International Fair Trial Day and the Ebru Timtik Award 2024 laureates
14 juni 2024

International Fair Trial Day and the Ebru Timtik Award 2024 laureates


On 14 June, the fourth Award Ceremony of the #EbruTimtikAward took place in Manila. Where the award was presented to National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL).

On International Fair Trial Day, promoted by more than a hundred lawyers’ organisations around the world, the fourth award ceremony was held, which for the first time is being presented in the Philippines. The award is named after the Turkish lawyer Ebru Timtik, who died at the age of 42, after a 328-day hunger strike in prison in which she denounced the lack of fair trial in her country. The award was presented to the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers during a ceremony held it the Malcolm Hall at the University of the Philippines.

The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) was established during its Founding Congress of September 15-16, 2007 in response to significant human rights violations during the administration of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. These violations included extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, and political persecution, which, alongside the potential implementation of the Republic Act No. 9372 (Human Security Act of 2007), underscored the need for organized legal advocacy and intervention.

The NUPL emerged to fill this gap, forming a nationwide voluntary association of human rights lawyers, including those from mainstream bar groups or traditional legal practice with an interest in human rights lawyering and advocacy. The organization aims to coordinate and facilitate legal services and advocacy efforts to counter politically motivated legal actions and state oppression against vulnerable populations. It provides pro bono legal services, engages in community education, legislative advocacy, and legal research, and champions the protection of lawyers’ rights. The organization remains a pivotal force in promoting justice and human rights in the country.

The majority of the Selection Committee members decided “[t]he Ebru Timtik 2024 award is given to NUPL, an organization which has been active in defending and promoting the right to a fair trial in the Philippines. Members of the NUPL succeeded in upholding the fundamental values of human rights enshrined in the Philippine Constitution. NUPL is thus awarded for giving meaning and substance, at the risk of personal harassment, false accusations, imprisonment, death threats, and even state-mandated liquidations, to the Philippine Constitutional concept of due process of law. This includes the accused’s rights to be heard by counsel, to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against them, to have a speedy, impartial, and public trial, to meet the witnesses face to face, and to have compulsory process to secure the attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence in his behalf, and the right to appeal. The NUPL’s members have rendered legal services especially to political dissenters, the poor and the oppressed, pro bono, without any expectation or hope of reward.

The jury also expresses their hope that the international recognition for the NUPL’s work to aid Phillipine citizens for fair trials and justice in difficult circumstances will help the NUPL and its members to continue their work.”

Read the full announcement here

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