice and judicial independence and to the constitutional structures and safeguards that undergird a free society.
The Prize is awarded in accordance with the Bolch Judicial Institute’s founding documents, which specify “The Carl and Susan Bolch Prize for the Rule of Law shall be given by the Bolch Judicial Institute to recognize the lifetime achievement of an individual or a single or series of acts of an individual or an organization creating, promoting, or preserving the importance of the rule of law nationally or internationally.”
The recipient is selected by the Bolch Judicial Institute’s Advisory Board and honored during a ceremony at Duke University. The Prize includes a custom artwork and a significant monetary award. The first prize was awarded on April 11, 2019, to Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy (retired) at a ceremony held on Duke University’s campus.
Past Prize Recipients
— 2021 —
Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall
Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (retired)
“I can never forget the awed admiration I felt when, for a sharply divided court, she handed down her eloquent judicial affirmation, the first, ever, of the right to equal marriage for LGBTIQ people.”
— Justice Edwin Cameron, retired Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa
— 2020 —
Justice Dikgang Moseneke
Deputy Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa (retired)
“Justice Moseneke is a globally respected judge and thinker who, with great devotion to the rule of law and a deep understanding of the principles that animate a democratic society, helped bring a broken nation into a new century of promise, equality, and justice.”
— David F. Levi, director of the Bolch Judicial Institute
— 2019 —
Justice Anthony Kennedy
Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court (retired)
“If there’s anything that Justice Kennedy’s jurisprudence has been dedicated to it is to the dignity of every single person. He exemplifies what the rule of law means. His work will go down in history of the Supreme Court. He is surely one of the most important Supreme Court justices of the modern era and his work will be studied by scholars for many years to come.”
— Justice Samuel Alito, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court
Bolch Prize In The News
The Bolch Judicial at Duke Law School will premiere a virtual celebration honoring the 2020 and 2021 recipients of the Bolch Prize for the Rule of Law on June 24 at 4:00 p.m. EDT. Hosted by PBS Newshour’s Judy Woodruff, a Duke University alumna, the program will...
Retired Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall — former chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and a lifelong advocate for a more transparent, efficient, and accountable judiciary — will receive the 2021 Bolch Prize for the Rule of Law. From her...
David F. Levi, director of the Bolch Judicial Institute, joins Hon. Dikgang Moseneke for a discussion of Moseneke’s recent memoir “My Own Liberator.” Recording available on YouTube.