PEJ uses all available legal options to seek justice for individuals who are inadequately protected under the law, who cannot access legal resources, and who are exploited by governments, corporations, or others.
We assist victims of atrocity crimes in seeking justice through all available legal mechanisms.
We ensure that the fundamental protections articulated in national, regional, and international human rights law are actualized in practice.
We strive to strengthen the capacity of domestic legal organs, including judges, prosecutors, lawyers, and investigators, to apply international human rights and humanitarian law in domestic mechanisms.
We advance accountability for atrocities, serious human rights violations, and related State and corporate abuses.
What We Do
How We Work
Accessing Justice is a Fundamental Human Right that underpins democratic societies and the rule of law and that guarantees our other human rights. Independent, impartial justice systems reduce the risks of violent conflict, as ending impunity can deter others from committing future injustices. Access to justice is also critical to give voice to groups facing structural inequalities and discrimination, such as disadvantaged and marginalized groups, women and girls, indigenous populations, and persons with disabilities. Through justice systems, these groups may enforce their rights and seek redress for violations.
Victims of atrocities often live in remote areas where it may be challenging to access legal counsel, particularly by legal specialists in the field of human rights law, international criminal law, and the laws of other jurisdictions where they may seek legal redress.
Remedies, whether individual compensation to victims or community reparations, are often not prioritized and are an afterthought to ensuring the perpetrators are convicted and imprisoned.
Common Challenges Faced by Survivors
Evidence is often not collected or preserved in a manner that meets internationally recognized standards, and thus, it is frequently lost forever.
Empowering Local Populations
Evidence collection standards for prosecution and other legal mechanisms are more rigorous than those for human rights advocacy. PEJ conducts training for local practitioners to identify not only evidence of crimes, but also evidence linking the perpetrators to those crimes.
Linking Crimes to Those Responsible
PEJ works alongside local partners to tackle challenges, refine strategies, and develop leads in investigations. This unique case-focused strategic guidance and action learning aims to seek justice, provide long-term sustainability, and ensure that international evidential standards are met as legal theories develop.
All Available Mechanisms:
Ensuring the Best Possible Case and Forum
Looking broadly and resourcefully at the web of persons and businesses that may be responsible for international crimes and human rights abuses, PEJ ensures the best possible case is presented in the best forum. Regional or international mechanisms and alternative regimes are explored where it isn't possible to proceed at the national level.
PEJ’s three-step model consists of training, mentoring, and providing independent legal consulting. It is adaptable and can be applied in conflict and post-conflict situations and to a range of criminal matters and serious human rights abuses. We partner and train local lawyers and investigators to collect, analyze, and preserve evidence according to international legal standards. Without evidence, there can be no accountability. We further build local capabilities and forward the justice process through case-specific mentoring and strategic guidance provided to local legal practitioners and investigators. Finally, we partner with local NGOs, pro bono law firms, and legal clinics to represent victims of international crimes and serious human rights abuses in court or in alternative judicial mechanisms.
Since its inception in 2016, PEJ has achieved considerable success in its mission to seek justice, through all available mechanisms, for individuals who are inadequately protected under the law, who cannot access legal resources, and who are exploited by governments, corporations, or others.
Over 1,300 written statements collected from victims and witnesses in communities affected by conflict or human rights abuses.
More than 1,000 Local investigators, lawyers, human rights defenders, and civil society members trained from 5 countries.
7,000 Pieces of evidence collected from five countries in cases of atrocity crimes, human trafficking, and other human rights abuses.
Over 150 Trainings and case-focused mentorings completed on best practices for evidence collection and human rights law.
About 200 Legal briefs, filings, memoranda, and other advocacy reports.
Almost 40 Investigations opened in cases of atrocity crimes and serious human rights violations.
About 30 Cases in national, regional, and international courts or human rights mechanisms.