Public Interest Litigation: Summary of a Meeting in South Africa
The purpose of this summary is to make available to a broader audience key findings of a meeting of civil society organizations held in Johannesburg, South Africa, in May 2011. The meeting brought together organizations involved in public interest litigation in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa and the United States. As part of its focus on promoting social justice, The Atlantic Philanthropies supports organizations to carry out and develop the use of public interest litigation. These organizations utilize a combination of legal advocacy, research, campaigning and civil suits that seek to change law, regulations and – more broadly – public attitudes, to address issues of discrimination and inequity, as well as structural barriers to the use of public interest litigation. They focus on issues such as challenges to the death penalty in the United States, discrimination against people who are HIV-positive in South Africa, challenges to social security benefits in Northern Ireland and discrimination in social benefits for migrants and asylum seekers in the Republic of Ireland. In May 2011, The Atlantic Philanthropies brought together a number of the organizations it supports in this area to share challenges, successes and strategies.