ACTEDO wins the European Award for Local Pro Bono Impact!

22.11.2016 / 19:18 / Access to Justice

November 17, 2016, Amsterdam. In a ceremony at the 10th annual European Pro Bono Forum, ACTEDO receives the European Award for Local Pro Bono Impact in recognition of its outstanding contribution to promoting pro bono lawyering and access to justice in Romania. The award, set up by PILnet (The Global Network for Public Interest Law), one of the biggest international organisations promoting the rule of law and human rights through legal tools, honours the best innovative pro bono legal project at the local level in the EU. In 2016 this project is ACTEDO’s The Pro Bono Network for Human Rights.

“We are very proud of this award, especially since pro bono lawyering is neither regulated nor encouraged in Romania and there are many people, especially from vulnerable groups that deal with serious human rights violations. We have worked really hard in the past 2 years, encouraging lawyers to take an active stance in facilitating the access to justice of the most vulnerable members of society, as well as promoting legal tools among NGOs. We compiled our results into an Activity Report, which we have sent to 14 public authorities (Government, ministries, Bar Associations), together with our recommendations, which include promoting pro bono as an effective tool for defending human rights and increasing access to justice. However, recently a new national regulation has imposed several restrictions on pro bono practice and we will need to see how to address them in the nearby future. As such, we take this award as an incentive to continue our work!”– Iulia Pascu, ACTEDO, the coordinator of The Pro Bono Network for Human Rights.

ACTEDO’s Pro Bono Network for Human Rights was one of the five projects to be shortlisted in the final, from 17 remarkable pro bono initiatives from member states of the European Union.

Your collaboration has been an important pioneering effort in leveraging innovative operational models for public interest law. Its influence will not only be felt in Romania but also across Europe. We hope that this award will not only serve as an acknowledgement of your significant contribution to the pro bono legal sphere, but will also motivate others to follow in your footsteps. It is truly our honor to present the ACTEDO team and its collaborators with this award. – Garth Meintjes, President PILnet

“The project led by ACTEDO has truly impressed us, not only because of the commitment of its staff members and volunteers, but also because of the tangible impact achieved during this short period of time in the legal and NGO community. I am convinced that the NGOs, community groups and individuals from rural Romania who seek professional pro bono legal advice for their own or their communities will benefit from this outstanding project […]. I wish ACTEDO good luck and courage in their future efforts creating such a great alternative access to justice scheme in Romania.” – Tamas Barabas dr. jur. Senior Legal Office, PILnet Foundation, Budapest.

Present at the ceremony were, on behalf of ACTEDO, Iulia Pascu, Adela Dumbrăvan, Alexandra Columban and of the lawyers, Dana Ududec and Roxana Mândruțiu.

We sincerely thank and congratulate all the lawyers involved in the project and the the law firms partners in 2016 – Chiriță și asociații, David, Corcheș și asociații, Costaș, Negru și asociații, Popescu, Mirăuță, Bucur as well as the NGOs who have supported us since the beginning of the project, in 2014 – Centre for Legal Resources and PILnet Budapest.