Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

 Target   Case studies

End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and

torture of children.

To improve the treatment of trafficked and abused child witnesses in Cambodia, we researched child witness protection measures adopted in nine jurisdictions including Hong Kong, UK, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia, for abuse-survivors’ NGO  Hagar International. Issues and topics reviewed included procedures to prepare children before trial, the appointment of support persons for child victims, and the availability of guidelines for judges and prosecutors on questioning children. This work has resulted in a toolkit for Cambodian lawyers and other child advocates supporting child victims who participate in legal proceedings, and a series of “train the trainer” seminars for lawyers case managers, psychologists, counsellors and other advocates.

Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure

equal access to justice for all.

In the U.S. it is unconstitutional to execute prisoners who have an intellectual disability, but the tests for establishing whether someone has an intellectual disability vary between states. Over 60 of our lawyers from 14 offices were instrumental in securing a U.S. Supreme Court victory in April 2017 for Bobby Moore, a 57-year-old man with intellectual disabilities, who has been held on death row in Texas for more than 35 years. Based on research across 25 jurisdictions and four international courts, we submitted an amicus curiae brief in relation to Mr Moore’s appeal on behalf of a number of leading international medical institutes and organisations, including the British Medical Association, the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the World Psychiatric Association.  The Supreme Court found that the test applied by the Texas Criminal Appeals Court for determining which defendants are intellectually disabled in capital cases violated the U.S. constitution.

Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels.

In May 2016, at the World Economic Forum Africa Meeting in Rwanda, the firm launched a report advising the United Nations on potential reforms to the governance of the UN Development System (“UNDS”) as the UNDS prepares to roll out the complex, highly ambitious Sustainable Development Agenda. The report, entitled “Governance for the United Nations Development System: Adapting to Meet the Challenges of a Changing World,” was the culmination of nine months of work interviewing more than 40 key UN stakeholders and reviewing hundreds of governance documents. The report makes a number of ambitious, but practical and concrete, recommendations for reform, and was recently commended by UN University for consideration by incoming UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. In addition, in collaboration with the New York City Bar Association, we also launched a Task Force and online resource that will support good governance and transparency in the process to select the next United Nations Secretary-General.