*NEW* Report on Tackling barriers to strategic court cases in Scotland
The report Overcoming Barriers to Public Interest Litigation in Scotland published Thursday 22 November 2018, explores why there is a lack of strategic court action in Scotland and suggests recommendations to address this. It suggests key barriers are: poor access to information about court cases; limitations to who can take a case to court; short time-limits for taking cases; inhibitive costs and financial risk; and a limited culture of using public interest litigation to bring change.
Authors Clan Childlaw, Human Rights Consortium Scotland, Amnesty International, Friends of the Earth Scotland, Shelter Scotland, JustRight Scotland and Rape Crisis Scotland are clear that if we are to see human rights progressed in Scotland, we need more NGOs to be able to pursue strategic cases.
Read the full report here: Overcoming Barriers to Public Interest Litigation in Scotland
Resource for NGOs on using the courts to get change
Civil society in Scotland is being encouraged to make more use of the courts to progress equality and human rights in Scotland. A new online guide for NGOs around strategic litigation has been launched by the Human Rights Consortium Scotland.
The new resource, ‘Making Change Happen: A step-by-step guide to strategic litigation in equality and human rights for NGOs in Scotland’ is produced by the Human Rights Consortium Scotland, funded by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
It is essential reading for anyone interested in social change in Scotland.
Setting out a number of helpful planning questions and suggestions, litigation methods, case examples and helpful contacts, the resource aims to be a helpful starting point for any organisations in Scotland who are interested in how they might use litigation as a tool to bring about strategic change.
Mhairi Snowden, Coordinator of the Human Rights Consortium Scotland said:
‘Organisations in Scotland are always keen to find effective ways to ensure that the rights of those that they work with are heard and made real. The use of litigation to do this is new to many but can be extremely valuable. This new guide is a great place to start for anyone interested in using litigation as a tool for change.’
Lynn Welsh, Head of Legal, Equality and Human Rights Commission Scotland said:
This toolkit will help front-line advice agencies and campaign groups understand what strategic litigation is and when to use it to bring about the changes that they want to see.
The Commission ran training on strategic litigation with the Consortium last year and we are delighted to fund this toolkit to expand the reach of that work”.
Organisations are also invited to take part in ‘Using the law to advance rights: Overcoming barriers and creating opportunities’ being held in afternoon of 22nd November 2018 in Edinburgh. This event is organised by Human Rights Consortium Scotland, Clan Childlaw and Amnesty International, and sponsored by the Faculty of Advocates.