For each trial monitored, TrialWatch works with an eminent legal expert to produce a Fairness Report analyzing the fairness of the trial against human rights standards.  Each Fairness Report includes background on the state where the trial took place, a thorough description of what was observed at trial, an evaluation of the proceedings based on international fair trial standards, and copies of relevant documents.  Each Fairness Report also includes a grade.

However, our job is not done when the report is issued; we will also rally support for justice for those whose rights have been violated.  In appropriate cases, we will engage in some or all of the following forms of advocacy:

  • public advocacy, meaning seeking to take an under-the-radar trial and make it a matter of international significance;
  • representation of individual defendants, including for instance funding representation to assist a defendant in pursuing remedies in regional or international human rights courts; and
  • providing small grants to individuals with acute needs, for instance relating to personal or cyber security.

We will also recognize when judges stand up for the rule of law.

But our approach is not limited to individual cases.  We will also seek to galvanize systemic change, by encouraging states to be more transparent, and ultimately by measuring and publicizing states’ performance on the Global Justice Ranking™, an index documenting national courts’ adherence to human rights and fair trial standards.

Fairness Report Released: Trial Monitoring of People v. Cansu Piskin

Between March and May 2019, TrialWatch monitors under the supervision of the Columbia Law School Human Rights Clinic monitored the trial of Cansu Pişkin, a journalist for the Turkish daily paper, Evrensel, in Istanbul, Turkey. Pişkin was charged with “making a public servant into a target for terrorist organizations” in violation of Section 6(1) of Law No. 3713, otherwise known as the Anti-Terror Law, for publishing the prosecutor’s name in her April 5, 2018 article, “Special Prosecutor for the Bosphorus Students.” On May 7, 2019, the Court convicted Pişkin and sentenced her to 10 months’ imprisonment (with the sentence pronouncement deferred for a period of five years). Ambassador Stephen J. Rapp assigned this trial a grade of D.

See Fairness Report