Strategic Jurisprudential Guides: Developing best practices in transnational collaborative lawyering
ECCHR is committed to developing best practices in transnational collaborative lawyering, and it has established itself as a hub for international collaboration and exchange. Through the Education Program, supported by the Bertha Foundation, we encourage continuous and shared learning, and presenting our Strategic Jurisprudential Guides approach is one initiative to boost our common resources.
Novel and Creative Thinking about Law and Politics.
Good strategic litigation necessarily involves novel and creative thinking about law and politics. Can this be taught? It is probably helpful for the process of building strategic cases to say, “no, but it can be learned.” Any attempt at “teaching” strategic litigation should discard hierarchies or separation of teacher and pupils. It should abandon predefined understandings of expert knowledge, and rather be based on action-oriented and shared learning.
Strategic jurisprudential guides can be useful tools in that regard in order to facilitate discussions among different actors including lawyers, activists, community representatives, and thematic experts.
The value of past cases for strategic litigation
The concept behind such guides is to enable a creative outlook on case precedents in order to better inform important strategic litigation decisions, going beyond classical compilations of jurisprudence. What here matters is that the cases show the strategy that went into the case-building: which plaintiffs brought the case, against whom, for what violations, and on the basis of what legal tool? These lessons can be valuable for assessing the advantages and disadvantages of different avenues.
Past cases can be examples to imitate and follow, or provide warnings of what did not work. The value lies in drawing attention to the various causes of action that exist on a general level, so that activists and lawyers may recognize what type of material could be important as evidence or how to decipher the legal significance of certain ways of corporate or state behavior.