2018


Judith Lee Stronach  — Hassan Bility

Hassan Bility is the director of the Global Justice and Research Project (GJRP), a nongovernmental organization dedicated to the documentation of
wartime atrocities in Liberia and to assisting victims in their pursuit of justice for these crimes.  Read More.
Partner in Justice — Mintz Group
Champion of Justice — Ambassador David Scheffer

2017


Judith Lee Stronach — Youk Chhang
Youk Chhang is the executive director of the Documentation Center in Cambodia, which is an NGO that researches and records the era of the Khmer Rouge. Chhang is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for the Study of Genocide, Conflict Resolution, and Human Rights at Rutgers University-Newark. In 2006, he was selected as one of TIME magazine’s “60 Asian heroes”  and a year later, “Time 100” most influential people in the world.
Partner in Justice — Morgan Lewis
Champion of Justice — Amb. Stephen Rapp

2016

Judith Lee Stronach — Colectivo de Abrogados “José Alvear Restrepo;”
one of the first legal non-profit organizations committed to defending human rights in Colombia. CCAJAR has consulate status with the Organization of American States (OAS).
Partner in Justice —  DLA Piper and Tara Lee
Champion of Justice — Ambassador Stephen J. Rapp, former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues

2015


Judith Lee Stronach —Navi Pillay, Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Navi Pillay was the former U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay. Ms. Pillay, a South African national, was the first woman to start a law practice in her home province of Natal in 1967. An active opponent of the apartheid regime, she defended many anti-Apartheid activists and exposed the torture to which political detainees were subject. She has served as a judge on the South African High Court, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and the International Criminal Court in The Hague
Partner in Justice — Chadbourne & Parke LLP
Champion of Justice — Suleiman Ismail Bolaleh

2013

Judith Lee Stronach — Claudia Paz y Paz, Attorney General of Guatemala
Claudia Paz y Paz was Guatemala’s first woman Attorney General and has made unprecedented strides in the prosecution of organized crime, political corruption and human rights. She is the first Guatemalan law enforcement offical to prosecute those responsible for human rights abuses committed by the military dictatorship controlled by then  President and General Ríos Montt, including the genocide of over 200,000 Mayans. Dr. Paz y Paz and her team have built the case against former General Ríos Montt for crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide.
Partner in Justice Award — Latham & Watkins
Champion of Justice Award — Ahmed Salah, Coalition of Committees for Defense of the Revolution in Egypt 

2012


Judith Lee Stronach — Ambassador Robert White
Robert White served as the U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador during the country’s civil war, where he exposed widespread atrocities committed by the Salvadoran government and military against civilians.  After retiring from the Foreign Service in 1981, White served as a Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for Internation
Partner in Justice — Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
Champion of Justice — Lydia Cacho

2011

Judith Lee Stronach — Jose Pablo Baraybar
Mr. Baraybar’s ground-breaking work in forensic anthropology has been instrumental in the prosecutions of human rights abusers from Haiti to Ethiopia. His investigations in Srebrenica, where 8,000 Bosnian Muslims were murdered by Serbian forces, were crucial to the declaration that a genocide had taken place.  CJA has worked closely with Mr. Baraybar on the Accomarca Massacre cases in the U.S. and Peru.
Partner in Justice — Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

2010

Judith Lee Stronach — Helen Mack Chang
The Myrna Mack Foundation is a major CJA partner in the Guatemala Genocide Case before the Spanish National Court and one of the main non-profit organizations fighting impunity within the Guatemalan legal system.The award was accepted by Helen Mack Chang who started the foundation in 1993 shortly after her sister, the Guatemalan anthropologist Myrna Mack, was assassinated by a death squad.
Partner in Justice — Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

2009

Judith Lee Stronach — Mario Joseph Bureau Des Avocats Internationaux & The Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti
Bureau Des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) has helped victims prosecute human rights cases, trained Haitian lawyers and spoken out on justice issues since 1995.  BAI’s Raboteau Massacre Case was one of the most significant human rights cases ever in the Western Hemisphere and was a springboard for CJA’s U.S. case against Haitian human rights abuser Colonel Carl Dorélien. BAI director Mario Joseph and IJDH director Brian Concannon, Jr. accepted the award.

2008

Judith Lee Stronach — Harold Hongju Koh Harold Hongju Koh, Dean of the Yale Law School and former Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.
Dean Koh is a leading expert on international law and a prominent advocate of human and civil rights. His accomplishments, which are too numerous to list here, include leading a successful 1993 fight to the Supreme Court to free hundreds of Haitian refugees held in Guantánamo Bay. He has been an outspoken critic of the Bush Administration’s policies on torture, the scope of the President’s constitutional powers to authorize torture by U.S. officials, and the applicability of the Geneva Conventions to alleged combatants held in U.S. custody. Dean Koh has been invited to speak on human rights and the next Presidential Administration.

2007

Judith Lee Stronach Award — Paul Hoffman, U.S. Human Rights and Civil Liberties Attorney  
Mr. Hoffman is a leading human rights and civil liberties attorney of the firm Schonbrun DeSimone Seplow Harris & Hoffman LLP. Mr. Hoffman is one of CJA’s founders and has served as lead counsel on numerous human rights cases in U.S. courts, including the landmark case against Philippine ex- President Ferdinand Marcos. Mr. Hoffman chairs the International Executive Committee of Amnesty International and is the former chair of the ACLU’s International Human Rights Committee.
 

About Judith Lee Stronach/

Judith Lee Stronach (1943 – 2002) was a committed human rights activist who was instrumental in the founding of CJA. Judith was known for her love of poetry, love of teaching, and her spiritual practice.

CJA was originally conceived as a project of Amnesty International USA. The transition to an independent organization was made possible through a generous gift from the Judith Stronach Fund for Non-Violent Social Change of the Vanguard Foundation. Judith’s insights on the role of humanity and the therapeutic effect of seeking redress helped shape CJA’s original mission. Judith believed deeply in the transcendent value of the humanity of all persons.

Judith supported a wide variety of human rights causes and wrote often of her opposition to torture and other human rights abuses. When she first learned of CJA she was drawn to the aspect of our work that helps torture survivors and their families to seek redress. She also sought to understand the role of the torturer in society and the therapeutic effect of holding torturers to account. As she stated in an article published in the Summer 2000 issue of Turning Wheel, The Journal of Socially Engaged Buddhism:

[I see] the torturer not as someone different or other, but as a product of the whole society. I saw that bringing torturers to trial was not only a matter of justice, but of healing the society that had split off these unwanted parts of itself, of making it whole.
» Read the full article

Judith was prescient in recognizing the role that the arrest of General Pinochet in London would play in ending the culture of impunity in Chile and healing a society. At the time of the arrest, she wrote:

The General’s arrest ended decades of avoidance of the executions and disappearance of 3,000 people and the torture of tens of thousands of others. Before, the victims had felt abandoned, stigmatized and cheated. The publicity re-traumatized many by stirring old memories, but it also allowed a healing process to begin for others. Victims who had lived with shame, paranoia and embarrassment now could experience some measure of legitimacy.

Judith’s appreciation of the need for justice combined with her empathy for survivors who had suffered torture or whose loved ones had been killed or disappeared, made her one of CJA’s most outstanding and valued supporters. CJA’s work continues to be animated by her spirit. We are also grateful to Judith’s husband, Raymond Lifchez, who remains a strong supporter of our organization.