The Second Conference of Women Judges of Punjab

The IAWJ President, Dr. Susana Medina, participated in the Second Conference of Women Judges of Punjab, which took place from 13-15 October in the city of Lahore, Pakistan. Dr. Medina highlighted the effort and commitment with which the Judicial Academy of Punjab works to improve access to justice.

In a ceremony that took place during the meeting, the Superior Court of Justice of Lahore distinguished Dr. Susana Medina for her work in support of Human Rights of Women. Likewise, Dr. Medina participated in two trials, as an observer, and visited two Civil and Family Courts, a Mediation Center, a recreational space, and a nursery for the children of the judicial workers. Dr. Medina praised the effort, commitment, and dedication with which the Judicial Academy of Punjab works to overcome obstacles and generate the necessary changes to achieve access to justice in favor of the most vulnerable.

Over 350 judges attended the conference, organized by the Judicial Academy of Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan. The conference theme was “Improving Access to Justice.” After the inaugural act, Dr. Medina, opened up a discussion on “Where are we? Where do we want to go?” The discussion allowed the judges in attendance to review the progress that they have made in the past year. The program of the meeting included a number of other lectures and workshops. Other themes included, were: (1) The role of the Punjab Judicial Academy in gender awareness; (2) Responding to the needs of victims of domestic violence; (3) Access to justice for victims of sexual assault; and (4) Judicial conduct and sensitization of the courts.

A number of IAWJ judges also attended the conference, along with IAWJ staff. The IAWJ Human Rights Education Director, Mrs. Anne Goldstein, and Justice Eusebia Munuo highlighted the role IAWJ has played in eliminated child sexual abuse in Ghana and its collaboration with medical practicioners, legal professionals, and local community leaders to support women victims of violence. Justice Munuo also discussed the issue of Sextortion, which was presented as the interface between gender-based violence and anti-corruption law. Justice Saida Chebili, President of the Court of Sousse in Tunisia, discussed the barriers that women face when pursuing legal cases. Justice Chebili proposed the implementation of rights-based awareness campaigns to educate the masses and to overcome these barriers. Justice Anne Walsh Bradley, an IAWJ member and a judge for the Supreme Court of Wisconsin, discussed the special needs of child witnesses. She discussed the establishment of child advocacy centers that provide psychological and other support services to children. Dr. Robyn Layton, IAWJ member and former judge of the Supreme Cout of Australia, discussed her experiences in conducting gender sensitivity trainings with the district judiciary.