In 2021, a group of lawyers and lawyers’ organisations came together to establish an annual International Fair Trial Day (IFTD) to be observed every year on 14 June. This initiative is supported by more than 100 legal associations across the world, all of which are committed to the vital importance of the right to a fair trial and the serious challenges to due process rights worldwide. They established a Steering Group for the organisation of IFTD.
The Steering Group agreed that in each subsequent year, one country – where fair trial rights are being systemically violated – would be chosen as the focus country, and an event would be organised to mark IFTD, as well as a series of activities around the event to draw attention to the situation in that country. The events include holding a conference on systemic fair trial issues and making a public statement with concrete recommendations on how to tackle these. The decision to establish an IFTD was also accompanied by the establishment of the Ebru Timtik Award. Ebru Timtik is a lawyer from Turkey who lost her life on 27 August 2020 as a result of a 238-day hunger strike she undertook to protest against the systemic violations of fair trial rights which people in Turkey are facing. Every year, on the occasion of the IFTD, the Ebru Timtik Award is granted by an independent jury to an individual or individuals and/or an organisation who have or which has made a significant contribution to the defence and promotion of the right to a fair trial in the focus country.
The first IFTD focus country chosen was Turkey, in 2021. A virtual conference was held on 14 June 2021, to mark the occasion. The first Ebru Timtik Award was granted posthumously to Ebru Timtik herself. The second conference, which focused on the systemic fair trial issues in Egypt, took place in Palermo, Italy on 17-18 June 2022. Mohamed El-Baqer and Haitham Mohammadein, two Egyptian human rights lawyers who were in detention at the time, received the Ebru Timtik Award. In 2023, the focus country was Mexico. Legal professional organisations, bar associations, and civil society organisations from Mexico and across the world gathered for the 2023 IFTD conference held in Mexico City on 14 June 2023. The winners of the Ebru Timtik Award 2023 were two feminist lawyers, Alicia de los Ríos Merino and Ana Yeli Pérez Garrido, who were celebrated for their tireless work to address the justice struggle for the systemic issue of enforced disappearances and violence against women in Mexico.
2024 International Fair Trial Day Focus Country: Philippines
The Steering Group has expanded since 2021 to include a number of other prominent organisations taking part in the work, all as listed below. Several nominations were received for this year’s IFTD focus country. Following due consideration of the proposals, the Philippines has been chosen as the focus country of 2024. Read the full statement for how this decision is made.
Call for nominations for the Ebru Timtik Award
The Steering Group of the IFTD would like to also invite you to nominate one or more individual(s) or an organisation for the Ebru Timtik Award from amongst those who have demonstrated outstanding commitment and sacrifice in upholding fundamental values related to the right to a fair trial in the Philippines. The individual(s) or organisation nominated for the award must be or have been active in defending and or promoting the right to a fair trial in the Philippines through either a recent outstanding piece of work in relation to this fundamental right or their distinguished long-term involvement in fair trial issues.
The deadline for nominations is 1 May 2024. To nominate, please send your nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org in English and kindly include: (1) the candidate’s detailed bio, (2) a letter signed by the nominating organisation/group of individuals explaining the reasons why they/it consider(s) that the candidate should be granted the Award, and (3) one recommendation/supporting letter from an unrelated, external organisation, if the application is submitted by a group of individuals.
For the details of the award criteria and process please see “Selection criteria for the grant of the Ebru Timtik Fair Trial Award”. After the deadline, a jury composed of independent individuals who are experienced with the right to a fair trial, including one or more from the focus country, will review and assess the nominations and determine the award recipient(s).
Avocats Européens Démocrates / European Democratic Lawyers (AED)
Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales (BHRC)
Barreau Nantes / Nantes Bar Association
Consiglio Nazionale Forense / National Bar Council of Italy (CNF)
Çağdaş Hukukçular Derneği / Progressive Lawyers’ Association (ÇHD)
Defense Sans Frontiere – Avocats Solidaires (DSF-AS)
European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and Human Rights (ELDH)
Federation Barreauz D’Europe / Federation of Europan Bars (FBE)
International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL)
International Bar Association Human Rights Institute (IBahri)
International Commission of Jurists (ICJ)
International Observatory for Lawyers (OIAD)
Lawyers for Lawyers (L4L)
Ordine degli Avvocati di Bologna / Bologna Bar Association
Özgürlük İçin Hukukçular Derneği / Association of Lawyers for Freedom (ÖHD)
Republikanischer Antwaltinnen- und Anwalteverein e.V / Republican Lawyers Association (RAV)
The Law Society of England and Wales (LSEW)
Union Internationale des Avocats Institut pour l’État de Droit / The International Association of Lawyers Institute for the Rule of Law (UIA-IROL)