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News & Knowledge

‘The Women in law initiative’: Austrian member Alix Frank Attorneys announces winners of the 2020 Justitia Awards

19th November 2020

MSI Global Alliance proudly supports 'The Women in Law Initiative', founded by MSI's Austrian law member Alix Frank Attorneys. On 19 November 2020, the initiative presented the 2020 Justitia Awards honoring outstanding national and international female legal experts.

The 2020 Justitia Awards, hosted by Dr Alix Frank-Thomasser and Franz Heidinger, took place on 19th November when the winners of the awards were revealed during a virtual ceremony.

Women in law, who have not only achieved outstanding professional success both nationally and internationally but who have also been pioneers and role models for women in the legal profession, were honored in three categories and the winners are:

Category 1 “International Leaders / Lifetime Award” which celebrates the most impressive and influential women in the legal professions and recognizes their achievements and contribution to society, the first Austrian Chancellor, Brigitte Bierlein, was able to assert herself on a national level. The laureate is thus “the” outstanding Austrian “woman in law”.

The international award goes to the former President of the Law Society of England and Wales, Christina Blacklaws, who during her term of office launched an unprecedented campaign to strengthen women lawyers and promote diversity in law firms, thus serving as a global role model.


Category 2 “Academia” honored female legal scholars who used their academic reputation to make a significant contribution to changing their disciplines’ attitudes, values, and practices regarding gender equality in the legal professions. On a national level, the jury chose one of the most popular lecturers at the University of Vienna, legal historian Ilse Reiter-Zatloukal.

Internationally, J. Jarpa Dawuni won the race. The scholar and activist for women’s and girls’ rights teaches at the renowned Howard University in Washington, D.C., and has already been honored by former U.S. President Barack Obama for her services to the advancement of African women academics.

In Category 3 “Young Achievers / Game Changers / Pioneers” the jury decided to award two international awards for lateral thinkers who pursue innovative approaches that have broken the glass ceiling in their field of expertise or who already set new standards in the legal professions as newcomers.

The national award was given to well-known Viennese lawyer, Carmen Thornton, who via her Instagram account gives thousands of young up-and-coming lawyers a realistic insight into her professional and private life, arouses interest in the legal profession, and in doing so always exposes and questions entrenched role clichés.

The first international laureate is Egyptian lawyer Omnia Gadalla, who was recognized for her tireless fight against the Egyptian legal system, which still excludes women from the judiciary. The activist has been litigating against the state of Egypt for many years to finally end this legal discrimination.

The second international award-winner is making a name for herself as a pioneer. Michaela Clique has fulfilled her professional dream through consistent work and dedication – as a lawyer for UEFA she is responsible for its statutes and the regulatory framework. She was the first woman to break through the glass ceiling of the international soccer association and in doing so has become a pioneer and role model for other sports-loving female legal professionals.


You can view the awards ceremony on YouTube here: 2020 Justitia Awards

Selecting the best from the submissions from 4 continents was no easy task for the top-class jury, which selected the winners in the respective categories.

View further information on the Women in Law initative

About Alix Frank Rechtsanwaelte GmbH - Vienna

Alix Frank Rechtsanwaelte GmbH was founded in 1988 and offers individually tailored solutions for Austrian and international legal issues.

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