Unsung heroes of the legal profession to be recognised with new IBA Jurist Award

A new International Bar Association (IBA) award, the IBA Jurist Award, is to celebrate the ‘unsung heroes’ of the legal profession: jurists who exemplify personal sacrifice and commitment to justice. Nominees can include, for example, lawyers undertaking cases pro bono in the pursuit of justice or judges who rule appropriately on landmark cases despite systemic or societal pressures. The IBA’s global search for these individuals is supported by Ashoka, the largest global network of leading social entrepreneurs working towards achieving social justice.

IBA Executive Director Dr Mark Ellis remarked: ‘As legal professionals, we know that there are members of our profession that represent the very best of us, yet their efforts frequently go unnoticed. Why should this be when they inspire us to do our finest work, and when they earn great respect for the legal profession as a whole? This question was the stimulus behind creating the IBA Jurist Award, beginning the endeavour to raise the visibility of “unsung heroes” in the legal community and in society generally.

He added: ‘I am delighted that Ashoka is collaborating with the IBA to identify and recognise the legal profession’s “unsung heroes”. The mutual goal of encouraging systemic change in pursuit of the common good makes this a perfect partnership.

Individuals are encouraged to nominate associates and friends they believe have gone beyond the call of duty in their role as jurists and whose stories deserve to be heard. Nominations for the inaugural IBA Jurist Award close on Friday 31 August 2018.

Ben Greer, IBA Honorary Life Member of Council and Association, endorsed the initiative, saying: ‘The rule of law depends on the faithful performance – day in, day out – of the professional duties of lawyers and judges. In seeking to identify individuals whose performance is beyond outstanding, yet unrecognised by the general public, the IBA is reinforcing the rule of law as it honours those among its ranks who have made truly important contributions to its maintenance.

Click here for information on submitting a nomination.


Notes to the Editor

  1. The International Bar Association (IBA) – the global voice of the legal profession – established in 1947, is the world’s leading organisation of international legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies. Through its global membership of individual lawyers, law firms, bar associations and law societies it influences the development of international law reform and shapes the future of the legal profession throughout the world.
  2. Ashoka is the largest global network of leading social entrepreneurs – individuals with new ideas to address systemically the world’s biggest challenges and the entrepreneurial skill to transform those ideas into national, regional and global social impact. For over 30 years, Ashoka has supported more than 3,000 social entrepreneurs with solutions addressing society’s most pressing issues. Ashoka’s vision is a world in which everyone is a changemaker – a society that responds quickly and effectively to social challenges, and where each individual has the freedom, confidence and societal support to address any social problem.

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Romana St. Matthew - Daniel
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