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Aspiring human rights advocate Called to the Bar

New lawyer Gabrielle Moniz celebrates her Call to the Bar with her father, former Attorney-General Trevor Moniz (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Beaming new lawyer Gabrielle Moniz aspired to a future in human rights law as she celebrated her Call to the Bar on Friday.

Ms Moniz, 25, the daughter of former attorney-general Trevor Moniz, was Called to the Bar last month after completing her pupillage at Conyers at the end of January.

She plans to return to London next to complete her qualification as a solicitor in England and Wales.

Ms Moniz took inspiration from the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who said: “If you are neutral in times of injustice, you are choosing the side of the oppressor.”

She said she was saddened by the Bermuda Government’s rejection of same-sex marriage and hoped to see progress in marriage equality in the near future.

She set her sights on a legal career when she was 17 and embarked on an undergraduate bachelor of laws degree at the University of Southampton in England.

Her studies included a year of French law in 2016-17 through the Erasmus Programme, followed by a dissertation on child abuse cases and the right to private and family life.

Ms Moniz graduated in July 2018 and knew she was “passionate about working in the human rights law field”.

She volunteered with the Piot Foundation, a London charity promoting human rights for migrant workers.

Along with two summer internships with Conyers, her legal experience included a 2016 internship involving both planning law and public law at the Francis Taylor Building barristers’ chambers in London.

She also shadowed a human rights Queen’s Counsel in the summer of 2019 and followed an immigration case through the Privy Council.

Ms Moniz volunteered in 2018 and 2019 for the Trussell Trust Food Bank in Ladbroke Grove, London.

She attended a string of human rights conferences and in 2019 worked for six months at Koutsocho Refugee Camp, an NGO, in Greece.

Ms Moniz said: “Upon my return, I completed an international human rights law summer course at King's College, London and a ‘Human Rights: The Rights of Refugees' online course provided by Amnesty International.

“I was then fortunate enough to work as a fundraiser for Amnesty International UK.

“I was charged with raising awareness about human rights abuses in Yemen and the UK's involvement through the illegal sale of arms.”

Ms Moniz completed her Legal Practice Course with distinction in 2020 at BPP University in England, and worked as a student adviser at BPP’s pro bono legal advice clinic.

She returned to Bermuda in late 2020 and began her Conyers pupillage in early 2021.

Ms Moniz thanked her father and mother, Yolanta Ciechanowska for “giving me the opportunities, which led me to this career”.

She plans to bring her human rights experience to bear on other legal fields, ultimately returning to Bermuda.

Mr Moniz told The Royal Gazette: “I’m very proud of Gabrielle.

“She has always been very diligent and has worked long and hard to get where she is – she has a lot of compassion.”

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Published May 03, 2022 at 7:55 am (Updated May 03, 2022 at 7:34 am)

Aspiring human rights advocate Called to the Bar

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