Scales of Justice. Credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c1/The_scales_of_justice_%284984060658%29.jpg James Cridland from Brisbane, AU, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Scales of Justice. Credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c1/The_scales_of_justice_%284984060658%29.jpg James Cridland from Brisbane, AU, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Access to Justice

We believe that everyone deserves equal protection under the law. However, significant barriers frequently prevent access to justice for those affected by unlawful violence perpetrated by state actors.

Unlawful state violence disproportionately impacts already marginalised communities, eroding trust in the justice system and undermining democratic values and institutions. Encompassing instances of ‘police brutality’ during protests or other circumstances, or abuses in prisons or other custodial settings at borders or elsewhere, the unlawful use of force by state actors is a human rights violation and can constitute torture and other ill-treatment, or even extrajudicial or arbitrary execution. Many legal professionals lack the specialised knowledge and resources to navigate the complexities of cases involving the unlawful use of force, leading to:

  • Impunity for perpetrators: Officials who engage in unlawful conduct often face no consequences, fostering a culture of impunity and an entrenchment of abusive practices.
  • Re-traumatisation of survivors: The legal process can be re-traumatising for survivors who already face immense emotional and psychological burdens. This is accentuated when legal professionals lack specialised training and resources.
  • Silenced survivors: Lack of accountability discourages survivors from seeking redress, perpetuating a cycle of violence and silence.

We are committed to addressing these challenging issues by:

  • Building capacity: We train judges, prosecutors and other legal professionals to enable more effective oversight of law enforcement officials and increased accountability for abuses.
  • Supporting strategic litigation: We support survivors and their legal representatives to seek justice, through amicus curiae briefs, technical opinions and behind-the-scenes advice.
  • Empowering communities: We provide educational resources and training programs to equip people with the knowledge and skills necessary to identify abuses when they occur and demand effective investigative and judicial processes.

Reports

Resources

Handbook on Handcuffs and Other Instruments of Restraint in Judicial Hearings
The original handbook in, written in Brazillian Portuguese was developed specifically for the Brazilian judiciary. We have also published a second handbook, written in English, with an international focus. Both instruments are the result of collaboration between the Omega and the Programme “Fazendo Justiça”.
Available languages: English|Portuguese