Prize | 10.11.2020

European Lawyers in Lesvos (ELIL) Awarded the 2020 UIA/LexisNexis Rule of Law Prize

European Lawyers in Lesvos (ELIL), a charitable, non-profit organization, specialising in asylum law and providing free legal assistance to asylum seekers on the Greek islands of Lesvos and Samos, was awarded the 2020 UIA Rule of Law Award in cooperation with LexisNexis.

The Award was presented by Nigel Roberts, VP, Global Associations at LexisNexis and VP and Secretary of the LexisNexis Rule of Law Foundation, and Jacqueline R. Scott, Director General of UIA-IROL (the UIA Institute for the Rule of Law) at the opening ceremony of the first UIA Virtual Congress that took place on October 28, 2020.

ELIL is the only organisation on Lesvos that focuses on providing legal information, practical support and tailored advice to asylum seekers. Jointly founded in 2016 by the German Bar Association (DAV) and the European Council of Bar Associations, ELIL operates now as an independent charity with the support of the French Conseil National des Barreaux (CNB).

Since its foundation, more than 215 European lawyers from 18 countries have volunteered with ELIL and – alongside ELIL’s team of full-time permanent Greek lawyers – have provided free legal assistance to over 11,000 people.

With this Award, UIA and LexisNexis recognize ELIL’s strong commitment to ensuring effective access to justice to refugees by providing independent and informed legal advice to those who desperately need it. In addition, as Ms. Jacqueline Scott highlighted “Incredibly, [ELIL] has continued its work despite COVID and a tremendous fire that decimated the refugee camp in Lesbos”.

As with each and every one of our illustrious previous winners, (…) the European Lawyers in Lesvos have that passion and courage to make a difference, advance the Rule of Law, and change the world for the better”, said Nigel Roberts.

UIA believes that ELIL’s collective effort is a remarkable example of the role lawyers and the legal profession play - and can continue to play - in upholding and promoting the Rule of Law.

UIA congratulates ELIL’s staff, volunteers and supporters for this highly deserved recognition.