The American Bar Association (ABA) announced Wednesday that it will join the Clooney Foundation for Justice and Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute and Human Rights Clinic to establish the TrialWatch initiative, which will help to monitor and prevent human rights violations around the world.
The initiative includes plans for training, monitoring, and advocacy to identify and prevent human rights violations, including “trials that could oppress vulnerable groups, silence speech or target political opponents.” The ABA, Clooney Foundation, and Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute have taken a stand against governments that use the justice system to oppress minorities and political opposition. TrialWatch will look to international fair trial standards to “strengthen the global community of trial monitors and advocates; engage in research on how to best leverage trial monitoring data; and pursue the creation of an innovative, data-driven ‘Justice Index’ that ranks states’ performance.”
Microsoft has agreed to pay for a legal fellow to work on the initiative at Columbia Law. TrialWatch is set to launch in 2019.