Very often, lawyers feel isolated – and overwhelmed by their responsibility of people’s fundamental freedom. Bringing them together helps build the movement for legal rights in their country and around the world. The global movement for legal rights will be given a kick-start over the coming weeks, as IBJ Asia and Africa Fellows gather for a 10-day Summit in Singapore, where IBJ has recently laid the foundations of the Justice Training Center.

From August 8th to August 14th, eight IBJ Country Fellows from Burundi, Cambodia, China, India, Rwanda and Zimbabwe will meet to discuss a path towards their ideal of justice, receive training in criminal defense and learn from each other’s experience. The Fellows will be invited to explore their personal stories, reflect upon their motivations for pursuing a legal career and imagine an ideal justice system in their country, beyond the discouraging circumstances they sometimes face. They will then receive motivational training in legal techniques, including case strategy development and trial advocacy. These sessions will equip the Fellows with the leadership qualities they need to organize the legal community in their countries and achieve their vision for justice. Experienced Singaporean defense attorneys will engage in discussions with the Fellows to share insights about their role in the criminal justice process and their ways to overcome challenges.

Bonding moments between the Fellows and IBJ Staff last year at the Fellows Summit (Photo by Sanjeewa Liyanage)

Above: Bonding moments between the Fellows and IBJ Staff last year at the Fellows Summit (Photo by Sanjeewa Liyanage)

  The Country Fellows will be joined in their discussions by the eleven 2010 Asia JusticeMakers Fellows from Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. The JusticeMakers will give short presentations on their projects, including the challenges they face and their strategies for achieving their project objectives. The intensive, six day event will include cross-disciplinary training in areas including criminal defence skills, leadership, public speaking and negotiation skills, giving them the opportunity to strengthen the skills that will be vital to the success of their projects. Additionally, the JusticeMakers fellows will participate in sessions on fundraising, fostering motivation and harnessing volunteer resources, to arm them with the tools they need to achieve their long-term visions for criminal justice. The JusticeMakers will also be hosted by the International Relations Committee of the Law Society of Singapore, who will lead a discussion on ‘The Work of International Bridges to Justice in Developing Countries’ with the participation of Philip Jeyaretnam, one the 2010 Asia JusticeMakers Competition Judges.


Above: One of the 2010 JusticeMakers, Rasul Jafarov from Azerbaijan (center), holds a press conference to announce the start of his project which aims to educate prisoners on their right to counsel and early release.

August 12th will mark the official welcome of the 2010 Asia JusticeMakers into IBJ Fellows Community. For the occasion, the Singaporean legal, business and diplomatic community is invited to attend a gala which will be hosted the same evening.

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