Two of the three Grassroots Justice Prizes -- the Achmed Sesay Memorial Prize for Innovation and the -- Nomboniso Nangu Maqubela Memorial Prize for Scale and Sustainability -- will be selected by a panel of judges consisting of leaders and visionaries in the field of legal empowerment. The third will be determined by a public vote. The winners of all three prizes in the competition will be announced on February 20, 2018.
Gertrude Nyausi Angote
Executive Director, Kituo cha Sheri
Gertrude Nyausi Angote is an Advocate of the High Court, 11 years in good standing; currently the Executive Director at Kituo cha Sheria (Legal Advice Center), the oldest legal aid providing NGO in Kenya. Its mission is to empower the poor and marginalized people to access justice. She is a social transformation advocate, who believes in upholding human dignity and has been at the forefront in litigating, agitating and advocating towards the vision of access to justice for all. Angote is currently a Council Member of the Council for Legal Education has been council of the Law Society of Kenya and is a finalist LLM Student at the University of Nairobi. She is a trained trial advocacy teacher from the University of Washington and lectures on part-time basis at the Kenya School of Law.
Senior Advisor, CHRI
Maja Daruwala is currently Senior Advisor at CHRI, particularly focussing on the Access to Justice Programme. She was Director of CHRI for twenty years, until September 2016.
Maja has been working to advocate for rights and social justice for over thirty-five years. A barrister by training, she is actively engaged in numerous human rights initiatives, and concentrates on civil liberties including police reform, prison reform, right to information, legal literacy, non-discrimination, women's rights, freedom of expression, and human rights advocacy capacity building. Maja’s interests lie particularly in the area of systemic reforms. She works tirelessly to demystify human rights, and simplify technical issues of law and policy, for a variety of audiences. She focuses on mechanisms to reduce the distance between the standard and the practise.
Maja has lived and worked in India, England, Singapore and Sri Lanka. She sits on several charitable boards including the International Women’s Health Coalition, Namati, International Record Management Trust, Public Affairs Centre (PAC) Bangalore, The Multiple Action Research Group and the Media Foundation. She is a recipient of the Nani Palkiwala Award for protection and preservation of civil liberties in India. Maja believes the only way to be optimistic about the future is to invent it!
Deputy Director, Bernstein Institute for Human Rights
Sukti Dhital is a human rights lawyer and the Deputy Director of the Bernstein Institute for Human Rights at NYU School of Law, a cutting-edge center dedicated to research, education, and advocacy on human rights issues around the world, with a focus on legal empowerment. Previously, Sukti was the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Nazdeek, an award-winning legal empowerment organization committed to bringing access to justice closer to marginalized communities in India. At Nazdeek, Sukti worked closely with affected community members and social movements to advance labor, food, health, and housing rights through a community-driven approach.
Prior to Nazdeek, Sukti was the Director of the Reproductive Rights Unit at the Human Rights Law Network, India where she assisted in securing landmark social and economic rights judgments including Laxmi Mandal v. Deen Dayal Harinagar Hospital & ORS, W.P.(C) 8853/2008, the first decision by a national court to recognize maternal mortality as a human rights violation and the right to survive pregnancy a fundamental right protected by the Indian Constitution. Sukti has also worked at the American Civil Liberties Union’s Reproductive Freedom Project and the firm of Bingham McCutchen LLP. Sukti was born in Kathmandu, Nepal and lives in New York City.
Executive Director, AdvocAid
Daniel Eyre is the Executive Director of AdvocAid, a Sierra Leonean organization providing holistic support to women and girls in conflict with the law. Prior to joining AdvocAid in September 2017, Daniel worked as a human rights researcher, first at Amnesty International covering Nigeria, and later as a freelance consultant in Cambodia. As Nigeria Researcher at Amnesty International, Daniel exposed war crimes committed by Boko Haram and the Nigerian military during the conflict in the north-east. Daniel also worked for the Special Court for Sierra Leone between 2009 and 2012 as Special Assistant to the Registrar. He holds a Master’s Degree in International Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies and a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, from Somerville College, University of Oxford.
