2014 JusticeMakers Fellows

We are pleased to announce the 9 winners of the JusticeMakers Competition 2014!

International Bridges to Justice (IBJ) has received an overwhelming amount of applications that have all been reviewed carefully. We wish to thank you for your involvement and compliment all participants for the brilliant ideas they have come up with! After a challenging judging process, IBJ is delighted to present the JusticeMakers 2014 Fellows to you.

Lilian Ada Adakole, Nigeria

Project: “Building the capacity of stakeholders within the criminal justice system to end abuse and torture of accused persons within the criminal justice system in Nigeria”

Ms. Adakole aspires to offer early legal counsel to persons arrested by the police in order to stop police forces from torturing and obtaining confessional statements under pressure from suspects. Additionally, she wants to organize trainings for police investigators, prosecutors and prison officials to improve their understanding of human rights. By doing so, this JusticeMakers Fellow intends to end the use of torture and abuse of the criminal defendants’ rights.

Ms. Lilian Ada Adakole obtained her L.L.B. and B.L. degrees at the Benue State University and Nigeria Law School respectively. It is her worthy vision to work in collaboration with other citizens of the world to create institutionalized systems where human rights and dignity of the human person is secured irrespective of their race, gender or religious affiliation. Learn more…

Basavanagouda Shivaraj Patil, India

Project: “Right to legal aid and legal awareness”

patilMr. Patil aims to bridge the gap between the legal text and its implementation by creating awareness and providing adequate legal aid. It is amongst his project objectives to disseminate the basic understanding of what law is, what the basic constitutional freedoms are and which basic procedures one needs to know in order to counter potential constraints. This project will provide legal representation of juveniles who are in conflict with the law and whose trials are pending.

Mr. Basavanagouda Patil graduated from the prestigious National Law School of India University, Bangalore majoring in Law. At National Law School he was a recipient of Mrs. Madhu Bhasin gold medal for his contributions towards clinical legal aid and access-to-justice projects. He has also been presented with the National Level Best Law Student Award for 2014 awarded by Society of Indian Law Firms and Menon Institute for Legal Advocacy and Training. Learn more…

Tesfaye Ayalew Mekonen, Ethiopia

Project: “Enhancement of the accessibility of justice to inmates of Debre Berhan prison and detainees in Wereda police stations of Semen Shewa zone of the Amhara state”

tesfayeMr. Mekonen intends to improve the cooperation between the Debre Berhan Prison and the Wereda Police stations. This enhancement will narrow down the gap there is in the criminal investigation procedure, ensure that torture will never be used as an investigative tool, and avoid long periods of pre-trail detention. This project is being established to ensure prisoners’ rights of access to justice and a quick trial.

Having completed his pre-university education with the utmost success of scoring 4.0 on a 4.0 point scale evaluation at the Ethiopian School Leaving Certificate Examination (ESLCE), Mr. Tesfaye Ayalew Mekonen was one of the few students to acquire the honorable award of the Government of Amhara State. He obtained his L.L.B. and L.L.M. at the Addis Ababa University and University of Mysore (India) respectively. Read more…

Jordan Daci, Albania

Project: “Writing a Vedemecum on Pre-trial detention in the Republic of Albania”

daciMr. Jordan Daci will be working on the development of a justice handbook, which outlines the fundamentals of Albanian criminal procedural law in a clear and straightforward manner. The handbook will be promoted through trainings and other means. Rights-awareness forms will complement the handbook and are targeted primarily at detainees. It should furthermore be noted that the applicant appears to have a strong network in place for this project to succeed and have a real impact.

Dr. Daci graduated with honors from the University of Tirana obtaining the title “Lawyer” in 2002. In 2003, he successfully completed his post-graduate studies for a European Regional Master’s Degree in Democracy and Human Rights at the University of Bologna, Italy and University of Sarajevo, BiH. Dr. Daci first obtained the title of “Attorney at law”, after which he completed his Ph.D. Studies (Doctor of Sciences in Public Law) at the University of Tirana in 2010. He wrote an exceptional dissertation thesis titled: “The relationship between International Law and Domestic Law under the Constitution of the Republic of Albania.” Read more…

Yvon Alphonse Mabofe, Cameroon

Project: “Advocacy group for the protection of Human Rights violations concerning HIV/AIDS – infected prisoners”

yvon_alphonse_mabofe1Mr. Yvon Alphonse Mabofe wishes to protect the right to a fair trail of prisoners living with HIV/AIDS. This group of accuses citizens is often victim of denied or delayed access to competent legal representation in court. Therefore, this 2014 Fellow would like to dedicate himself to bring hope to especially prisoners who are living with HIV/AIDS. His project aims to create an advocacy group for the protection of violations of human rights involving prisoners living with HIV/AIDS. The advocacy group will serve to ensure lobbying decision makers in favor of prisoners living with HIV / AIDS in order to put end to violations of human rights against them.

