Rule of Law
The Open Society Justice Initiative works to strengthen the regional and international courts, commissions, and treaty bodies that advance human rights and the rule of law.
We support efforts to improve the independence, effectiveness, and transparency of international human rights tribunals and national court systems.
As frequent litigators, we believe that we and other civil society groups can play a constructive role in strengthening judicial systems that are at risk of being eroded by the political interests of national governments. We advocate for governments to give civil society groups a greater role in significant decisions, such as the selection of qualified, merit-based human rights judges and commissioners. We also support civil society participation in monitoring the implementation of court rulings, advocating for improved judicial procedures, and in broader efforts to protect, defend, and strengthen the rule of law.
Around Africa, Judicial Independence Confronts Viral Authoritarianism
In one African country after another, the encounter between judicial independence and viral authoritarianism is reconfiguring the frontiers of what government can or cannot do, one ruling at a time.
To Strengthen the Rule of Law, Protect the Independence of Prosecutors
The case of Laura Codruţa Kövesi at the European Court of Human Rights underlines the importance of prosecutorial independence in protecting the rule of law.
Raising the Bar: Improving the Nomination and Election of Judges to the International Criminal Court
There are currently significant flaws in the way that the member states of the International Criminal Court identify and elect judges to the court, leading to the election of less-qualified candidates, and a bench dominated by a handful of states.
Centre for Accountability and the Rule of Law et al v. Sierra Leone
Two health-workers involved in efforts to combat the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, who themselves contracted and survived the virus, are seeking redress for deaths and damages caused by the corrupt diversion of million of international emergency relief funds.
Inter-American Court of Human Rights Highlights Importance of Prosecutorial Independence in Judgment on Martínez Esquivia v. Colombia
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has announced a judgment in favor of fired Colombian deputy prosecutor Yenina Esther Martínez Esquivia, finding that Colombia violated her fundamental rights when she was dismissed from her position.
Is the EU Acting Boldly Enough to Defend Civil Society and Democracy?
The EU says its latest report on the rule of law will be a preventive tool to “ensure there is no backsliding,” but many have their doubts. Now, members of civil society are calling for swift action.
New Legal Opinion Calls on EU to Act on Hungary’s Emergency COVID-19 Laws
The Open Society Justice Initiative and Blackstone Chambers released a legal opinion on Hungary’s Authorization Act and associated decrees, calling on the European Union to hold Hungary accountable for violations of EU law.
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