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HFHR’s guide on strategic litigation before CJEU

The Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights has prepared a guidebook on human rights strategic litigation before the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Strategic litigation involves conducting court cases of public interest that aim at changing laws or practices that violate rights or freedoms of an individual, implementing a specific international or constitutional standard, engaging in advocacy of specific and serious problems to the general public and authorities and raising public awareness. Strategic litigation may be conducted before national and international courts and bodies. The latter category includes the European Court of Human Rights, an international court that still remains at the forefront of the human rights discourse and over the years made many important judgments in Polish cases. According to the HFHR, it is nevertheless worth noting the opportunities offered by the EU human rights protection system structured around the CJEU. The preliminary ruling procedure is a key element of that system.

The guidebook provides a clear overview of the successive stages of strategic litigation: from identifying a legal problem to be resolved by way of strategic litigation, through selecting an appropriate case and persuading a national court to refer a question about that case for a preliminary ruling, to implementing the standard defined in the CJEU judgment. The publication also contains guidelines on how to conduct strategic litigation before Polish courts in order to secure the implementation of a specific standard of human rights protection stemming from the case law of the CJEU. The guidebook presents examples of the strategic litigation cases conducted by the HFHR.

The document also presents the rules governing the participation of non-governmental organisations in proceedings before the CJEU and indicates what actions they may take to implement EU standards.

The guidebook is primarily designed for NGOs active in the field of human rights protection.

To read the guidebook, follow this link.


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