As soon as the monitor hand over their notes, we turn to our TrialWatch Experts who provide a detailed assessment of the fairness of the proceedings using international law as a benchmark. Each trial is assigned a grade: A, B, C, D, or F. These reports provide objective data and an expert assessment of what happened at trial, instead of a ‘he said/she said’ analysis or bare denials by autocratic regimes.
Our Experts Panel is home to brilliant legal minds from around the world, including, Judge Françoise Tulkens, former Vice-President of the European Court of Human Rights; Ambassador Stephen J. Rapp, former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues; Juan Mendez, former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment; Geoffrey Robertson QC, founder and head of Doughty Street Chambers, which is Europe’s largest human rights practice; and Helena Kennedy QC, Director of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute.
Our reports shine a light on how discrimination plays out in courtrooms. For instance, a TrialWatch Fairness Report revealed that in criminal proceedings against 67 individuals arrested at a bar in Uganda, a magistrate was caught on record asking if the case before her “was for the gay people misusing their bums.”
The reports are also key advocacy tools. In numerous cases, TrialWatch reports have been submitted by defense counsel to national courts and convictions have been reduced or thrown out based on what our monitoring found.
As more trials are monitored around the world, a picture will grow of each country’s strengths and weaknesses, which will in time allow us to create the Global Justice Ranking.