Beyond litigation, the Justice Initiative seeks to advance human rights and the rule of law through active advocacy efforts, aimed at national and regional policymakers and governments.
Pushing for Change
Outside the courtroom, the Justice Initiative uses legal arguments and analysis to push governments and those who hold power toward positive, real-world change. We confront abuses and work for solutions, engaging with national governments as well as with international and multilateral institutions to strengthen the rule of law and defend people's human rights.
Our advocacy staff are based in Berlin, Brussels, London, New York, Santo Domingo, and Washington, D.C. Their efforts are supported by our reporting and research on human rights abuses, as well as by our efforts to establish new standards in developing areas of the law. Supported by the resources of the Open Society Foundations, we are also able to react rapidly to new global challenges, and to play a convening role for civil society groups seeking to respond.
We also work selectively with governments on pilot schemes to address systemic issues and to strengthen the mechanisms and systems that support global accountability.
Working to Strengthen Human Rights Courts
Our advocacy to support and strengthen the international rule of law includes our support for the European Implementation Network, which works to ensure that national governments respond to rulings from the European Court of Human Rights. In Latin America we work with partners to promote a transparent selection process for senior judges and experts for the Inter-American Court and Commission.
Pushing for Access to Justice through the Sustainable Development Goals
The Justice Initiative was part of a successful push to include access to justice and the right to legal identity in Goal 16 of the UN's 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. Today, our advocates are working in partnership with governments and civil society groups around the world to realize that vision--and to make clear the links between justice and development.
Seeking Accountability for Atrocities in Syria
In the face of inaction by UN member states, a diverse range of civil society groups have joined the push for justice for war crimes in Syria. Advocacy by the Justice Initiative has supported inclusive dialogue and coordination between all those involved, aiming to maximize both diplomatic and legal results.
Civil Society Organizations Criticize anti-CICIG statement from OAS Secretary General
Civil society groups express dismay over ‘misguided’ tweet from Luis Almagro, secretary general of the Office of American States, regarding the work of the Guatemala's UN-backed anticorruption commission.
Independent Panel Will Again Assess Candidates to the Inter-American Human Rights Commission
While member states fail to act, civil society groups are again backing an independent review of candidates for one of the world's most influential human rights bodies.
Open Society Justice Initiative Joins Calls to Protect Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
Cutting U.S. funding would imperil a key international tool for upholding human rights, a coalition of civil society groups claims.
Who Picks the Judges? On International Tribunals, Secrecy Too Often Prevails
A new report looks at the often opaque processes surrounding the selection of judges and commissioners for human rights tribunals in Europe, Africa, and Latin America.