BERLIN, GERMANY, 14 November 2018 — PILnet’s Global Awards celebrate and honor the extraordinary efforts made by individuals, law firms, and NGOs to strengthen civil society, advance social justice, and protect the public interest around the world. Two awards are given, the Award for Exemplary Partnership in the Public Interest and the Award for Local Pro Bono Impact. Nominations were submitted from all over the world for projects that benefited victims of natural disasters or humanitarian crises, indigenous peoples, the LGBTI community, migrants and other vulnerable populations. Award winners were announced in Berlin on 13 November at PILnet’s Global Awards Dinner Reception.
The Award for Exemplary Partnership recognizes effective collaborations that have an impact across country borders. Five impressive projects were shortlisted this year. Instituto Internacional de Derecho y Sociedad/International Institute on Law & Society and Central Unica de Rondas Campesinas del Peru in collaboration with indigenous organizations Pacto de Unidad de Organizaciones Nacionales de Pueblos Indigenas and Comunidad Nativa Tres Islas (“Madre De Dios”) were awarded for their collaboration. This joint effort provided pro bono legal defense for indigenous people in Latin America, including the countries of Peru, Chile, Colombia, and Guatemala, to strengthen their capacity to defend their rights. Several achievements were made including recognizing indigenous people’s autonomy, indigenous legal justice system called “egalitarian legal pluralism,” and the legal personality of indigenous peoples.
The Award for Local Pro Bono Impact honors individual lawyers and law firms who have made an exceptional effort to use their skills for the benefit of their local community. Among the four projects shortlisted for this award, Hogan Lovells, Justice for Magdalenes Research and Adoption Rights Alliance on the Clann Project were bestowed the award. Together, they gathered evidence and advocated for legal, policy, and practical measures to benefit individuals, families, and communities affected by the forced separation of unmarried families in Ireland throughout the 20th century. This partnership resulted in a presentation of a summary report to the National Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes; recommendations for policy, legislation and practical reparation measures; and legal analysis of human rights and constitutional issues as well as continued offered assistance to victims.
PILnet congratulates these winners and the excellent work of all of the nominees. We look forward to another year of developing partnerships between the private and public sectors, and working together to use law as a tool for social change.