Policy Work

Research Partnership with the African Court on Human Rights to Strengthen its Outreach Strategies

Research presentations at the European Commission, regarding the proposed Multilateral Investment Court for investor-state dispute resolution
Brussels, 24 May 2018

  • Presentation slides on “The Public Information Strategies of International Courts”
  • Presentation slides on “Mechanisms for Mitigating Capacity Constraints”

Delegate to the African Union’s 5th Annual High Level Dialogue on Human Rights and the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights’ Tenth Anniversary Symposium
Arusha, Tanzania, 21-26 November 2016

The Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law’s Global Rule of Law Exchange
“International Courts, Capacity-Building, and Rule of Law Development”

Abstract: International courts help develop the rule of law through adjudication, which settles disputes based on international law, and holds states and other actors accountable for their international legal obligations. Many international courts, however, also aim to promote the rule of law through capacity building with various actors (e.g. states, national judiciaries, NGOs, civil society) in their legal systems. Through various interventions aimed at improving stakeholders’ knowledge and legal professionals’ skills, international courts can increase actors’ capacity to use international law and adjudication both domestically and internationally, and thus promote the rule of law. These interventions are especially common among international courts whose jurisdictions extend to developing countries that face significant rule of law challenges. This policy paper outlines international courts’ role in developing the rule of law and their associated challenges. Based on an analysis of all permanent international courts in the world, it then shows how international courts use capacity-building interventions to address these challenges and contribute to rule of law development. Finally, it recommends three ways for increasing the effectiveness of international courts’ capacity-building interventions: coordinating with other development actors, adapting trainings to local contexts, and evaluating the impacts of capacity-building initiatives.

Public International Law and Policy Group / Oxford Transitional Justice Research

Outreach Strategy for War Crimes Division of High Court of Uganda, Public International Law and Policy Group & Oxford Transitional Justice Research, 2010 (with Rachel Gore, Ilan Cooper, Emma Leonard, Jared Fickling, Chris Mahony, Phil Clark).

Abstract: This briefing paper is designed to offer guidance to the War Crimes Division (WCD) of the High Court of Uganda. The strategy recommended is a creative outreach philosophy that focuses less on spreading information to the general public and more on responding to public perceptions and responses while engaging the population actively throughout the transitional justice process. The paper begins by defining the notion of “outreach” and setting the goals for the outreach strategy to be considered by the WCD. The paper then lays out an analysis of the salient historical and geographical factors that should inform any outreach program. This analysis looks at the operation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Uganda, its core principle of complementarity and how this may shape the function of the WCD. This background section also provides a critical overview of the existing literature on the Ugandan population‘s perceptions of issues of accountability and reconciliation, which are central to any WCD outreach strategy. This paper then briefly summarizes some of the key positive and negative outcomes of outreach programs at different tribunals, taking a comparative look at the specific tribunals‘ approach to outreach. The section following this identifies key stakeholders to be considered during the outreach process and how to approach these various groups and best engage them in the process. The section following this identifies the necessary components for the budget and structure of the outreach office, outlining staff requirements for fulfilling the proposed outreach activities. The next section discusses each phase of the judicial process, suggesting various outreach activity for the outreach staff to undertake and suggesting a timeline for when these events might be the most effective. This last section highlights recommendations for monitoring outreach activities and identifying evaluation strategies for the WCD‘s legacy. The final conclusion provides some broad recommendations for the formulation and exercise of the WCD outreach program.