For many years, our "Transnational Litigation Manual: For Human Rights and Environmental Cases in United States Courts - A Resource for Non-Lawyers" was an invaluable resource for communities suffering earth rights abuses. The current edition, however, is nearly a decade old and does not reflect recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions or emerging trends in other jurisdictions. We recommend supplementing your reading of the Transnational Litigation Manual with our more recent publication, a guide to using the Foreign Legal Assistance (FLA) statute to use U.S. courts to assist with cases in foreign courts, as well as "Out of Bounds", our 2013 analysis of the Kiobel case and it's impact on human rights litigation in the U.s.
Digital Security & Privacy for At-Risk Communities
Communities impacted by environmental and human rights abuses are often vulnerable to surveillance and other risks, both online and offline. To help minimize digital threats, we recommend the following resources from our friends at the Electronic Frontier Foundation:
- "Surveillance Self Defense International" is a very short, introductory resource.
- Their larger and more completed "Surveillance Self Defense" is a very detailed resource, and includes security recipes for human rights defenders, journalists, and more.
- If you don't have time to dig deep into digital security, at least take a moment to add HTTPS Everywhere to your browser.
Will we take your case?
Communities all over the world have suffered or are suffering horrific human rights and environmental abuses. A lot of cases come across our desk each year, but we can only get involved in a very limited number of cases. As a general rule, we only take cases involving communities with which we already have deep and lasting relationships, facts that make a strong case, and legal stakes that could help or harm the entire human rights movement. You may, however, contact us with the details of your case at [email protected]
And why don't we have any cases involving abuses in the United States?
There is no shortage of human rights and environmental crises taking place on U.S. soil, and our staff carry a deep sense of solidarity with those communities. Our specialty, however, is in the international sphere and, while we can't say we'll never take a U.S. case, there are numerous other U.S.-based organizations who specialize in domestic cases.