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Justice For International Crimes: The Importance of Strategic Litigation

Watch our interview with Marissa Kardon Weber, an international criminal law lawyer as she shares her advice on using strategic litigation as a tool for individual victims and communities.

🪷 She invites us to consider when it is considered ethical and sustainable to implement strategic litigation in order to achieve these objectives:

1. Enhance access to justice

2. Develop jurisprudence and create a record

3. Raise awareness of an issue

4. Legislative reform

5. Societal reform (combating stigma or addressing consequences on, e.g., sexual violence

on victim)

6. Enhance victim empowerment and trust in the justice system

7. Break cycles of impunity and achieve justice

8. Enforce the right to individual or collective reparations (monetary & non-monetary)

These are some of the criteria she discusses when considering litigating strategically as she opens up about the dangers of implementing this strategy, especially when it has become a "buzz word" in the legal sphere.

1. Do the alleged violations reflect a systemic issue?

2. Is the case “solid” enough in terms of evidence – can we bring the case in good faith?

3. Do the circumstances of the case and the procedures of the fora that can hear the case

support a victim-centered approach where victims can meaningfully participate?

Furthermore, she presents more supporting questions to consider when meaningfully planning litigation strategies.

🎯 Designing and planning litigation strategies:

1. Where is it more advantageous to bring the case?

2. Can victims participate? How?

3. What risks might victims face? How to mitigate?

4. Do I need to exhaust remedies before bringing the case before a particular court?

5. Is it feasible and helpful to pursue multiple fora at once?

6. Criminal vs. civil

⚖️ For criminal lawyers considering a case, this interview stresses the importance of a victim-centered approach when considering strategic litigation and provides guidelines to enhance access to justice and inform legislative reform.


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