2007 Justice Argibay

Ms. Alyson O’Mahoney
(914) 241-0086 ext. 13
Bernetia Akin Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation
Online Newsroom: www.gruberprizes.org/news-media FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Justice Carmen Argibay and Two Other Latin American Champions of Justicet to Share $500K Gruber Foundation International Justice Prize

Argibay’s Commitment to Justice Prevailed Against Oppression and Intimidation by Dictatorial Regime

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To schedule one-on-one interviews with Gruber prize recipients, call (914)-241-0086 ext 13, or email aomahoney@robinleedyassociates.com.

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June 14, 2007, New York, NY - The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation today announced that Judge Carlos Cerda of Chile will share its 2007 Justice Prize with Justice Carmen Argibay of Argentina Mónica Feria of Peru in a ceremony to be held October 10, 2007, at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, DC, where world justice leaders will gather to celebrate the achievements of the recipients.  The three laureates will share the $500,000 award.

Justice Carmen Argibay is a champion of women’s right in the Latin American judicial system – and the first woman nominated to the Supreme Court of Argentina.   She was imprisoned for nine months, without trial or charges, by the military dictatorship following the 1976 coup d’etat in Argentina. After democracy was restored, she resumed her duties as a sentencing judge and was subsequently appointed to the National Court of Criminal Appeals.  Since 1993 she has presided over the Oral Trial Criminal Court.

Justice Argibay’s career demonstrates a lifelong commitment to promoting gender equality and eliminating corruption within the justice system, including training of judges to deal with issues of violence against women and human rights about. She was founder and first president of the Argentine Association of Women Judges and served as president of both the International Association of Women Judges and the International Foundation of Women Judges.  Throughout her career, she has been a proponent of incorporating gender perspective in judicial decisions – including her leadership in developing a judicial education program used in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and Ecuador. “Towards a Jurisprudence of Equality: Women, Judges, and the Human Rights International Laws.” Justice Argibay was also appointed in November 2002 to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) as an ad litem Judge and served through 2005.

In December 2000, Argibay participated in the Tokyo Tribunal to adjudicate charges of sexual slavery and other war crimes allegedly committed by the Japanese military against women from Korea, the Philippines, and Japan.

The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation Justice Prize is presented to individuals or organizations for contributions that have furthered 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 toward bringing about a fundamentally just world.

In addition to the cash award, recipients receive a medal of honor and citation, which says, “The 2007 Justice Prize of the Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation is hereby proudly presented to Carmen Maria Argibay, Carlos José Cerda Fernández and Mónica Feria Tinta who overcame personal experiences of profound injustice to become outspoken champions of justice. Through their enormous personal courage and tenacious commitment to a just rule of law, they challenged the absence of rights in their respective worlds and, in so doing, brought justice to their own countries and inspiration to human rights advocates around the globe.”

“Each prize recipient has shown great resolve in fighting for democratic principles in the face of tyrannical regimes, often at great risk to personal security.  Collectively, they are a model for individual action aimed at achieving human equality and the resistance of tyranny around the world,” said Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, one of the members of the selection panel choosing Gruber International Justice Prize recipients.

“In every age and in every country, heroes appear.  Often they are reluctant heroes who choose to take a principled stand in difficult times.  I’m confident that the efforts of this year’s Justice Prize recipients – three courageous persons working within the justice systems of Latin America – will inspire people from all parts of the world to do the right thing at the right time,” said human rights advocate Martin Lee, Esq., a member of the Gruber Justice selection committee.

Members of the committee that selected the 2007 Justice Prize Recipients:

  • The Honorable Rosalie Silberman Abella, Justice, Supreme Court of Canada
  • Dennis Archer, Esq., Former President, American Bar Association, Former Mayor of Detroit, Former Member of the Supreme Court of Michigan
  • Giuseppe Bisconti, Esq., Chair, International Foundation for the Rule of Law and the Independence of Lawyers and Judges and Dormer President of the International Bar Association
  • The Honorable Arthur Chaskalson, Chief Justice, Constitutional Court of South Africa, retired
  • Martin Lee, Esq., Founding chair of the Democratic Party, Hong Kong, human rights activist
  • The Honorable Sandra Day O’Connor, Justice, Supreme Court of the United States of America, retired
  • Past honorees of the Gruber Foundation Justice Prize include:
  • 2006: Aharon Barak, retired President of the Supreme Court of Israel, renowned for championing an activist judiciary and the rule of law and democracy.
  • 2005: Malaysian attorney Dató Param Cumaraswamy who, at considerable risk to himself, stood up for the independence of the judiciary.
  • 2004: Chief Justice Arthur Chaskalson, the first president of South Africa’s Constitutional Court, and Deputy Chief Justice Pius Langa, an advocate and judge who helped establish South Africa’s Constitution as a model for modern democratic societies.
  • 2003: Canadian Supreme Court Justices judges Madame Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella and Madame Justice Bertha Wilson for their contributions to jurisprudence in Canada and beyond. Abella, who served on the Ontario Court of Appeal for 20 years before her appointment to the Supreme Court, is one of Canada’s leading advocate for women’s and human rights; Wilson, the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada, has forged a reputation as a champion of the underdog and a dedicated proponent of fair play.
  • 2002: Fali Sam Nariman, Member of the Parliament of India, Senior Advocate in the Supreme Court of India and President of the Bar Association of India. Nariman has played an important role in both establishing and enforcing the rule of law in India. He’s played an important role in establishing universal principles of human rights as a standard for India and other emerging democracies.
  • 2001: The Honorable Justice Anthony Roy Gubbay, former Chief Justice of Zimbabwe, and the Law Society of Zimbabwe were the joint recipients of the inaugural Justice Prize in 2001, honored for upholding the independence of the judiciary and protecting the rights of the people of Zimbabwe.

The Peter and Patricia Gruber International Prize Program honors contemporary individuals in the fields of Cosmology, Genetics, Neuroscience, Justice and Women’s Rights, whose groundbreaking work provides new models that inspire and enable fundamental shifts in knowledge and culture. The Selection Advisory Boards choose individuals whose contributions in their respective fields advance our knowledge, potentially have a profound impact on our lives, and, in the case of the Justice and Women’s Rights Prizes, demonstrate courage and commitment in the face of significant obstacles. 

The nomination form and additional information about nomination requirements and selection criteria may be found on the Foundation web site at www.gruberprizes.org/Nominations/Nominations.php

The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation honors and encourages educational excellence, social justice and scientific achievements that better the human condition.  For more information about Foundation guidelines and priorities, please go to: www.gruberprizes.org.

For more information on the Gruber Prizes email media@gruberprizes.org or  contact Bernetia Akin of the Gruber Foundation at 340-775-8035 or by mail 140 W 57th St Suite 10C New York, NY 10019.  Media materials and additional background information on the Gruber Prizes can be found at our online newsroom:  http://www.gruberprizes.org/news-media