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Isabelle

Isabelle Reinecke

Year of Award: 2016 Award State: New South Wales None > Community
Legal > General
To learn from international models that enable people to create systemic change through the courts - UK, Switzerland, Netherlands, Germany, Hungary, Canada, USA
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Impact litigation is a direct and powerful tool for change in democracies where other checks on political or corporate accountability have failed. Unfortunately, though, Australia has a relatively underdeveloped impact litigation practice, largely thanks to a prohibitive costs regime.

Organisations visited in Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States are using a range of Citizen Activist, Jurisprudential and Consumer approaches to create systemic change through the courts. These all provide inspiration for how Australian organisations could harness the power of impact litigation to create significant public benefit across the areas of human rights, civil rights, and the environment.

This Report concludes that Citizen Activist approaches are best placed to create longstanding litigation impacts and establish diverse, independent and sustainable revenue streams. Of particular note among organisations using Citizen Activist approaches is the work of the Centre for Constitutional Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union, both based in the United States.

Four recommendations, now being applied by the Grata Fund, are made for Australian impact litigators: 

  1. Where to start
  2. Crowdfunding versus in-house digital fundraising
  3. Strategic communications
  4. Costs reform
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