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Strategic Litigation Programme

Since 2004 the HFHR has been operating the Strategic Litigation Programme. As part of this Programme, the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights joins or initiates court and administrative proceedings of strategic importance. International human rights bodies are a key focus of the Programme’s activities. Through its participation in strategic litigation cases, the Programme aims to obtain ground-breaking judgments, which change practices or laws on specific legal issues that raise serious human rights concerns.

The Programme’s activities include the following:

  • submitting amicus curiae briefs on behalf of the HFHR, in which we present specific human rights issues that are relevant from the perspective of constitutional and comparative law but do not directly refer to the facts of a case;
  • taking part in court proceedings as a third party intervener, which means that representatives of the Foundation have the right to express their opinions and submit motions and statements during a trial;
  • representing victims of human rights violations in proceedings before international bodies;
  • working with law firms and individual lawyers to procure their pro bono representation and legal assistance for the HFHR’s clients.

The main area of the Programme’s operations is proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights. Recently, one of the objectives pursued by the Programme has been to encourage national courts to refer questions for a preliminary ruling to the Court of Justice of the European Union.



Meet our team:

The report that presents activities undertaken by the HFHR’s Strategic Litigation Programme in 2018 is available here.

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