Strategic & Public Interest Litigation
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The overall purpose of this program area is to originate and trigger quality jurisprudence that fosters the full enjoyment and protection of civil liberties in Uganda, and stimulates public awareness and engagement that can influence change in laws, policies and practices.
Strategic and public interest litigation (also known as impact, or test litigation) is key to human rights work, using the courts as a tool for strengthening the protection of, educating the public about human rights and exposing systematic and widespread violations of human rights.
Chapter Four’s strategic and public interest litigation is aimed at generating jurisprudence that advances the enjoyment of, generate public debate on and create public awareness of civil liberties.
Our strategic litigation involves three types of legal defence: public interest, individual cases, and emergency response. These litigative activities seek to provide a systematic style and approach that fosters widespread impact and awareness of the protection of civil liberties.
In the assessment of the impact of cases, Chapter Four considers the following;
- Whether the case sets legal precedent;
- Whether the case affects an individual or a group of people; and
- Whether the case affects existing legislation.
The hope is that such bold challenge of the existing policies and legal instruments that perpetrate the violation of human rights and civil liberties will cause a positive change in those laws and the approach of state and other government agencies.
Chapter Four was closely involved in the successful challenge of the Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2014 in the Constitutional Court. Currently, we are involved in the challenging of the constitutional compliance of the Anti Pornography Act (APA), 2014; the Public Order Management Act (POMA), 2013; and a number of public interest cases involving individual clients.
HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS (HRDS) AND PRO-DEMOCRACY LEGAL REPRESENTATION
We provide quality, low-cost legal service to human rights defenders and other similar civil society and pro-democracy advocates requiring representation, in order to aggregate their efforts and foster their effectiveness and impact in their engagements.
The key program components include the following:
RAPID LEGAL RESPONSE
We provide rapid, efficient and quick legal response to violations meted out on human rights defenders and pro-democracy activists during their activities.
INTERNAL CIVIL LIBERTIES LAW FIRM
Chapter Four is growing an internal complete and fully operational law firm that is dedicated to the litigative work of the organization. Its focus is to provide quality legal assistance, counsel and representation on matters related to the protection of civil liberties.