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What other actions can I take to support my case?

What other actions can you take together with bringing a case to make it more effective? The most successful public interest litigations are often those that generate a lot of support among politicians and the public. This support can mean that, even if the case is lost, its goal is reached in another way. For example, a company may decide not to continue with its plans or practices because of the bad publicity they are generating, or the government may decide to change the law in a way favourable to your cause.

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Raising your profile to achieve your goal

Here are some ideas on actions you can take to raise the profile of your case and attract support for it:

  • Develop a media strategy: identify journalists who may be interested in your case, draw their attention to it, and provide them with all the materials they need to cover it: a summary of your complaint, answers to key questions they may have, information on court hearing dates, press releases on key developments, and so on.
  • Ask high-profile persons to speak out: try to get high-profile persons, such as celebrities, politicians or religious leaders, to speak out in support of your case.
  • Team up with others: Try to bring your case together with other persons or groups to add more weight to it. However, before you do this, consider the practical aspects carefully*
  • Invite influential people to support you in court: if your legal system allows it, approach influential organisations or individuals to submit statements in support of your case to the court, such as an amicus curiae brief.
  • Drum up support from the public, for example by organising a petition which people can sign to support your case, or even by organising a demonstration. However, you should be careful not to do anything that might cause irritation amongst the judges hearing the case, such as directing the protest at them or seeming to be disrupting the conduct of the proceedings.
  • Call expert witnesses who can give credibility to your case, such as a scientist or human rights expert specialised in the subject of the dispute.
  • Question your opponents in court: Call persons who are opposed to your position as witnesses in your case, such as decision-makers in the company or public body you have a dispute with, and question them in court to expose the flaws in their position.
  • Make requests for access to information which can help you prove your case. See Access to Information requests
  • Raise funds: Try to raise funds for your case from as many people as possible. People who have made a donation – even if it is a very small one – will feel connected to the case and follow its progress with more interest. Grrrowd is a website and online platform that can help you to crowdfund for public interest litigation.
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