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Accountability and Access to Justice

Accountability and Access to Justice

Access to justice and accountability for abuses are fundamental to protecting human rights and ensuring sustainable peace. When governments claim that we can only have national security if we give up human rights, they ignore decades of evidence that long-term peace is only possible when justice is upheld and rights are respected. The protection of human rights and the rule of law should be hardwired into national security approaches, both nationally and globally.

Without access to justice for everyone, we cannot ensure that the law is fairly, effectively and transparently applied. Even if this basic human right exists in theory, it is not always enforced. Access to justice should be non-discriminatory, and easily attainable without undue financial, emotional or physical burdens, in line with respect for human dignity.

Rights & Security International promotes accountability for killings and other serious harms committed in the name of counterterrorism, and opposes 'security' laws that harm vulnerable people and marginalised groups. We work to increase the ability of judges, lawmakers and the public to monitor security policies and keep them in line with human rights. We also promote an inclusive vision of security -- one in which everyone's security matters, and governments honour equality and dignity. 

Examples of RSI’s recent work on accountability and access to justice

·        Since our founding, we have promoted transparency and justice in Northern Ireland, including full investigations of killings committed during the height of the Troubles. Today, we continue our advocacy for fair, complete investigations and against impunity. We educate the public and lawmakers about the human rights requirement for effective investigations of killings, and work with our partners to prevent legislation that would end important justice processes.

·         We submitted a legal analysis to the UK Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) explaining why the government should not be allowed to stop following the Human Rights Act overseas. The JCHR agreed with us and quoted our recommendation.

·         We have fought to stop the UK and other countries from dodging accountability for abuses committed during military actions overseas, including by advocating against harmful UK legislation and intervening in a European Court of Human Rights case against Germany.

For more information on our Accountability and Access to Justice work, feel free to explore our 'Accountability and Access to Justice' tags in our and 'Impact' section.