October 21, 2020 – 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. On October 21st, PILnet announced the recipients of two awards, the Award for Exemplary Partnership in the Public Interest and the Award for Local Pro Bono Impact, at the 2020 PILnet Virtual Global Forum.
Since this year’s Global Forum was virtual, PILnet collected nominations as video submissions. Nominations were submitted from around the world for projects that included providing assistance to those affected by Covid-19, assisting children in vulnerable situations, and advocating for refugees and asylum seekers. Voting for both categories of the PILnet Global Awards was open to all 2020 Forum attendees.
The Award for Exemplary Partnership recognizes effective cross-sector collaborations that have an impact across country borders. The winner is the Legal Atlas for Street Children, submitted by Baker McKenzie. Working together with the Consortium for Street Children, and 20 in-house legal departments, the firm created an online legal resource that provides a country-by-country analysis of laws that are central to children living in street situations. The Legal Atlas gives governments, advocates, community members, stakeholders, and young people themselves access to a basic and clear understanding of how various nations’ laws treat street-connected children and youth. Over 1,200 lawyers and other professionals have been involved in this project and 8,000 pro bono hours were involved to help protect this sometimes invisible population of vulnerable children.
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. Out of 15 projects nominated, participants voted to bestow the award to a research project on legal avenues to protect victims of domestic violence and femicide. The research was undertaken by the French women’s right organization La Fondation des Femmes, in partnership with TrustLaw, with the support of law firms DLA Piper and Blakes. The research was shared during multi-party talks in France, which led to the adoption of legislation to protect the victims of domestic violence. The new law makes it illegal for an abuser to use a geo-location tracker on their partner without consent, removes the requirement that the victim needs to engage in mediation with their abuser to obtain a divorce, and several other important reforms.
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.
Contact: Toby Greenfield, PILnet