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IBA announces final four awardees of grant for frontline legal aid charities

Friday 26 November 2021

The International Bar Association (IBA) and the IBA Foundation (the Foundation) have announced the final four charities to receive financial assistance from the funding programme set up by the IBA and the Foundation, at the start of the COVID-19 crisis, to support frontline legal aid providers around the world. The grantees in this last group have received either GBP 10,000 or USD 10,000 and are based in Bangladesh, Uganda and the United States (Mississippi and New York).

Sternford Moyo, IBA President and Senior Partner and Chairman of Scanlen & Holderness law firm in Zimbabwe, said: ‘As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the most vulnerable people in our communities, the IBA, through support from our members, continues to champion access to justice. We are very much aware that the provision of legal aid is vital to a just legal system and an equitable society. All citizens, regardless of what they can pay, should have access to free legal advice, support and representation. It is imperative that legal aid providers are able to help disadvantaged sectors of society exercise their rights. He added, ‘There are so many frontline legal aid entities deserving of a grant. I am grateful to our Group Member law firms for identifying, in their respective jurisdictions, a small number that the IBA could aid during this precarious time.’

These following two charities have each received GBP 10,000 from the IBA. The nominating law firm appears in brackets.

  • Friendship (Elvinger Hoss)
    A Social Purpose Organisation that addresses social issues in the communities it serves, such as exclusion from vital services, environmental crisis, extreme poverty, inequality and injustice. Programmes include floating hospitals and access to healthcare for all, disaster relief, capacity building and economic development, climate resilience, education, inclusion and access to rights and cultural preservation.
  • The Legal Aid Project of the Uganda Law Society (AB & David)
    An organisation that seeks to improve the professional standards of its members and to promote respect for human rights, the rule of law and access to justice. It envisions a Ugandan society where access to justice is possible for all irrespective of gender, age, ethnicity, and religion or socio-economic status. The target beneficiaries are indigent members of society with special consideration to women, children, people with disabilities and other vulnerable persons.

These two charities, listed alongside their nominator, have received USD 10,000 from the Foundation.

  • Human Rights First (Seward & Kissel)
    An independent advocacy and action organisation that challenges America to live up to its ideals by pressing the country’s government and private companies to respect human rights and the rule of law. When they fail, Human Rights First step in to demand reform, accountability and justice. Programs include protecting refugees, combating torture, and defending persecuted minorities.
  • Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance – MIRA (IBA Foundation)
    MIRA is a formal coalition of immigrant and non-immigrant groups that formed in 2000 in response to the needs of a rapidly growing, largely Latino immigrant population in Mississippi. The group uses advocacy, education, organising and legal services to expand and protect the rights of immigrants and their families in Mississippi. It also trains pro bono lawyers to assist with immigration cases.

In June 2020, the IBA, together with the IBA Foundation – the United States-based charitable arm of the IBA – announced the allocation of GBP 100,000 and USD 100,000 respectively, for a fund to support legal aid entities. IBA Group Members – the world’s prominent law firms signed to the IBA – were asked to identify frontline legal aid providers that would benefit from such funding.

Some 40 charities were nominated by IBA Group Member firms and considered by a committee consisting of members of the IBA Executive team, Foundation Board Members, and senior officers of the Legal Practice Division and Section on Public and Professional Interest.

In April 2021, the IBA announced payments to 13 charities. Today’s announcement brings the concluding total to 17 charities aided by this ring-fenced grant. 

ENDS

Notes to the Editor

  1. Related material:
  2. The International Bar Association (IBA), the global voice of the legal profession, is the foremost organisation for international legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies. Established in 1947, shortly after the creation of the United Nations, it was born out of the conviction that an organisation made up of the world's bar associations could contribute to global stability and peace through the administration of justice.

  3. Find the IBA (@IBAnews) on social media here:
  4. The International Bar Association Foundation is a US-based charitable foundation, established in 1986 by members of the IBA to engage in educational and charitable activities related to advancing the rule of law. The Foundation was reorganised in 2017 to be a supporting organisation of the IBA. Under the new structure, the Foundation now focuses its efforts to help fund major IBA rule of law initiatives initiated by the IBA.

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