G37 brings together experienced litigators, investigators, and other professionals who have successfully used legal recourses to achieve accountability of perpetrators in various jurisdictions, yielding a range of highly specialized skills to achieve accountability. Our in-country work and active collaboration with affected communities gives us the flexibility needed to work nationally and transnationally. We rely on our standing in the United States, Spain, and United Kingdom to support accountability claims from our partners in our country programs.
• We represent victims of torture committed by members of the security forces in South Sudan before US Federal Court under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act for tort claims.
• We are engaged in addressing the accountability deficit against Private Military Security Companies (PMSCs) accountable for human rights violations in Latin America.
• We are litigating two cases before the Spanish High Court under universal jurisdiction provisions.
a) The Libyan case, investigating art trafficking of stolen cultural heritage as a war crime
b) The Equatorial Guinea case, investigating systematic torture of political dissents inside the country and abroad.
LAWYERING ACROSS BORDERS
For the last decades, Latin America has been leading the investigation and prosecution in national jurisdictions of international crimes and human rights violations by autocratic and military regimes. As we observe a push to combat impunity for past crime in some African nations, including apartheid-related judicial proceedings in South Africa, the Guernica Centre has rollout a program aimed at prosecutors and representatives of victims in South Africa.
Following from the conclusions of a conference on criminal law and human rights accountability in national proceedings in Latin America and Africa held and organised by Wilton Park and Guernica 37 in 2022. we are working in South Africa, bringing local authorities and advocates together with Latin American practitioners to discuss specific jurisdictional, procedural, and evidentiary issues.
GLOBAL ACCOUNTABILITY FOR CLIMATE CHANGE
Complementing our capacity-building work in Africa, in particular the southern portion of the continent, we have developed a line of strategic engagement designed to assist populations most affected by climate change. A first step in this regard consists of our active engagement with affected states to assist them in preparations for the upcoming Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice (“ICJ”) regarding the climate-related obligations of states under international law. The Advisory Opinion follows an initiative led by climate-vulnerable states. Following their efforts, the UN General Assembly resolution passed with consensus, having been directly sponsored by 133 states.
The resolution specifically asks the ICJ to clarify the obligations of States under international law to ensure the protection of the climate system, and what the legal consequences may be for failing to heed these obligations. Such clarification has the potential to be a watershed moment under international law. The Guernica Centre has been asked by two African states to – applying our approach - triangulate the issues of climate-related insecurity and the compounding effects of conflict, as they affect children and future generations.
We have partnered with Freed Object, a Canadian information management and software development firm to design and implement an information system, called Narra to document, organise, report and visualise narrative-driven information and adapted to international crimes and human rights violations. This effort fuses information technology with social sciences and the law to provide a robust tool of analysis based on profiles of violations, persons, and their multiple roles in the offending dynamic. Narra allows us to identify relationships amongst people and events; it leverages scientific methods and multidisciplinary knowledge to study offending patterns and the roles of specific individuals or groups of persons in the perpetration of system crimes.
Proper documentation and analysis of system crimes are important steps in crafting accountability strategies, and ultimately establishing responsibilities for violations. The nature and dynamic of the crimes defy traditional or flat documentation methods. Through our Narra-based projects, we support the efforts of our partners around the world to confront situations that reflect organizational wrongdoing and complex patterns of perpetration.
By producing a well-ordered documentation repository, this initiative is enhancing our capacity to demand justice and to promote accountability initiatives - ranging from criminal investigations to vetting programs- through a data driven approach.