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Last updated: Version 2.3 (Updated May 15, 2018).

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Wednesday, May 16 • 14:30 - 15:45
NGO Partnerships for Justice: Using technology to advance victim-centered investigations and litigation of serious crimes

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Over recent years, investigators and prosecutors have been utilizing emerging technologies for investigating violations of international criminal and humanitarian law on behalf of government or international bodies. However, such investigations are often preceded by the work of NGOs and civil society groups representing victims of such crimes in both legal and advocacy efforts. Legal NGOs are increasingly filing and litigating cases directly on behalf victim communities, using laws designed to protect victims of serious crimes domestically or extraterritorially through universal jurisdiction. Such NGOs, which are often under resourced and understaffed, have the most to gain from emerging technologies aimed at documenting and preserving evidence of serious crimes, but a technology gap still persists.

This panel aims to highlight two partnerships between NGOs developing and litigating cases on behalf of victims of serious crimes (TRIAL and CJA), and organizations developing technologies to enhance their efforts (eyeWitness and U.C. Berkeley’s Open Source Investigation Lab). It also aims to engage with the audience on ways in which emerging technologies can be better communicated to legal NGOs developing cases directly on behalf of victims of serious crimes and mass atrocities.

We will bring together teams of human rights investigators and organizations developing human rights fact finding technologies to discuss how they have implemented new tools in the field, and how these tools have enhanced their work in building evidence on behalf of victims of serious crimes.

The panel will unpack the challenges and opportunities faced in implementing these tools in practice, the legal viability in proceedings before domestic courts, and the continued investigation needs of human rights investigators that are developing evidence for litigation. By the end of the discussion, the teams hope to highlight continued investigations needs from NGOs and discuss ideas for a tech advisory committee to NGOs litigating directly on behalf of victims.

avatar for Carmen Cheung

Carmen Cheung

Legal Director, Center for Justice and Accountability
Carmen Cheung is the legal director of the Center for Justice and Accountability. CJA's mission is to deter torture, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other serious human rights abuses around the world through innovative litigation and transitional justice strategies. Until... Read More →

avatar for Wendy Betts

Wendy Betts

Project Director, eyeWitness to Atrocities
Wendy Betts is the Director of eyeWitness to Atrocities, an organisation that combines law and technology to promote accountability for serious international crimes. The eyeWitness system allows human rights documenters to capture photos/videos of human rights violations that can... Read More →
avatar for Félim McMahon

Félim McMahon

Director of Human Rights & Technology Program; Director, Human Rights Investigations Lab, Human Rights Center at UC Berkeley School of Law
Open source information pioneer, practitioner and educator with a focus on human rights and legal accountability. Leading an immersive education program at UC Berkeley teaching 80 undergraduate and graduate students how to research and analyse online information in support of human... Read More →
avatar for Daniele Perissi

Daniele Perissi

Head of DRC human rights program, TRIAL International
I'm a Legal Advisor and Head of the DRC program. I joined TRIAL International in September 2011, working on projects in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Nepal and, since 2014, the DRC. I coordinates TRIAL’s projects there, representing Congolese victims of grave crimes before national and international... Read More →
avatar for Nushin Sarkarati

Nushin Sarkarati

Senior Staff Attorney, Center for Justice and Accountability
An attorney with the Center for Justice and Accountability, working with victims of torture and serious human rights abuse to investigate and bring cases against perpetrators seeking safe haven in the US. I also represent victims of the Khmer Rouge regime in their quest for justice... Read More →

Wednesday May 16, 2018 14:30 - 15:45 EDT