We monitor criminal trials globally to expose injustice and help to free those unjustly detained.
Through our monitoring, we have seen patterns in how justice systems are abused and corrupted to target the most vulnerable, keep the powerful in power and keep the disenfranchised silent.
Trial monitoring involves sending an observer to court to watch and listen to what happens. This allows an impartial evaluation of what takes place and whether any violations of human rights have occurred.
Monitoring means bringing the eyes and ears of the world to a courtroom that may be in a remote location, or where a defendant’s life may be on the line. More broadly, monitoring can show patterns in how justice systems are abused and corrupted to target the most vulnerable and keep the powerful in power.
It’s a straightforward vision: To make the world a witness to what happens in courtrooms around the world.Vice Chair and President, Microsoft
Monitors use a customized app, developed with Microsoft, to record their observations from inside the courtroom. Using this data, a legal expert assesses whether the trial lived up to international legal standards and grades the trial.
We also partner with leading law firms and law schools around the world to extend the reach of our trial coverage. Together, this means we are able to work in more than 40 countries – a scale that has not previously been possible.
Trial monitoring is integral to advocacy work on behalf of political prisoners or others who are unfairly detained. By creating an objective and public record of what happened at trial we can launch effective appeals or obtain remedies before international and regional courts.
Impact of Monitoring
In a number of our cases, we have seen how a monitor’s presence can in itself have a direct impact.
For instance, in the Abelino Chub case in Guatemala, local partners relayed that, in their view, the monitor’s presence in the courtroom affected the outcome of the case – an acquittal.
When I realized and recognized that my trial is monitored by the Clooney Foundation it was huge for me in many aspects . . . . It was huge support for me.Activist in Kazakhstan
I feel extremely good about [the trial monitoring]. … It gives me a sense of hope, and it gives me some courage.Photojournalist and News Editor, Bangladesh
When an injustice occurs, we carry out or fund legal advocacy in regional or international forums to try to right the wrongs we have witnessed and bring attention to them on a global scale. This can involve pursuing both individuals and corporations complicit in international crimes and supporting people who have been the victims of unfair trials.