Maximising and measuring the impact of strategic litigation
Watch “Measuring Impact”
Conference participants reflected
Think broadly about impact:
- Priorities for a case should be set by where you can have the most impact.
- Frame your case in the most effective terms.
- Use litigation as one of many tools.
- A court decision is not self-implementing.
- Inform and train government officials, law enforcement, and communities after a change in the law is made.
- Community has a role in framing and winning litigation.
- Communication strategies widen impact.
- Impact is subject to unpredictable and random barriers.
- Winning litigation can be a double-edged sword, as the state can respond in unexpected ways.
Impact beyond the courtroom:
- Encourages Courts to recognise human rights obligations and standards.
- Gets government to explain an absurd position on the record.
- Opens up political space.
- Impacts public discourse.
- Educates and engages media.
- Enhances governmental accountability.
- Changes behaviours and moves narratives.
- Win or lose, results in disclosure and admittances by state actors can strengthen future challenges.
Open Society Foundations, “Advancing Public Health through Strategic Litigation: Lessons from Five Countries”
Open Society Foundations, “Global Human Rights Litigation Report, 2015”
The Atlantic Philanthropies, “Public Interest Litigation and social change in South Africa: Strategies, tactics and lessons.”
The Atlantic Philanthropies, “Using the law to secure social change on the island of Ireland”
Law Centre (NI), “Helping People get their rights: Law Centre (NI) impact report 2015”