United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem (Navi) Pillay was honored Oct. 10 with the ABA Rule of Law Initiative 2012 Rule of Law Award for her dedication and commitment to advancing human rights worldwide.
“I am deeply touched by this award from the ABA,” Pillay said. “My experience in South Africa led me to the only conclusion possible, which is that the rule of law, without reference to a set of core values expressed in terms of human rights and fundamental freedoms, is meaningless and could lead to a possibility of legitimizing a wide range of human rights violations through the prism of legality.”
Pillay was the first woman to start a law firm in South Africa’s Natal Province, providing legal defense for opponents of apartheid. She exposed the practice of torture and solitary confinement of detainees held in police custody and successfully established the rights of prisoners on Robben Island.
The ceremony featured remarks from ABA President-Elect James R. Silkenat and former ABA President Stephen N. Zack, chair of ABA ROLI. Read more »»