Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights as an amicus curiae – the report
♦ The Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights has published a report summarising the crucial role of the institution of amicus curiae in its practice. The report presents the key cases pending in 2018-2019 before Polish courts, the ECtHR and courts of countries of Central Asia in which the Helsinki Foundation has submitted its amicus curiae opinions.
♦ The HFHR is a leading Polish organisation dealing with strategic human rights litigation. Since its inception, the Foundation has also been engaged in promoting the idea of strategic litigation among human rights defenders operating in Poland and abroad, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. HFHR’s international work in this area has focused on education.
The amicus curiae brief is an essential tool used by the Helsinki Foundation in strategic litigation, i.e. conducting court proceedings of public interest to change practices or laws that violate rights or freedoms of an individual. An amicus submission enables non-governmental organisations to express their views in judicial proceedings and draw the court’s attention to human rights concerns. The impact of amicus curiae briefs in the work of HFHR is confirmed by statistical data. In 2018-2019 alone, the Foundation made 61 submissions of this kind.
Addressing the human rights problems affecting the countries where the HFHR operates and following the rapid changes in the legal systems, the Foundation has been preparing amicus curiae briefs in particular in cases concerning the rights of persons deprived of their liberty, the right to an independent court and the right to a fair trial, the rights of refugees and migrants and protection against discrimination.