2010 Justice Prize Recipients
The Indian Law Resource Center is a nonprofit organization established and directed by American Indians that, for more than three decades, has championed the interests of indigenous peoples in the Americas. The Center provides legal assistance to Indian and Alaska Native nations to help protect their lands and resources and preserve their cultural heritage. Where domestic law has failed to protect the rights of Native peoples, the Center has appealed to the UN and other international bodies. The Center played a leading role in eventually securing the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. A human rights complaint filed by the Center with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights resulted in the first finding by an international commission that the laws permitting the taking of land by the federal government are discriminatory.
The 2010 Justice Prize of The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation is proudly presented to Michael Kirby, John Dugard, and the Indian Law Resource Center, for contributions to international law and the advancement of human rights and rule of law.
Michael Kirby has defended victims of unjust regimes and promoted the cause of international human rights including, in particular, law relating to privacy, data security, bioethics, and HIV/AIDS. Active in law reform at home and abroad, his work has had an impact on the legal culture of many countries.
John Dugard, respected worldwide for his courage and scholarship, has championed the development of international human rights law. Having challenged the injustice of apartheid law from within South Africa, he participated in the constitutional negotiations leading to the adoption of their human rights–based constitution.
For over thirty years the Indian Law Resource Center has exposed human rights violations against indigenous peoples in the Americas, using international law to assert their claims. The Center was a leading participant in the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.