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Strategic Human Rights Litigation


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This book provides a framework for understanding strategic human rights litigation and its impact, alongside its limitations and the many tensions and challenges it gives rise to.

Table of Contents

Part I 1. Introduction I. Introducing 'Strategic' Human Rights Litigation II. Overview of Chapters 2. The Growing Field of 'Human Rights' Litigation in the World Today: Context, Trends, Opportunities and Challenges I. An Expanding Panorama of Human Rights Litigation II. Challenges and Limitations to Pursuing Human Rights Litigation 3. Understanding Impact: Bursting the Bubble on the Champagne Moment I. Adjusting the Lenses to Capture the Impact of SHRL II. Approaches to Impact and the Meaning of Success III. Monitoring and (the Challenge of) Measuring Impact IV. Classifications and Distinctions 4. Identifying Levels of Impact I. Victim Impact II. Legal Impact III. Impact on Policy and Practice IV. Institutional Impact, Including Judicial Strengthening V. Information, Truth and the Historical Record VI. Social or Cultural Impact VII. Mobilisation and Empowerment VIII. Democracy and the Rule of Law Impact IX. Negative Impact Part II 5. Case Study-Hadijatou Mani v Niger: Slavery before the ECOWAS Court I. Introduction II. Background III. The Hadijatou Mani Case before the ECOWAS Court IV. The Impact of the Mani Case V. Conclusions 6. Case Study-Plan de Sanchez v Guatemala: Genocide in the Inter-American System I. Introduction II. Background III. The Plan de Sanchez Case IV. The Impact of the Plan de Sanchez Litigation V. Conclusions 7. Case Study-Arbitrary Detention, Torture and Extraordinary Rendition: Litigating the 'War on Terror' I. Introduction II. Litigating Arbitrary Detention III. Litigating Rendition and Torture IV. Conclusions 8. Case Study-Justice for Enforced Disappearance in Argentina I. Introduction II. Background III. The Nature and Cumulative Impact of Litigation on Enforced Disappearance in Argentina IV. Conclusions 9. Case Study-Litigating Palestinian Land Rights I. Introduction II. Background to Land Rights Litigation in Israeli Courts III. Impact of Litigation on Land Rights before Israeli Courts? IV. International Litigation on Palestinian Land Rights V. Conclusions Part III 10. Litigating Strategically and Meeting the Challenges I. Strategic Planning (and its Limits) II. Identifying Goals and Realistically Assessing Risks III. Litigating in Context: Understanding, Naming and Framing the Problem IV. Litigating for the Long Term: Incremental Change and the Question of Timing V. Strategic Nibbling at the Edges of Injustice v Judicial Confrontation? VI. Exploiting Litigation Synergies: Movement Building, Legal Advocacy and Reaching beyond the Court VII. Case Selection, Sourcing and Tactics: Is there a Right Case at the Right Time? VIII. Strategic Use of Fora IX. The Victim in the Human Rights Process: Whose Case is this Anyway? X. Additional Litigation Roles: Amicus, Expert or Observer? XI. Effecting Change in Real Time: Litigating to Stop or Prevent Violations XII. Creative Remedies and Implementation XIII. The Economy of Human Rights Litigation 11. Conclusion: Appreciating and Demythologising Strategic Human Rights Litigation

About the Author

Helen Duffy runs Human Rights in Practice, an international law practice based in The Hague that specialises in human rights litigation. She is also Professor of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights at the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies, University of Leiden, the Netherlands. The book was written with the support of the Nuhanovic Foundation.

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