Bertha Justice Initiative

Growing the practice of human rights and movement lawyering in pursuit of social justice


Training 1,000 social justice and movement lawyers in the next 10 years


Building a vibrant, global network of new and experienced social justice and movement lawyers


Facilitating comparative learning, exchange and collaboration


Bertha Justice Fellows

We train the next generation of social justice and movement lawyers by funding two-year Fellowships at the best public interest law centers around the world, where emerging lawyers receive practical training from renowned professionals.

At any one time we are funding over 100 Fellowships at 20 partner organizations spanning 18 countries.

*For security reasons, not all Fellows are included


Bertha Justice Network

Our​ ​vibrant​ ​network​ ​of​ ​radical​ ​social​ ​justice​ ​and​ ​movement​ ​lawyers​ ​spans​ ​the​ ​world​ ​and​ ​is​ ​comprised​ ​of​ ​Bertha Justice​ ​Fellows​ ​and​ ​Alumnx,​ ​Bertha​ ​Justice​ ​Partners​ ​who​ ​host​ ​and​ ​train​ ​Fellows,​ ​and​ ​our​ ​other​ ​legal​ ​grantees and​ ​friends​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Foundation.​ ​We​ ​are​ ​proud​ ​to​ ​support​ ​the​ ​following​ ​Bertha​ ​Justice​ ​Partners​ ​to​ ​host​ ​Fellows and​ ​to​ ​encourage​ ​collaboration​ ​in​ ​their​ ​legal​ ​work​ ​(where​ ​cross-jurisdictional​ ​opportunities​ ​arise).


Bertha Justice Convenings

We host and facilitate convenings of Bertha Justice Fellows and lawyers who are part of the Bertha Justice Network to promote comparative learning, exchange and collaboration.

Bertha​ ​Justice​ ​Initiative​ ​Convening​ ​2017,​ ​South​ ​Africa
Bertha Justice Initiative Convening 2016, South Africa
Bertha Justice Initiative Global Convening 2014, South Africa

Global Convenings

Global convenings aim to facilitate a sense of solidarity and cohort across the Bertha Justice Network, while providing learning opportunities, inspiration and encouragement for Bertha Justice Fellows' long-term engagement in social justice and movement lawyering.

Network-Driven Exchanges

Through our Educational Exchange Fund, we enable Fellows, Alumnx and Partners to convene to discuss legal issues of common interest and to connect in ways that support social justice and movement lawyering.

Women’s Working Group Gatherings, Philippines and Germany

In September 2017 and October 2014, women lawyers from across the Bertha Justice Network came together at Bertha Justice Partners in the Philippines and Germany, respectively, to share their experiences as women human rights defenders and develop strategies to better support women in the Network. The inaugural meeting of the Women’s Working Group resulted in Unbowed, a collection of letters and poems by women of the Bertha Justice Network.

Educational Exchange on Strategies for Transnational Defence of Community Rights, Mexico

Bertha Justice Partner, ProDESC, hosted Bertha Justice Fellows and Partner lawyers from seven different countries in Mexico in July 2015, to share legal strategies for defending community rights to land, territory and natural resources against abusive practices of multinational corporations.

Comparative Learning on Protecting and Defending the Right to Education, India

In May 2015, lawyers and Bertha Justice Fellows from South Africa's Equal Education Law Centre visited India to participate in a workshop on the "Justiciability of the Right to Education in the post-2015 Development Agenda" and to engage with grassroots organizations on methods for undertaking research, engaging in advocacy work and conducting litigation around the right to education.


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