Director of Programs, World Justice Project
Radha Friedman is Director of Programs at the World Justice Project, where she oversees 90 locally-led programs advancing the rule of law in 61 countries. Previously, Radha worked with Landesa, where she co-founded the Center for Women’s Land Rights and raised support for the land and property rights of rural women. Prior to this, Radha was Associate Director of SKS Foundation, the largest micro-credit organization in India, helping grassroots women’s self-help groups to access financial services.
Radha’s work has spanned five continents over the last 20 years, and is grounded by an MA in International Development Studies / MS in Public Service Administration, a BA in South Asian Studies, and a post-graduate certificate in Cross-Sector Partnerships from the University of Cambridge. Radha serves on the board of directors for the She Matters Foundation, supporting refugee women; Rangzen, a Tibetan rights organization founded by the Dalai Lama’s family; and Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP) in Seattle. She was an American Express Next-Gen Fellow (2017), a Jackson Leadership Fellow (2016), a United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Fellow (2014), and a Parisi Public Service Fellow (2004). In 2009, she was selected by the Global Women’s Leadership Network as a “Global Leaders for Justice.”
Executive Director, Centre for Peace & Justice of BRAC University
Manzoor Hasan is presently the Executive Director of the Centre for Peace & Justice of BRAC University. Mr. Hasan was the Director of BRAC Institute of Governance; Development (2006-2012) and the Deputy Executive Director of BRAC (2004-2006). Mr. Hasan was the founding Executive Director of Transparency International Bangladesh (1996 to 2003) and subsequently the Regional Director (Asia-Pacific) of Transparency International, Berlin.
Manzoor Hasan is a public policy reform specialist with nearly two decades of experience in capacity building and institutional strengthening aimed at strengthening governance in Bangladesh. Mr. Hasan’s expertise also includes in-depth knowledge and understanding of institutional reform priorities. He is a legal and policy expert, and over the years he has also demonstrated his competencies in engaging civil society organizations and community groups in promoting good governance.
In 2003 he was awarded the Honour of the Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II for his service to Transparency International. Mr. Hasan has graduated from the London School of Economics and is a member of the English and Bangladeshi Bar. He is currently serving on a number of boards of non-governmental organisations and companies.
Marlon J. Manuel
National Coordinator, Alternative Law Groups
Marlon J. Manuel is the National Coordinator of the Alternative Law Groups (ALG), a coalition of twenty (20) non-government organizations in the Philippines that adhere to the principles and values of alternative or social development-oriented law practice. These organizations have distinct programs for legal assistance that is primarily concerned with the pursuit of public interest, respect for human rights, and promotion of social justice. Marlon J. Manuel is also a Professor and Bar Review Lecturer at the Ateneo de Manila University School of Law, where he has been teaching since 1996, and at the University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Civil Law. He specializes in Labor Law and Constitutional/Political Law. He is a fellow of the Social Weather Stations (SWS), a non-stock, non-profit, social research organization.
Executive Director, ECOLEX
Manolo Morales is executive director of ECOLEX, an environmental law organization based in Quito, Ecuador. His training includes a Master’s degree in Environmental Law from the University of the Basque Country in Spain and an S.J.D. from the Central University of Ecuador, as well as other specialization courses on the environment in France, Israel and the United States. He served as President of the Committee of Environmental NGOs (CEDENMA) for two periods (2005-2009). He is also a member of the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (ELAW), of the IUCN Environmental Law Commission, President of the Inter-American Association for the Defense of the Environment (AIDA), part of the Advisory Board of NAMATI (Global Justice network), and part of IDB - External Consultative Group (MICI). He has worked with public and non-governmental entities at a national and international level in activities related to the management of agrarian and environmental conflicts, legalization of land and political influence. Manolo has expertise in the empowerment of indigenous and other marginalized communities so they may participate the in legal processes that affect their future. He has also pioneered a movement to train community paralegals within Ecuador.
