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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

International Bridges To Justice

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, Crime & Law, International, Legal Services

Mission: International bridges to justice (ibj) is dedicated to protecting the basic legal rights of ordinary citizens in developing countries. Ibj works to guarantee everyone the right to competent legal representation, protection from cruel and unusual punishment and the right to a fair trial.

Programs: The ibj china defender program has been one of the most successful and long running programs the organization has undertaken. Since the beginning of our partnership with the national legal aid of china (nlac) in 2001, ibj has made a significant impact on the conditions of public defense in china and has contributed to a nationwide transformation of the criminal justice system, especially in the area of juvenile justice. Ibj has trained approximately 2,000 police officers in modern investigative techniques to discourage the use of torture to coerce confessions. Also, every december 4th, the anniversary of china's adoption of its constitution in 1982, ibj conducts an extensive campaign throughout the country to educate citizens about their legal rights in the case of arrest.

singapore- the singapore justice training centre continues to progress as the first regional hub of ibj. It conducted the legal aid systems training for myanmar and the concurrent regional legal aid forum for 17 senior government officials from the union attorney-general's office, supreme court of the union, myanmar police force and lawyers from the myanmar legal aid network. The sessions for skills training and capacity building proved to be a unique platform for meaningful engagement between government officials and young lawyers where open discussion and shared learning experience were realized. Their other achievement is it launch of 50 e-learning modules. The modules are specific to seven asean countries, namely cambodia, indonesia, laos, myanmar, the phillipines, thailand, and vietnam, as well as india. The topics covered by the modules include the rights of the accuses, the rights and obligations of defense attorneys, attorney-client relations, presumption of innocence, defenses, evidence, cross-examination, complaint procedures, pretrial detention, investigative torture, and preventing torture. With these modules, the sjtc is helping an ever-expanding group of lawyers from around the world increase its skills and knowledge through an accessible on-demand training platform.

cambodia - since 2001, ibj has been helping cambodia to rebuild its justice system by organizing training sessions, rights awareness campaigns, roundtable meetings and providing legal aid services. Through its offices located cambodia, ibj holds seminars and training sessions throughout the country to help train attorneys and inform citizens of their rights. Ibj's team works to ensure that cambodia recovers from the extensive genocide perpetrated by the khmer rouge during the 1970s and 1980s and becomes a place where every single citizen can pursue justice.

other program services - ibj has a program called justicemakers that conducts online competitions to support grassroots legal rights projects worldwide. In four competitions since 2008, ibj has selected 46 justicemakers fellows from over 26 countries. Ibj has two inter-related online legal education services that are accessed throughout the world: the legal training resource center and the criminal defense wiki. These services have enabled the distribution of legal knowledge and resources to overcome physical barriers. Finally, ibj has started a new initiative called youth scholars program.

Community Stories

1 Story from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

IBJ is a small organization that gets big results for its efforts. Its ultimate aim is simple: end torture worldwide. It has programs in some of the most challenging countries in the world in terms of torture: China, Zimbabwe Rwanda, India. And rather than focus on high profile political torture cases, it instead works to stop the countless cases of torture perpetrated against ordinary defendants caught up in the criminal justice system. But for IBJ, these untold thousands of poor individuals would be forgotten.

Another strong point of the organization is its cost effectiveness. The staff is lean, and it posts high quality training materials on its website for lawyers around the world to access. In its in-country programs, it works through carefully selected local advocates, and also is careful to build support from within the host governments. This is not easy, but somehow IBJ has a great track record doing it.

Having seen many "rule of law" NGOs operate throughout the world, I have witnessed many programs succeed and fail. IBJ stands out among these due to its focus, the commitment of its team, and the results it is getting under very challenging circumstances. A visit to its website is time well spent.