Global Jurist of the Year
2014 GLOBAL JURIST OF THE YEAR
JUSTICE SHIREEN AVIS FISHER
Dikgang Moseneke, Acting Chief Justice of South Africa, receives the 2013 Global Jurist Award from Ambassador David Scheffer and Professor Juliet Sorensen, Center for International Human Rights, Northwestern University School of Law, October 16, 2013
Northwestern University School of Law’s Center for International Human Rights (CIHR) has selected Justice Shireen Avis Fisher, President of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, to receive the 2014 Global Jurist of the Year Award.
The award will be presented at a dinner at the Law School on Monday, Oct. 20, at which Justice Fisher will speak. She will also deliver an address to the student body at noon. For information about attending the dinner, please contact Professor Juliet Sorensen.
Justice Fisher was sworn in as a Justice of the Special Court for Sierra Leone on May 4, 2009. She played a key role in the Appeals Chamber judgment delivered in 2013 regarding the conviction and 50-year sentence of former Liberian President Charles Taylor for aiding and abetting crimes against humanity committed by rebels during Sierra Leone’s civil war.
Justice Fisher began her legal career as a public defender in Vermont, working on juvenile justice cases. In 1986, she was appointed a Superior Court Judge in Vermont, becoming the second woman to join the Vermont judiciary. Following a distinguished career on the Vermont bench, Justice Fisher served from 2005 to 2008 as an International Judge of the War Crimes Chamber, Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Sarajevo. She adjudicated cases involving sexual slavery and other atrocity crimes, including the first conviction for the commission of genocide at Srebrenica. She also developed the court rules for victim and witness protections in the courtroom.
In 2013, At the Special Court for Sierra Leone, Justice Fisher joined with Justice Renate Winter to deliver a historic concurring opinion in the Charles Taylor Appeals Chamber judgment that underscored that court's view on aiding and abetting liability, reinforcing a critical principle in international criminal law. For more information about Justice Fisher and the Global Jurist of the Year Award, please see Northwestern's press release announcing the award.