MINELRES: ERRC receives Gruber Foundation International Justice Prize

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Thu Jun 18 17:00:04 2009

Original sender: European Roma Rights Centre <errc@errc.org>

ERRC receives Gruber Foundation International Justice Prize 

New York, 11 June 2009: The European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) is proud
to announce that it has been awarded the prestigious Justice Prize of
the Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation on the tenth anniversary of the
Gruber Prize Program. The ERRC will share this award with Bryan
Stevenson, Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI). The
Gruber Foundation Justice Prize is presented to individuals or
organisations for contributions that have advanced the cause of justice,
as delivered through the legal system. The award is intended to
acknowledge individual efforts, as well as to encourage further
advancements in the field and progress towards bringing about a
fundamentally just world. 

The Gruber Foundation stated that both recipients have been recognised
‘for their tireless advocacy of human rights for individuals belonging
to oppressed groups that historically have not had an effective voice
in, or access to, the justice system.’ 

‘The work of Bryan Stevenson and that of the European Roma Rights Centre
(ERRC) demonstrate what can be accomplished against tremendous odds when
highly principled, knowledgeable, and committed people appeal for
justice,’ said Judge Bernice Donald, U.S. District Court, Western
District of Tennessee. ‘In securing access to justice for those most in
need of protection from discrimination – including, at times,
discrimination within the legal system itself – Bryan Stevenson and ERRC
assist oppressed minorities in developing the voice and arguments they
need to demand equal justice under law. Their work is a model for human
rights advocacy and presents a compelling case for the necessity of
focusing on and developing public interest law in legal education and

Rob Kushen, the Managing Director of the ERRC, commenting on the award,
said that, ‘We are deeply appreciative of this honour and note the
connection between the work of Mr Stevenson and our own. The struggle
for Roma rights continues to draw inspiration and ideas from leaders of
the American civil rights movement like Mr Stevenson.’ 

The ERRC is an international public interest law organization that
combats anti-Romani racism and human rights abuse of Roma in Europe.
ERRC has set in motion more than 500 court cases in 15 countries to
bring to justice state and non-state actors who have discriminated
against Romani individuals in education, housing, employment, healthcare
and other areas, or have committed violence against them. It has secured
over 2 million euros in compensation for Romani individuals for the
abuse they suffered and the subsequent failure of their respective
governments to ensure justice. 

Co-recipient Bryan Stevenson is the Executive Director of Equal Justice
Initiative (EJI), which represents indigent defendants, death row
inmates, and juveniles who have been denied fair and just treatment in
the legal system. With his staff, Stevenson has largely been responsible
for reversals and reduced sentences in more than 75 death penalty cases.
He has provided an effective training and consulting resource for
counsel representing death row inmates and is spearheading litigation in
19 states to get a fair review of sentencing and parole-eligible
re-sentencing. Stevenson has been consistently recognised by the
National Law Journal as one of the 100 most influential lawyers in

The Justice Prize will be awarded in a ceremony this autumn celebrating
the achievements of the recipients, who will share a $500,000 award. In
addition to the cash award, recipients will receive a medal of honour
and a citation, which reads: 

The 2009 Justice Prize of the Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation is
proudly presented to Bryan Stevenson and the European Roma Rights Centre
(ERRC) for advancing human rights and the cause of justice. 

The ERRC has been an indefatigable advocate of human rights for Romani
victims of discrimination of all forms, persecution and violence in
Europe. Through precedential litigation before national and regional
courts and innovative policy proposals, the ERRC has ensured substantial
justice in the face of often indifferent and complicit governments and
public opinion in the 13 years since its formation. 
The ERRC is delighted with the recognition of its efforts to better the
life of Roma in Europe. This prestigious award will provide fresh
enthusiasm and encourage the ERRC yet more to continue its struggle. 

Additional materials on the Gruber Prize are available at: 

The Gruber International Prize Program  
View it: http://www.errc.org/db/03/E6/m000003E6.pdf

Selection Committee and Laureates  
View it: http://www.errc.org/db/03/E7/m000003E7.pdf

Biography of co-Recipient Bryan Stevenson
View it: http://www.errc.org/db/03/E8/m000003E8.pdf

For further information, please contact: 

Rob Kushen, ERRC Managing Director, 
rob.kushen@errc.org +36.1.413.2200 

Sinan Gokcen, ERRC Information Officer, 
sinan.gokcen@errc.org +36.1.413.2200 

Bernetia Akin, The Gruber Foundation, 
media@gruberprizes.org + 1 340 775-8035


The European Roma Rights Centre is an international public interest law
organisation which monitors the human rights situation of Roma and
provides legal defence in cases of human rights abuse. For more
information about the European Roma Rights Centre, visit the ERRC on the
web at http://www.errc.org 

To support the ERRC, please visit this link:

European Roma Rights Centre
1386 Budapest 62
P.O. Box 906/93
Tel: +36.1.413.2200

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