The president was honoured with a Justitia Award

The president was honoured with a Justitia Award

On Friday 10 September 2021, the President of the Slovak Republic Zuzana Čaputová received a Justitia Award from the Women in Law Initiative in Vienna.

The primary mission of the organisation is to bring together women working in various legal professions around the world. It is a platform for discussing and exchanging information and experience in the very diverse range of economic and social areas where the legal professions operate. It aims to advance the standing of women in the legal professions and support female leadership in this field. It brings together women lawyers not just in legal practice but also in academia and the theory of law.

The Justitia Awards are presented at a gala ceremony in three categories: international leaders, academia and young achievers. The president was nominated in the first category, in which the organisers selected the most talented and influential women lawyers who have had a fundamental impact on society thanks to their erudition and innovativeness. The award is for “the” outstanding woman legal professional of the year.

In her acceptance speech, the president said that she sees the award as more of an obligation than a reward. “It is an obligation to continue defending what is right, to protect justice and the rule of law. This award is also a commitment to further support, empower and inspire other women and girls who choose to become lawyers, especially those who are doing so in incredibly challenging environments, such as in Afghanistan.  We must do what we can to support them.”

The Women in Law Initiative is a member of the European Women Lawyers Association. The organisation was established in 2018 as a standing body for the international Women in Law Conference, which was held for the first time in 2019. The Justitia Awards were awarded for the first time last year. Right from the start the initiative received broad support and patronage from UNESCO.

Last year, the lifetime achievement award honoured two top women in law – Christina Blacklaws, a lawyer with a long career and former president of the Law Society of England and Wales, and Brigitte Bierlein, who served as the first female Chancellor and first female President of the Constitutional Court of Austria. This year’s nominees in the same category as the President of the Slovak Republic were Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the USA and Ann Claire Williams, a judge of the US Court of Appeals.