Professor Cindy Buys receives the Human Rights Gertz Award from the ISBA

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Professor Cindy Buys receives the Human Rights Gertz Award from the ISBA

June 23, 2016

${image-alt} Cindy Buys receiving the 2016 Gertz Human Rights Award from ISBA President Vincent Cornelius.

Professor Cindy Buys received the Human Rights Section Gertz Award from the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) during its 140th Annual Meeting on Saturday, June 18, at the Westin O’Hare in Rosemont, Ill.

The award recognizes Buys for her long-standing and exemplary contributions to the association and the legal profession.

According to the ISBA, Buys was selected for the award for being an outstanding community leader for peace and human rights. She has done extensive work defending the rights of non-citizens in the United States and abroad. Buys created and directs the pro bono Immigration Detention Project (IDP) through which she assists immigrant detainees at the Pulaski County Detention Center in Ullin, Ill.

In their nomination, Olga Weidner of the United Nations Association of the United States, Southern Illinois Chapter, and Emily Masalski of Chicago praised Buys for being a tireless advocate for and defender of human rights in the United States and abroad.

The nomination letter submited by the ISBA's Standing Committee on Women and the Law stated, in part:

Through her tireless representation, research and advocacy, Professor Buys has sought to give dignity and freedom to those seeking a better life in the United States. Through the IDP, Professor Buys has assisted hundreds of non-citizen immigrant detainees to navigate the often confusing detention process. She is also teaching the next generation of lawyers about the basic human rights of immigrants and refugees. Furthermore, Professor Buys assists this vulnerable, and oftentimes neglected, population achieve fairness in the detention process. She has assisted many people seeking asylum in the United States due to human rights violations in their own countries. She models for her students the importance of engaging in pro bono work as an attorney. 

Professor Buys joined the SIU School of Law faculty in 2001. She teaches International Law, International Business Transactions, Constitutional Law, Immigration Law, and a variety of other international law courses.