The Center for International Human Rights (CIHR) awarded its seventh Global Jurist of the Year Award to all women judges in Afghanistan, in recognition of the courage they have shown under difficult circumstances. Judge Anisa Rasooli, accompanied by a group of Afghan women judges who have left Afghanistan, accepted the award on behalf of all Afghan women judges.
The judges were honored during an awards dinner on Feb. 9. They also visited with scholars and judges and met with Northwestern Pritzker Law students.
The Global Jurist of the Year Award is designed to honor a sitting judge, whether in an international or national court, who has demonstrated in his or her career courage in the face of adversity to uphold and defend fundamental human rights or the principles of international criminal justice. Jurists from all nations and tribunals are eligible for consideration.
The International Refugee Assistance Project, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law Chapter; Northwestern’s Buffett Institute for Global Affairs; the International Association of Women Judges; and the International Law Foundation are co-sponsors of the event.
“The women judges of Afghanistan have, by their example and through their work, demonstrated unimaginable courage and commitment,” said Professors Tom Geraghty and Juliet Sorensen in a joint statement. “They continue to stand for right even as they endure the heartbreaking hardships that recent events have forced upon them.”
Known as “the RBG of Afghanistan,” Judge Rasooli is the only woman to be nominated twice to the Afghan Supreme Council, nominated by both former president of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai and by former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. The first vote failed in parliament by a small margin. The second vote never got scheduled because of the fall of the government. Judge Rasooli has served in all major courts both in first instance and appellate courts. She has served on both the anti-corruption courts and the court for serious crimes of violence against women. One of her many projects was heading a three-year study on prison reform. She is a past president of the Afghan Women Judges Association.