Darryn Aitchison and Neil Shaw, co-managers of the Auckland Community Law Centre, will be presented with the 2017 Equal Justice Award at a ceremony on Auckland University's Waipapa Marae on Friday, 31 March 2017.
The award, presented by the Equal Justice Project, is made to practitioners who have made outstanding contributions to the New Zealand legal community, and whose practices embody the spirit of equal justice and community service. This will be the fourth year of the award.
The 2017 award recognises Darryn Aitchison and Neil Shaw for their tireless dedication as managers of the Auckland Community Law Centre (formerly Grey Lynn Neighbourhood Law Office).
The Equal Justice Project says the nominations received drew attention to Darryn and Neil's passion for helping others and the considerable effort made to ensure legal advice is accessible to Aucklanders.
"The award also recognises their role as mentors for young lawyers who aspire to a career in social justice."
The Equal Justice Project is a non-partisan pro bono initiative that applies law students' legal training and knowledge to promote social equality, inclusivity, and access to justice in the local and wider community. One of the ways it works is by providing volunteers to community law centres, including Auckland Community Law Centre.
The inaugural winner of the Equal Justice Award in 2014 was Sir Peter Williams QC for his life-long contributions to criminal justice law reforms.
The award was presented to Judges Lisa Tremewan and Ema Aitken in 2015 for their work in establishing the Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Court.
The 2016 recipient was Dr Andrew Butler in recognition of his extensive pro bono work over many years, including his involvement with the Lecretia Seales case.