The research project (2015-2019) explores the transnational circulation of the practice of strategic litigation. In the human rights field, strategic litigation denotes the practice of taking an emblematic case to court to provoke broader changes in law and society in line with certain collective ideals or values. The project analyses the reception and transformation of the (mainly) US-originated practice of strategic litigation in civil law countries and international legal arenas. It focuses primarily on two human rights areas of increasing significance: the fight against poverty in the context of austerity policies, and the fight against impunity for gross human rights violations. Moreover, this human rights approach is confronted with strategic litigation practices described in the Law & Management field, referring to the use of litigation by companies to promote their economic interests beyond the relief formally sought from the court. The project follows an interdisciplinary (legal, sociological, and economic) approach with a focus on Belgium.
The project gathers scholars from the Center for Public Law (CDP), the Center of International Law (CDI), the Center for Legal History and Legal Anthropology (CHDAJ), the Research Center on Private Law – Private international Law of the Université libre de Bruxelles and the Interdisciplinary Research Cell in Human Rights (CRIDHO) of the Université Catholique de Louvain.
Annemie Schaus (CDP) is spokeswoman for the project.