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Power of the law, power to the people: pursuing innovative legal strategies in human rights advocacy

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Power of the law, power to the people: pursuing innovative legal strategies in human rights advocacy


The use of legal tools and mechanisms in human rights advocacy can play a significant role in the advancement of human rights. Although often difficult, complex and time-consuming, using legal strategies, particularly strategic litigation, in campaigning and advocacy can influence decision-making processes and bring actual changes in legislation, policy and practice. It can also help raise public awareness about a particular human rights issue and empower communities to claim their rights by involving them in designing and implementing legal advocacy strategies. However, pursuing legal strategies to advance human rights is easier in some jurisdictions than in others. In countries where political space for human rights advocacy is limited and the rule of law weak, relying on human rights norms tends to be inefficient and can even prove counter-productive. In these cases, invoking other legal norms, such as environmental protection laws, can prove more useful for the improvement of the human rights situation on the ground.

Venisnik, Tanja (2015) Power of the law, power to the people: pursuing innovative legal strategies in human rights advocacy. In: Contemporary Challenges in Securing Human Rights. Institute of Commonwealth Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London, pp. 127-132. ISBN 978-0-9931102-2-1


Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the MA in Understanding and Securing Human Rights offered at the School of Advanced Study, University of London, we are pleased to publish a commemorative edited volume on human rights themes authored by distinguished alumni and faculty.
Subjects: Human Rights & Development Studies
Keywords: human rights, refugee protection, women’s human rights, tax justice, business and human rights, poetry, rights in the digital age
Divisions: Human Rights Consortium
Institute of Commonwealth Studies
Collections: Contemporary Challenges in Securing Human Rights
Contemporary Challenges in Securing Human Rights
Depositing User:
DOI: 10.14296/SAS.ICwS.001.18
URI: http://sas-space.sas.ac.uk/id/eprint/6217
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