Jack Mason Law & Democracy Initiative

In Africa, law schools and bar associations often have only a few old, tattered law books. A few have no books at all. Imagine the challenge of creating a civil society when students and lawyers have no access to the fundamental texts on which the rule of law is based.

Books For Africa launched the Law & Democracy Initiative to address this emerging continent’s appalling scarcity of law and human rights books, and by doing so to further the rule of law in Africa. This effort builds on our success as the world’s largest shipper of donated text and library books to Africa.

Thomson Reuters and numerous law firms and law schools have generously agreed to donate the needed texts. The Advocates for Human Rights provides key human rights material.

Since 2008, the Jack Mason Law & Democracy Initiative of Books For Africa has shipped 72 law and human rights libraries to 20 African countries. See where the books have been sent.

The Law & Democracy Initiative is named to honor the late Jack Mason, a federal magistrate judge and Books For Africa board member.

Your financial support will allow the Law & Democracy Initiative to send these books to African law schools, bar associations, and other legal entities. Please help us end the law book shortage in Africa!

Please type "Law & Democracy" in the Comments field of the donation form.

 What kinds of law books are we looking for? View our Law Book Donation Requirements.

For more information on how you can help end the law book shortage in Africa, please contact director Lane Ayres at (612) 616-5661 or lanebfa@gmail.com

Special thanks to Thomson Reuters, and to Robins, Kaplan LLP, major sponsors of the Law & Democracy Initiative. Thanks also to the Manhattan firm of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, which provides periodic pro bono legal assistance to the Law & Democracy Initiative.


Co-chairs Kofi Annan and Walter Mondale at Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota, May 2009.

Jack Mason Law & Democracy Initiative Advisory Board


Kofi Annan, former U.N. Secretary-General
Walter Mondale, former U.S. Vice President

Fatou Bensouda,Chief Prosecutor, International Criminal Court, The Hague
Chris Bercaw, Partner, Dorsey & Whitney
John Bessler, Professor, University of Baltimore School of Law
Neneh Cham, President, Female Lawyers Association-Gambia
Michael Ciresi, Partner, CiresiConlin
Chris Coleman, Mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota
Eric Cooperstein, Past President, Hennepin County Bar Association
Judge Michael Davis, Chief Judge, Federal District of Minnesota
James E. Dorsey, Co-founder, Advocates for Human Rights, Fredrikson firm
Yvonne Fiadjoe, Legal Manager, Ghana National Gas Company
Chris Fomunyoh, Africa Director, National Democratic Institute DC
Barbara Frey, Director, University of Minnesota Human Rights Program
Sam Hanson, Partner, Briggs & Morgan, former MN Supreme Court Justice
Stephen Hayes, CEO, Corporate Council on Africa, D.C.
Christof Heyns, Dean, U of Pretoria Law School; Human Rights author
Christina Holder, Attorney, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, NYC
Pat Mandile, Chief Operating Officer, Robins Kaplan Firm
Vivian Mason, Former Member, Minnesota Board of Law Examiners
Olufunmi Oluyede, ABA International Law Section, Lagos, Nigeria
Tom Pfeifer, Global Head of Sales, Thomson Reuters Legal
Steve Pfeiffer, Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright, DC 
Warren Spannaus, Former Minnesota Attorney General
Korir Sing'Oei, Litigation Director, Katiba Institute, Nairobi, Kenya
Arnold Tsunga, Africa Director, International Commission of Jurists, Geneva
Georgina Wood, Chief Justice, Ghana Supreme Court


Jack Mason Law & Democracy Initiative
Lane Ayres, JD, Director
(612) 616-5661 • lanebfa@gmail.com
c/o Books For Africa
26 East Exchange Street, Suite 411 Saint Paul, MN 55101