For about seven years, Mr. Mabofe has worked in the field of human rights. He studied in Cameroon, Switzerland and France. In 2011, he participated in the drafting of the first alternative report of the Cameroonian civil society on the implementation of economic, social and cultural rights. Read more…

Vitalii Gutnyk, Ukraine 

Project: “Access to effective legal aid for indigent accused persons from the Lviv and Ivano-Frankisvsk regions”

vitalii_gutnykMr. Vitalii Gutnik wants to provide quality legal representation to the most vulnerable populations (i.e. the poor; HIV/AIDS infected) to counter human rights’ violations. He additionally hopes to raise awareness for the effectiveness of legal representation in the Ukraine. The denial or delay of access to competent legal representation for vulnerable components of society is caused by an ineffective legal system for these groups of people. Lawyers are poorly compensated to provide legal assistance to the helpless and free legal aid typically does not involve highly qualified lawyers.

Vitalii Gutnyk has studied Law at the National Law Academy of Ukraine, after which he continued to study for his Ph.D. at the National University of Lviv. He enriched his profile even more with a post doctorate at the Vilnius University, where he wrote the article “ Right to defense in criminal cases (theory and practice of the international criminal courts).” Read more…

Tin Ko Ko, Myanmar 

Project: “Promotion legal awareness and prevention from abuses towards the Transgenders in Myanmar”

tkkMr. Tin Ko Ko wishes to raise of awareness the TG community concerning their legal rights to avoid them being targeted by police abuses. The Fellow wants to develop guidelines when countering abuse and establish a list of supportive contacts for these situations. In order to reduce human rights violations done to transgender (TG) communities in Myanmar, the applicant plans to organize three workshops in townships, to highlight TG communities’ situation via theater performance and to organize a transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20 for TG victims of violence.

Mr. Ko Ko has been the coordinator of Kings N Queens since 2011, where he actively develops activities and networks with other organizations in the pursuit of equal LGBT rights. Read more…

Lillian Mworeko, Uganda 

Project: “Women living with HIV at the centre of addressing criminalisation of HIV and injustices resulting from a positive HIV status.” 

Lillian Mworeko - photoWith her project, Ms. Lillian Mworeko will convene collaborative meetings between legal sector stakeholders (i.e. judges, police, prosecutors, prison officials and the media). These meetings are especially intended to challenge a recently passed law discriminating against HIV/AIDS+ people in the constitutional court, as well as institutional discrimination. Secondly, she will work to secure justice for a 64-year-old HIV+ nurse, who was unfairly demonized by the judicial apparatus and media. She never had a fair hearing and ruling as indeed the judgment shows that the magistrate shifted the burden of proof from the state to the accused.

Ms. Mworeko obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences at the Makerere University Kampala. Amongst her other qualifications, Lillian has additional diplomas and certificates in the areas of leadership and AIDS counselling. She attended numerous courses and trainings that perfected her project management skills and AIDS education knowledge. Read more…

Frank Richardson, United Kingdom

Project: “Fair Trial Smartphone Apps”

Frank RichardsonMr. Richardson’s project plan involves the development of an application that educates citizens, public officials and lawyers about their legal rights. Furthermore, the technology will help applying legal rights in practice and publicly report violations, as the most effective deterrent of legal system abuse and corruption is public exposure. This kind of interactive information sharing and increases in transparency levels and accountability is likely to have an enormous impact on broadening access to justice and, thus, curbing torture, corruption and other forms of justice perversion.

Mr. Frank Richardson obtained his degree in Quantitative Social Studies from the University of Kent. He attended the College of Law and studied Intimate Knowledge of Legal System Dysfunction in Indonesia. This foundation has led Frank to become a very successful entrepreneur in the field of education in Indonesia. Read more…