Supporting legal action

James A. Goldston and Martin O'Brien

As Alliance magazine celebrates its 25th anniversary, we asked two long-standing funders of legal action to reflect on their experience over those 25 years and to point out some of the most important lessons learned

James A. Goldston and Martin O’Brien reflect on the long experience of Open Society Foundations and Atlantic Philanthropies in supporting legal initiatives and the value they see in maintaining that commitment in the future. As their accounts show, legal action remains crucial not only to providing access to justice but, through strategic litigation, to making significant changes to what is considered right and acceptable throughout entire societies.

James A. Goldston writes:

At a time when the rule of law is under siege in large parts of the world, the Open Society Foundations attaches particular importance to strategic litigation and legal tools more generally in advancing human rights and justice. For more than a quarter century, Open Society Foundations has supported the use of litigation by civil society actors and, where appropriate, state agencies as one component of a multi-pronged strategy for change that includes advocacy, campaigning, community mobilisation and communications.

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