by Ten Leu-Jiun
On a cold rainy Thursday afternoon, a warm and cosy celebration fizzes in MASA Steak and Hamburg. A small group of friends and wine connoisseurs gathered to celebrate and honour human rights lawyer M Ravi who was recently conferred the 2023 International Bar Association (IBA) Award for Outstanding Contribution by a Legal Practitioner to Human Rights.
To commemorate this extraordinary achievement by a Singaporean, Champagne Konrat and WelcomeFnB have worked together to prepare a cuvée or special limited edition for M Ravi.
The cuvée is presented with a special label on the bottle that reads:
It is gratifying to observe the business community acknowledging Mr Ravi’s accomplishments. Prior to inaugurating the cuvée by uncorking a bottle of Konrat Collection and Konrat Rosé, Mr Ravi conveyed his appreciation to entrepreneur Mr CL Lim for celebrating his work through this creative tribute.
Guests were then invited to sample and evaluate the champagne series over an educational conversation about wine-making processes, while Mr Ravi shared engaging details on his human rights work as well as his burgeoning interest in ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) work. It was a bubbly and unforgettable afternoon celebrating life and good values.
Each year, the IBA presents an award to an outstanding lawyer in the world of human rights law. The 2023 award was presented to Mr Ravi on 2 November, at the IBA Annual Conference 2023.
Unfortunately, Mr Ravi was unable to travel to Paris, and recorded an acceptance speech. Mr Ravi dedicated the award to his late mother Madam Papa, as well as human rights activists in Singapore, many of whom he had worked with over the years in the anti-death penalty movement, LGBT and workers’ rights.
He also paid tribute to human rights lawyers across Asia, remembering their daily sacrifices in the furtherance of human rights under perilous circumstances.
Mr Ravi left the audience with a parting quote: “Love and compassion must deploy every tool to fight against inhumanity and law is one such tool.”
The IBA judging panel cites several reasons for the award, including Mr Ravi’s fearless advocacy and exceptional contributions to protecting the human rights of vulnerable communities. The panel noted his success in mounting litigation challenges to the constitutionality of the mandatory death penalty and the criminalization of homosexuality.
His efforts ultimately contributed to the amendment of the law in respect of the mandatory death penalty for certain drug offences, as well as the repeal of a law that unfairly criminalised male homosexuality.
His zealous efforts at legal reform, which had already earned him the accolade of being Singapore’s only “cause lawyer,” had also drawn adverse consequences to himself. These include the imposition of a personal costs order to the sum of S$70,000 for bringing “last-minute” death penalty challenges to Court and a five-year suspension for criticising the prosecutor’s conduct.
Beyond his efforts in Singapore, Mr. Ravi’s work extends to a broader regional impact. He has offered guidance to lawyers in both Pakistan and Tanzania, doing so under the sponsorship of the World Congress Against the Death Penalty and the Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort (Together Against the Death Penalty).
The cuvée will be available to the public in 2024. If you are interested in finding out more, please go to WelcomeFnB on Facebook or contact the company through WhatsApp at +65968932942 or email [email protected]
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