For our rights to be effective, we have to be able to enforce them. In theory, we are all equal before the law. In reality, the challenges for marginalised communities in accessing justice can result in denying them the chance to challenge crimes, abuses, or human rights violations committed against them. It can also hinder their ability to exercise their right to a defence. Barriers to accessing legal redress can be social, financial, institutional, procedural, geographical, physical, financial, cultural, and many more.
We believe that justice should truly be open to all. Removing the structural barriers that make navigating legal systems a realistic option only for a privileged minority will make us all equal before the law in actuality rather than just in theory.
To make sure our work meets the needs of activists and movements, we are conducting a Europe-wide consultation in the first half of 2022 to identify priorities for developing litigation projects.
We explored priorities for access to justice in Europe on 12-13 May with 16 participants from grassroots movements and those directly working with communities. You can read about the gathering and the opportunities for action identified on our blog.
We approach all themes through an intersectional lens, centring how a person’s social or political identity and personal characteristics can combine to create different modes of discrimination, exclusion, and oppression. We will consider issues across both digital and non-digital space.
The input from the roundtables will be combined with input received through a survey we conducted between October 2021-May 2022, individual conversations, and desk research. We will publish the combined findings and share these back with communities in the fall of 2022.
We will develop our first litigation projects, starting from the priorities and opportunities identified in the consultation in late 2022.