IBA to award law profession’s ‘unsung heroes'
Publish date: 09 July 2018
Issue Number: 781
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
A new International Bar Association (IBA) award, the IBA Jurist Award, will 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. ‘As legal professionals, we know that there are members of our profession who represent the very best of us, yet their efforts frequently go unnoticed,’ said IBA Executive Director Dr Mark Ellis. He saluted Ashoka for collaborating with the IBA with the initiative. ‘The mutual goal of encouraging systemic change in pursuit of the common good makes this a perfect partnership,’ he added. Ben Greer, IBA Honorary Life Member of Council and Association, endorsed the initiative, saying the rule of law depends on the faithful performance 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,' he said. Individuals are encouraged to go online 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 award close on 31 August.