Supporting Emerging Anti-Torture Champions: REDRESS Launches the UATC Innovative Lawyers Awards  

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Across the globe, torture is used to silence those who dissent or to further oppress marginalised and excluded minorities. The use and threat of torture against human rights defenders, journalists, lawyers, protesters or others who dissent closes down civil society space, creating an atmosphere of fear that makes it even more difficult to hold governments to account.  

Discriminatory torture against women, the LGBTIQ+ community, refugees, migrants, and those facing multiple forms of discrimination also remains a concerning feature across the world, alongside structural inequalities and discrimination that may hinder these groups’ access to justice. 

Too often, States’ involvement or tolerance of torture in these contexts, as well as its failure to prevent and address such violations pose significant challenges for those seeking justice and accountability. Obstacles faced by victims and survivors of torture around the world may include fear of reprisals, social stigma and exclusion, lack of access to remedies or legal representation, and inadequate legal frameworks.  

The role of lawyers has, therefore, never been more important to challenge impunity for torture in the context of dissent and discrimination. Strategic litigation is a crucial tool used by lawyers in many jurisdictions to highlight these issues, determine responsibility, and advocate for policy reform.  

Recognising these important efforts, REDRESS seeks to support the vital work of new and emerging lawyers in the anti-torture movement to encourage and empower them as they challenge the use of torture in their communities. 

As a member of the United Against Torture Consortium (UATC), REDRESS joined another five leading anti-torture organisations with the aim to strengthen and expand the anti-torture movement by pooling their expertise in torture prevention, protection, survivor rehabilitation and strategic litigation against torture.  

As part of this initiative, REDRESS is pleased to launch the UATC Innovative Lawyers Awards, which aims to not only recognise the work of these new and emerging anti-torture champions, but also expose them to a broader peer support network, offer them some financial support to pursue public interest litigation, and to inspire other lawyers and practitioners. 

We invite submissions from human rights lawyers using strategic litigation against torture who have deployed new or innovative legal or campaigning techniques.    

Those selected will be awarded with €2,000 to support their work. REDRESS will also feature their work in a blog piece, video or podcast. 

You can apply using the form below. Please note that as part of your application you will be asked to briefly explain (maximum 500 words) the basis for your nomination. This can be based on, for example, your accomplishments in the anti-torture field, innovative work in the anti-torture field, research, strategic litigation/PIL, etc.

Click here to apply