The ILF Named NACDL's 2021 Champion of Public Defense

Updated: May 11

We are excited to announce that the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), a leading U.S. network of criminal defense stakeholders, has recognized The ILF as its 2021 Champion of Public Defense!



Awarded by NACDL’s Public Defense Committee, the Champion of Public Defense Award “recognizes an individual or group for exceptional efforts in making positive changes to a local, county, state, or federal public defense system and highlights efforts toward systemic advances through legislation, litigation, or other strategies.”


The ILF was chosen for this distinction for our advocacy, strategic litigation, and legal aid services through which we are promoting alternatives to incarceration and fighting--and winning--against excessive pretrial detention, and the criminalization of petty offenses. The Committee particularly highlighted our continued and fierce advocacy throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The ILF is the first-ever international organization selected for this highly competitive award, reinforcing the interconnected nature of our global fight for justice.


Executive Director, Jennifer Smith, received the award on behalf of the ILF at the NACDL Foundation for Criminal Justice Gala on October 7th, 2021.


“My public defender colleagues are doing not only what is uncomfortable, but in many countries, they are literally risking their lives for their belief in fair and equitable justice for all.”


-Executive Director, Jennifer Smith