Travel and Learning Award for Vinod Bal

Supporting Vinod Bal to travel overseas to explore strategic and public interest litigation in pursuance of LGBT+ rights realisation.

Borrin Foundation Travel and Learning Award

Vinod’s plan

Vinod’s Travel and Learning Award will be used to deepen his understanding of an area of immense passion to him, LGBT+ rights. He has been awarded a Travel and Learning Award to travel to the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Europe to further his learning and understanding of LGBT+ rights. More specifically, Vinod is interested in the ways that legal activists have attained such rights through the use of strategic litigation. He wants to learn about the considerations that affect the decision to bring a strategic litigation case and the different strategic litigation models that legal activists employ.

While Vinod is overseas, he will visit and learn from leading LGBT+ rights activists and organisations, including those involved in strategic litigation such as Lambda Legal. Lambda Legal is an organisation that has been behind leading United States of America Supreme Court LGBT+ rights strategic litigation cases that have resulted in the legalisation of same-sex marriage, and the promulgation that gender identity and sexual orientation are prohibited grounds of discrimination. Vinod will use his time overseas to develop connections, understandings and to bring back lessons to Aotearoa New Zealand to contribute to our LGBT+ rights agenda and the realisation of such rights.

About Vinod

Vinod Bal (he/him) is the co-founder and advocacy lead of Adhikaar Aotearoa, an Aotearoa New Zealand-based charity that advocates for LGBT+ people of colour both domestically and internationally. Domestically, he works on LGBT+ social, policy and legal matters. Internationally, he works with partner organisations to advocate for LGBT+ responsive laws and greater protection of LGBT+ individuals within the international legal framework.

Vinod is an incoming Legal and Policy Advisor at the Law Commission and sits on the Wellington City Council’s Takatāpui and Rainbow Advisory Council. Previously, he has been a Policy Advisor at New Zealand Police. He has taught the law of evidence as a Teaching Fellow at Te Piringa – Faculty of Law, University of Waikato. He has worked and studied across three continents in fields including law, policy, diversity and inclusion, human rights, LGBT+ rights and anti-human trafficking.

Vinod is an emerging scholar and commentator with expertise in LGBT+ rights within the international legal framework. He has a Bachelor of Laws with Honours (First Class) and a Bachelor of Social Sciences (Political Science and Sociology) from the University of Waikato. He has also studied human rights at Humboldt University of Berlin and international law at The Hague Academy of International Law. He has also completed non-degree coursework on international criminal law at Florida State University.


Grant Amount

$10,000 in 2023 to support travel

The law’s emancipatory potential is activated when it is successfully confronted with new ideas. The history of LGBT+ rights in Aotearoa evidence this notion. I’m immensely grateful to, and humbled by the Borrin Foundation providing me the opportunity to bring back new ideas to Aotearoa New Zealand and contribute to the law’s emancipatory potential for the benefit of the LGBT+ community.”

– Vinod Bal