January 27, 2011


NEW YORK-Geoffrey Robertson Q.C., globally-respected human rights attorney, received the 2011 Award for Distinction in International Law and Affairs from the New York State Bar Association on January 26 during its Annual Meeting at the Hilton New York in Manhattan.

The award is sponsored by the State Bar's International Section.

The section honored Robertson for his landmark efforts in achieving a more just society. He is the author of the book "Crimes against Humanity - The Struggle for Global Justice," which details the history and contemporary politics of international human rights. He served as an appeal judge for the United Nations Special Court for Sierra Leone from 2002-2007. In 2008, the UN Secretary General appointed him as one of three distinguished jurist members of the UN's Internal Justice Council.
"As well-known as Geoffrey Robertson is for his exemplary legal practice, it is his commitment to human rights and global justice that have set him apart from other legal practitioners around the world. Through his incisive writing, tenacious advocacy and impeccable courtroom skills, he has raised considerable awareness of human rights as it affects the world at large," said Carl-Olof Bouveng of Sweden, chair of the International Section. "It is our distinct pleasure to present this award to Geoffrey Robertson in recognition of his outstanding efforts."

A graduate of Oxford University and Sydney Law School, Robertson has been counsel in many famous cases in constitutional, criminal and media law in the courts of Britain. Robertson has represented Salman Rushdie and Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, in his extradition proceeding.

Robertson also is the founder and head of Doughty Street Chambers, the UK's leading human rights practice, which comprises 80 barristers and 30 staff. He also wrote "The Tyrannicide Brief: The Story of the Man Who Sent Charles I to the Scaffold."

Previous recipients of the award include: Fernando Peláez-Pier, past president of the International Bar Association; Hon. Jon O. Newman, senior judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit; The Lawyers and Judges of Pakistan, as represented by Aitzaz Ahsan; Gillian Martin Sorensen, senior advisor of the United Nations Foundation; Lech Walesa, former president of Poland; Carlos Salinas de Gortari, former president of Mexico; Cyrus R. Vance, former U.S. secretary of state; and Boutros Boutros-Ghali, former U.N. secretary general.

The 77,000-member New York State Bar Association is the official statewide organization of lawyers in New York and the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. Founded in 1876, State Bar programs and activities have continuously served the public and improved the justice system for 135 years.