Sanela Diana Jenkins Awarded for Justice Innovation
Sanela Diana Jenkins was awarded a prize for one of the “World’s Top Three Justice Innovations of 2012” by The Hague Institute for the Internationalisation of Law (HiiL). Her project, the Human Rights & International Criminal Law Online Forum (ICCforum.com ), was praised as a way to facilitate communication between the legal community, the world community, and the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The ICC Forum is a partnership between the International Criminal Court’s Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) and the Sanela Diana Jenkins Human Rights Project at the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law. The ICC Forum debates some of the complex legal questions faced by the ICC’s prosecutors and helps open a window into the legal decision-making of the OTP.
“Education, debate, and access are critical components of international criminal law,” Jenkins said. “I’ve lived through the horrors of war in my own country, and believe that the rule of law and international oversight are indispensable to preventing human rights abuses in vulnerable populations. Our project supports the work of ICCOTP and provides for transparency and openness of its decisions.”
Professor Anne van Aaken, the chief judge at the HiiL Innovating Justice Awards, said “Justice innovations have the potential to contribute immensely to human welfare. This award is aimed at recognizing innovations in the justice sector. There are a lot of innovations out there that deserve praise and provide examples of innovative ideas. The ICC Forum is unique because it provides a communication between the legal community and international tribunal.” HiiL is a research and advisory institute in the justice sector with a mission to advance understanding of the rule of law and support innovative justice organizations and programs around the world.
The project received the highest number of votes of any other project in the two week period of online voting. 15,447 people from all over the world voted for the ICC Forum and, of the 39 nominated projects, the ICC Forum won the popular vote. “My heart soared when I learned that many of the people voting for us came from Bosnia,” Jenkins said. “Bosnians are people for whom international criminal justice is personal. They see the ICC as a beacon of hope—an institution founded by the world to try to fight the impunity of war criminals.”
“It’s a great honor to be recognized for our work. But I’m even more happy to share this prize with the people of Bosnia,” said Jenkins, the winner of the 2008 Mostar Peace Connection Prize awarded for humanitarian works. “The fight for peace and justice never ends. But together, we can accomplish miracles!”
Jenkins was born in Sarajevo, and was forced to flee her home as a refugee during the siege of Sarajevo. She lost many friends and family members during the war. Now living in Malibu, California, she is a philanthropist, human rights activist, and successful business woman. Her Sanela Diana Jenkins Foundation is the largest privately funded Bosnian organization of its kind. She is currently the Chairman, CEO and founder of the U.S.-and U.K-based drinks company, Neuro (drinkneuro.com ). She produced and published “Room 23,” a best-selling photography book, and owns Melissa Odabash, a leading European swimwear business. Jenkins recently acquired TV1, a new television station in Bosnia and Herzegovina.