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Linde Bryk is nominated for the VIVA400 Award! Linde is praised for her work as a human rights lawyer and as a strategic legal assistant for women's rights. 'I teach students to use the law to correct inequalities'.

Linde Bryk

The VIVA400 is a ranking of the magazine VIVA with 400 successful women in all kinds of sectors. Linde has been nominated in the category 'Caretakers'. These are women with a clear motivation: to help people. Linde Bryk has worked in the Netherlands as a lawyer and in Kosovo as a human rights officer for the European Rule of Law Mission. She has been Director of the Amsterdam Law Clinics at the Amsterdam Law School since 2020.

In addition to her work at the Law Clinics, she is also active at Bureau Clara Wichmann. Unfortunately, she does not know who nominated her for the VIVA400, but she is very happy with the nomination.  

I want to inspire others to make room in your life to use the knowledge or skills you have acquired for the benefit of society

Congratulations on the nomination! Who is your role model and how would you like to be a role model for others?

'Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the recently deceased Supreme Court justice of the United States. She is a woman who was academically very strong and used her knowledge and skills for decades to equalise the position of women in American society with that of men. I myself would like to inspire others to make room in your life to use the knowledge or skills you have acquired for the benefit of society.'

What do you want to teach law students?

'To take a critical look at the law and to use the law to correct inequalities where the law or its implementation creates inequalities. In my lectures I emphasise the importance of looking at issues with an intersectional perspective. By this I mean that students do not look at the law or at certain legal issues in a one-sided way, but look at different aspects such as race, gender, sexuality and class. I want them to continue to ask whether the law as it is, or its implementation, does not exclude certain groups in society.

In the Amsterdam Law Clinics, students work on a wide range of issues relating to different public interests. I think it is important that during the clinics cases in Amsterdam, elsewhere in the Netherlands as well as internationally come to the fore. For example, environmental issues, protection of human rights, corporate social responsibility and the right to a fair trial.'

In your introduction to the VIVA400, it says that you have worked on 360 pages of evidence showing that European weapons have been used in devastating bombings in Yemen.

'Together with a group of NGOs, I worked hard for three years on this 'communication': a kind of report, but at the International Criminal Court. Thanks to close cooperation with investigative journalists, we collected 'open source evidence' for arms exports. We worked closely with Mwatana for Human Rights, an NGO in Yemen that documents human rights violations and violations of the law of war. They collected evidence about various air raids, interviewed witnesses and photographed damage to schools and monuments and remnants of the weapons used. We used satellite photographs, submitted WOB requests in several countries on arms licences and investigated the role of companies.

All this resulted in a report which provided evidence, among other things, of possible war crimes committed in Yemen by a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and of the possible role of companies supplying the coalition with arms.'

Your role at Bureau Clara Wichmann is also mentioned at the VIVA400. Can you explain this role?

'Bureau Clara Wichmann is committed to improving the social and legal status of women. For example, by financially supporting strategic court cases aimed at strengthening the position of women. The office also regularly acts as a litigator in lawsuits in which it represents the interests of a larger group of women. Think of the lawsuit that 'distance mother' Trudy Scheele-Gertsen recently filed against the State. In this case, she held the State liable for the harm caused to her because she was forced to give up her child in the 1960s. As a strategic legal advisor, I advise, together with others, whether a procedure can be supported by the Office and how. In that context, I am also involved in the strategy of certain procedures.'

About the VIVA400

The VIVA400 offers a stage to 400 successful women every year and hopes to inspire women in the Netherlands. Based on the number of votes and an expert jury, it will become clear who wins the VIVA400 Award. Do you want Linde to finish as high as possible in the VIVA400? Then cast your vote for her!