Katerina Hruba

Ashoka Fellow
Prague, Czech Republic
Fellow Since 2007


This profile was prepared when Katerina Hruba was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2007.
The New Idea
Katerina is implementing a new approach to public interest law to improve the quality of life of minorities in the Czech Republic. Many crucial legal cases relevant to this population fail due to inadequate financing, burn out, and sometimes fear. By pursuing these cases fully and with dedication, while also involving the Roma clients more actively, she believes it is possible to change the attitudes of the Roma community from seeing the law as a tool of oppression to an instrument of justice. Through these cases, she hopes to challenge and even change major governmental policies and practices with respect to their attitude towards the support and defense of minorities’ rights.
Her idea involves combining two important elements: Pro-active community work and public interest law. Through education, direct support, and work with clients, she and her colleagues created an elaborate support system for families and individuals who, in preceding eras, had little promise of carrying their case to a successful conclusion.
By providing complex services that aim to influence strategic litigation cases, she hopes to set judicial precedents that will positively affect the day-to-day ruling of lower courts. In doing so, she also hopes to change the commonly-held societal views of this problem by focusing the media spotlight on the larger crisis of inaccessibility to legal defense.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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