Justice for Victims of Mass Atrocities The Docket

Mission

Our mission: To pursue accountability for perpetrators and enablers of international crimes and to support survivors in their pursuit of justice. We gather evidence to trigger cases against perpetrators and then represent victims’ interests in those cases.

Why The Docket?

The Docket aims to ensure that individuals and corporations complicit in international crimes face justice.

The Challenge

In too many places, perpetrators of international crimes and their enablers are impervious to naming and shaming, operate below the radar, and have no fear of facing justice in a court of law as a result of their actions. Genocide and crimes against humanity are being committed across the globe without any judicial accountability for these crimes.

Even when the perpetrators of mass atrocities face justice, their accomplices–including commercial actors–remain largely immune from prosecution. Although the Nuremberg Tribunals after the Second World War included cases against corporate facilitators of the Holocaust, the International Criminal Court does not have jurisdiction over corporations, and very few criminal cases against corporations and their executives have successes in national courts to date.

The Docket staff on an investigative mission to Lebanon

The Response

We believe that those who perpetrate or facilitate international crimes, including business actors, can and should be held to account and we contribute to this in three ways:

Investigations: We use open source intelligence, satellite and other imagery analysis, digital forensics, and other innovative methods to investigate international crimes including genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. We collect witness testimony and obtain other evidence in the field. And we focus on obtaining evidence compatible with international or jurisdiction-specific standards so that we can help to trigger cases against perpetrators in national or international courts.

We work with our partner, The Sentry, and its team of forensic accountants which has for years successfully ‘followed the money’ of corrupt leaders in Africa and triggered the imposition of financial sanctions against them. We also rely on a diverse network of partners and experts, including regional and thematic specialists, forensic medical experts, weapons experts, forensic anthropologists, finance and taxation experts, open-source investigators, digital forensics specialists, and other professionals to support our investigations.

Litigation: We seek to trigger cases in national courts, including under ‘universal jurisdiction’ principles, as well as in ad hoc, hybrid, regional, and international tribunals, and to support victims in those cases. Working with leading law firms, civil society, and law enforcement, we build a foundation for effective legal prosecutions and civil actions against those who commit or aid international crimes and provide direct representation to clients affected by those crimes.

Advocacy: We engage in advocacy to ensure the successful initiation and development of legal action as well as long-lasting systemic change. We target decision-makers in national governments, international bodies, and the corporate world to press for legal and policy reforms that strengthen accountability. And we use communications across multiple channels to raise the visibility of the issues, amplify the voices of the survivors, and broaden the deterrent effect of this work.

The Docket strives to advance a robust system of international justice that holds individual and corporate actors to account and provides redress for survivors:

  1. Identifying opportunities for bringing to justice those responsible for international crimes through national, extraterritorial, and international legal mechanisms.
  2. Assessing the likelihood of successful prosecution, and when possible securing a commitment from relevant state agencies to act on evidence we provide.
  3. Leading multi-disciplinary investigations, using both traditional techniques and cutting-edge methodologies, sometimes in partnership with other leading organizations.
  4. Public advocacy to raise awareness of international crimes; expand national constituencies supportive of international justice efforts; and foster the development of new laws and policies that promote accountability for mass atrocities.
  5. Building partnerships and engaging in collaborations across the international justice sector to access the best available expertise, join forces to achieve tangible impact in complex cases, and empower local actors.

Accountability for Individuals

The Docket pursues legal action against individuals, whether state or non-state actors. It does so in civil and criminal cases, in both national and international courts.

Satellite imagery showing looting cities, image by Digital Globe

Accountability for Corporations

The Docket also pursues corporate accountability for international crimes, a relatively underdeveloped area of international justice.

The Docket Projects