DLA Piper is proud to announce that the recipient of the firm’s inaugural DLA Piper Pro Bono LeadHer Award is the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ) Afghan Support Committee. Presented at the firm’s Global Women’s Leadership Summit in Chicago, the award recognizes the committee for its extraordinary efforts on behalf of female judges fleeing Afghanistan.
Former IAWJ President, Judge Vanessa Ruiz, Senior Judge of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, accepted the honor on behalf of the association.
The DLA Piper Pro Bono LeadHer award will become an ongoing part of the Women’s Summit programming to highlight leaders and organizations with whom DLA Piper partners through its pro bono program.
For nearly 20 years, the IAWJ, an independent organization made up of judges from around the world, has supported women judges of Afghanistan. After the US withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021, the organization established an Afghan Support Committee to help the organization’s more than 250 Afghan members, who faced grave danger following the Taliban’s takeover of the country. Since August 2021, the IAWJ has worked tirelessly to help these judges safely resettle.
DLA Piper has been privileged to work alongside the committee and other law firms to coordinate legal services for more than 150 Afghan judges and their families fleeing persecution by the Taliban.
“It is an honor to bestow the inaugural LeadHer award to Judge Ruiz and the IAWJ Afghan Support Committee,” said Lisa Dewey, US pro bono partner for DLA Piper. “The Afghan Support Committee embodies the essence of the award, and DLA Piper is proud to shine a spotlight on the incredible work done by this organization.”
The IAWJ Afghan Support Committee includes: Hon. Susan Glazebrook ( Supreme Court of New Zealand/Te Koti Mana Nui); Hon. Robyn Tupman (District Court of New South Wales, Australia); Hon. Vanessa Ruiz (Senior Judge, District of Columbia Court of Appeals); Hon. Patricia Whalen (former international judge, War Crimes Chamber of Bosnia and Herzegovina) Hon. Glòria Poyatos Matas (High Court of Canary Islands (Appellate Court, Labor)); Hon. Mona Lynch (Nova Scotia Supreme Court, Canada); Hon. Anisa Dhanji (Courts & Tribunals, UK).