Clifford Chance Wins European Award for Partnership in the Public Interest

Monday, November 17, 2014 - 14:53

Clifford Chance is proud to announce it has been awarded the Global Network for Public Interest Law's (PILnet) 2014 European Award for Exemplary Partnership in the Public Interest for its work with Fair Trials International (FTI).

FTI has been one of the firm's global strategic pro bono and community outreach clients since 2012. During this time, the firm has focused its support on FTI's Justice in Europe campaign, particularly its work to liberalize rules on pre-trial detention and secure the right to a fair trial in EU jurisdictions. The strategic campaign is aimed at improving fair trial rights across Europe through the creation and proper implementation of European law. In the past year, 28 lawyers from Clifford Chance's 18 European offices, led by partner Bartosz Kruzewski in Warsaw, have conducted 250 hours of research into breaches of the European Convention on Human Rights by EU member states. The firm has also facilitated pro bono support to this end from local relationship law firms in eight EU countries where there is no Clifford Chance office, and provided funding of £90,000 over three years to support the campaign.

FTI's advocacy has been instrumental in the creation of three EU directives on the right to translation and interpretation, the right to information during criminal proceedings, and the right to access to a lawyer and communication with a consular official or nominated person. These developments in European law will have a game-changing influence on ensuring that key constituent parts of a fair trial process are available to all those living within the EU.

The next phase of Clifford Chance's support for FTI will involve supporting strategic litigation to ensure that the directives are reflected in jurisdictions across the EU. In particular the firm will provide support to local criminal defense lawyers who are taking cases to the Court of Justice of the European Union and will help FTI raise awareness of the directives and legal remedies across Europe.

The award was presented at an awards dinner at PILnet's European Pro Bono Forum on Thursday, 6 November in London.