National Director, Paralegal Advisory Service Institute
Mr. Clifford Msiska is a human rights lawyer (LLM) based in Lilongwe, Malawi. He is the founder of Paralegal Advisory Services in Malawi-May 2000. He uses his legal expertise to help the poor and vulnerable people to access justice in Malawi, Africa and beyond through training and mentoring paralegals working at the frontline of criminal justice systems.
Mr. Msiska worked as a legal officer for a local human rights organization in Malawi for over five years before joining Penal Reform International (PRI) from 2000 to 2006 as a Regional Coordinator responsible for paralegal services in Eastern and Southern Africa. While working for the Penal Reform International, Mr. Msiska developed paralegal training courses and conducted paralegal trainings in Malawi and other countries. He also helped countries to introduce paralegal services in their countries.
Since 2007, Mr. Msiska has been the National Director of Paralegal Advisory Service Institute (PASI), a local non-governmental organization which employs sixty-two paralegal officers working in police stations, prisons, courts and communities in order to help the poorest of the poor access justice. As a legal expert, he develops paralegal training courses, and trains paralegals and village mediators working for the Paralegal Advisory Service Institute and any other governmental and non-governmental institutions in Malawi and abroad. He has also conducted evaluations of Paralegal Projects as well as Village Mediation Projects in Kenya, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.
Senior Advisor, Strategy and Programs, IDLO
Dr. Faustina Pereira is a Bangladeshi Human Rights lawyer and Development Specialist. She is Director (on leave), Human Rights and Legal Aid Services, BRAC; and Senior Advisor, Strategy and Programs, IDLO (International Development Law Organisation), based in The Netherlands. She played an active role in the advocacy for the inclusion of justice and the rule of law as development goals within the global development paradigm, which culminated in Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations.
Co-Director, ACIJ (Civil Association for Equality and Justice)
Sebastián Pilo is Co-Director of ACIJ (Civil Association for Equality and Justice), a civil society organization that works to reverse inequality, defend the rights of disadvantaged populations and promote a better quality of democracy in Argentine. He is a lawyer, graduated from the University of Buenos Aires (UBA). He has postgraduate studies on Administrative Law at the University of Palermo. He holds a Diploma on Transparency, Accountability and Anticorruption from the Human Rights Center of the University of Chile. He has been working for more than 10 years on public interest law around constitutional issues and economic, social, cultural and environmental rights. He was a parliamentary advisor, university professor and he litigated numerous constitutional cases in Argentina. In ACIJ, he works on issues related to access to justice, community legal action, right to the city and right to housing.
Executive Director, Indonesian Legal Resource Center
Uli Parulian Sihombing, a former public interest lawyer at the Legal Aid Office of Jakarta (LBH Jakarta), Executive Director of LBH Jakarta 2003-2006, executive director of Indonesian Legal Resource Center (ILRC). Obtaining a Bachelor Degree in Law (SH) University of Jenderal Sudirman in Purwokerto Indonesia, a Master of Law Degree (LLM) in Human Rights Central European University in Budapest Hungary, a Master of Law (MH) Degree in Law University of Pancasila in Jakarta Indonesia.
Professor of Jurisprudence, Wuhan University School of Law
Wanhong Zhang earned his Ph.D. in Law from Wuhan University School of Law, Wuhan, China where he now holds the position of Professor of Jurisprudence. He has mainly been working on legal issues related to human rights, public interest and civil society. The courses he offers include Jurisprudence, Comparative Law, Human Rights Law, Legal Empowerment Clinic, and others.
Wanhong is the author and translator of a number of books, and has published articles in both international and Chinese publications. As the Director of Wuhan University Public Interest and Development Law Institute, Professor Zhang founded the Access to Justice in Rural China project. This project aims to provide citizens with access to relevant, effective, affordable, and independent legal advice and services all rural counties of Hubei province.