The International Bar Association (IBA) has named its award winners at its conference in Miami.
The IBA award for Outstanding Contribution to Human Rights goes to lawyer Jiang Tianyong for his extraordinary dedication to defending human rights in the People’s Republic of China.
Over the span of a decade, he has represented Chinese dissidents and activists, victims of HIV contamination through blood transfusions, Falun Gong religious practitioners, victims of illegal land misappropriation, and those facing discrimination due to health status, gender or age.
Jiang remains under house arrest.
The IBA Pro Bono Award winner is Elba Gutiérrez, of the Greenberg Traurig Global Pro Bono programme, for her instrumental role in delivering and promoting pro bono legal services in Mexico, a country where this type of legal work is uncommon.
Gutiérrez said: ‘I’m deeply honoured to receive this award. As attorneys we have a superpower: we can understand, explain, and enforce the law to change and even save lives. We can improve the world through our profession.”
The IBA Outstanding Young Lawyer is Ghana’s Yorm Ama Abledu, senior international attorney at Centurion Law Group and lecturer at the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA).
The award was made for the lawyer’s passion for mentoring the next generation of African legal professionals and her remarkable achievements within the academic field.
Yorm Ama Abledu impressed the judges with her “selfless volunteer work and for her dedication to empowering African students to academic success”.