BABSEA CLE Award for CEU LLM Graduates Awarded to Ephrem Birhanu (Ethiopia, LEGS '12)
In 2011, CEU's Alumni Relations & Career Services and Development offices worked together with CEU alumnus, recipient of CEU's 20th Anniversary Alumni Hero Award, Bruce Lasky (USA, LEGS '03), and Bridges Across Borders South East Asia: Community Legal Education Initiative (BABSEA CLE) to establish a new award program for Legal Masters Human Rights Program graduates of CEU.
The granting of this award, currently in the amount of 500 USD, is based on a number of factors including the selected individual's demonstration of commitment to access to justice prior to enrolling in CEU, her or his achievements throughout their time at CEU, and the expectation of their continued work in the access to justice and human rights field upon graduation.
The first recipient of the BABSEA CLE Award was Ephrem Birhanu (Ethiopia, LEGS '12), who completed the CEU LLM in Human Rights program with distinction in June 2012. Ephrem was born in Woldia, Ethiopia. In addition to his LLM from CEU, he holds an LLB from Addis Ababa University, where he graduated from the Faculty of Law with Great Distinction. He has an extensive record of professional and volunteer involvement in a number of human rights causes and projecs, including volunteering at the Organization for Social Justice in Ethiopia (OSJE) as legal counselor for the local poor and marginalized communities, and the Children Legal Protection Center of the African Child Policy Forum. Ephrem has also contributed to innovation and peace building strategies of his home country by participating in the Ethiopian Peace and Development Committee. In addition to his many professional and academic accomplishments, Ephrem has special training in human rights laws pertaining to child welfare and community development.
Throughout my career in the field of human rights, I have worked hard to do my best to contribute for the realization of human rights, especially of the indigent, vulnerable and marginalized sections of society. Receiving this Award means a lot to me not only for the recognition I got for my efforts but also because it serves me as a great inspiration to enable me relentlessly pursue my passion as a human rights activist.
With this Award, I plan to start the process of establishing a local Human Rights and Community Development Association that aims at working for the realization of human rights and improving the living standard of the people in Ethiopia. - Ephrem Birhanu (Ethiopia, LEGS '12), Award Recipient
"BABSEA CLE is an international, non-governmental legal education, access to justice organization, working to bring people together to overcome injustice and inequity. In doing so we follow the strong belief that amazing things can be accomplished by just a few people working together. This ethos leads us to invest in the development of individuals like [Ephrem Birhanu] and we are proud to provide [him with] this award." - Bruce Lasky (USA, LEGS '03), Donor
BABSEA CLE has continuously been involved in supporting and referring legal studies applicants from the Southeast Asia region to attend the CEU Legal Studies and other programs at CEU. To date, more than a half dozen Southeast Asian graduates of CEU have worked directly with BABSEA CLE on social justice projects and programs.
The BABSEA CLE Award for CEU LLM graduates is yet another positive contribution to the future of global access to justice, made possible by a lasting partnership between CEU, BABSEA CLE and their vast international networks of alumni, students and professionals.
Co-Founder and Director, Bridges Across Borders South East Asia: Community Legal Education Initiative (BABSEA CLE)
Bruce Lasky is an attorney of law and legal educator by profession. His travels and life’s work in Human Rights Law have culminated into the establishment of Bridges Across Borders South East Asia: Community Legal Education Initiative (BABSEA CLE), Sustainable Cambodia Inc., and the Sylvia Lasky Memorial School. Currently, he is based in Chiang Mai, Thailand and Hanoi, Viet Nam, working as Director of the BABSEA CLE initiative. His activity helps to form Clinical Legal Education programs in South East Asia and to expose local universities to strategies of education and development in this area of law. In addition to his work with BABSEA CLE, Bruce provides consultancy services for various organizations and higher-education institutions, and he teaches Clinical Legal Education at regional universities. Learn more on his 20th Anniversary Alumni Hero page.