Building the power of organisations, movements, and collectives fighting for justice and equality

Strategic litigation can be a powerful tool in the fight for racial, social, and economic justice. It can help bring about change in regulation, law, policy, or practice.  

Yet all too often, marginalised communities are unable to take advantage of the full potential of litigation for their causes and campaigns. Access to legal knowledge is often mediated by lawyers or legal advisors, which can perpetuate unequal relationships between communities seeking justice and the legal system.  

Communities should be able to make informed choices about how they want to incorporate strategic litigation in their campaigns for change.  

At Systemic Justice, we aim to help build the knowledge and power of communities, movements, and collectives resisting injustice by:

  1. developing resources on strategic litigation;
  2. delivering workshops and trainings;
  3. hosting drop-in calls to address communities’ questions. 

Resources on strategic litigation

The free resources we provide are for groups and organisations who are considering whether legal action is for them, and who wish to learn more about litigation, on their own terms. The topics and format of the resources we develop are directly informed by the needs of the organisations, movements, and collectives we work with. 

We completed an initial needs assessment in November 2022, collecting feedback in the form of a survey, drop-in calls, email questionnaires, and voice notes. The following subjects emerged as priority topics for learning and knowledge building: 

  • what strategic litigation is and how to embed litigation into campaigns, activism, and other advocacy activities, including examples of how it can bring about positive change; 
  • building a realistic litigation plan, and how to manage a case; 
  • what to expect from the litigation process (for example. what the steps are);  
  • how to assess risk in taking on litigation.


The input we received emphasised the need for a diverse range of accessible resources and tools;including guides, factsheets, explainers, videos, podcasts, workshops, and drop-in clinics. We are committed to making all resources and tools accessible by design, and making them available in multiple formats and languages. 

Community Toolkit for Change

What we have done so far

Based on the input received, we have produced a Community toolkit for change: Resources for leveraging the courts, in 2023. The toolkit includes the following resources; 

  1. Strategic litigation: A guide for legal action. This guide takes you through the essential components of strategic litigation, what it is, and what it can do, both inside and outside of the courts. Through real world examples, the guide illustrates how communities can leverage the courts for change.  
  2. Words for justice: A glossary of essential legal terms. Legal terminology can often feel like a language of its own. This glossary aims to provide common definitions for a shared understanding of legal terminology and its meaning. Rather than a regular A-Z glossary, this resource is divided into sections, with each section looking at a specific aspect of the litigation process.  
  3. How can we use the courts: A conversation starter. This is a simple worksheet to help communities work through some of the baseline questions that come up when deciding if and how litigation can play a role in their campaigns for change, and what the opportunities and risks to consider may be. In six questions, it takes you from your dream vision for change to actionable steps that can become part of a potential litigation strategy. It is not meant as a substitute for legal advice, but will be a useful starting point for conversations with your community. 

The resources are free to download and use under a creative commons license.

In the next few months, we will launch interactive and accessible versions of these resources, as well as French and Spanish translations. We will also organise workshops to talk through the resources and how they can be used by communities in their campaigns for change. If you are interested in helping us out in making these resources accessible in different languages, get in touch with us at 

We will continue to consult communities working on racial, social, and economic justice issues to ensure that these resources directly benefit their work. The next consultation will take place in Spring 2024, so if you are interested in sharing input please get in touch.

Webinar launching our “Community toolkit for change: Resources for leveraging the courts”

We hosted a webinar to celebrate the launch of our guide for legal action, the glossary of essential terms, and strategic litigation conversation starter.

In the webinar, we introduced the resources and collectively explored how communities can leverage the courts for change in conversation with community activists and lawyers.  

Watch the video recording of the webinar.

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