Changemaking and the Law - Archive

Civitas Maxima puts students in the hot seat in mock war crimes trial

Alain Werner is a lawyer/director of Civitas Maxima, the Swiss NGO fighting for international justice. He organized a mock trial event on Zoom in partnership with Philanthropic Adventures, an educational platform, and the International School of Geneva. The trial took place in a fake country called...
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Switzerland Finds Liberian Rebel Leader Guilty of Wartime Atrocities

Ashoka Fellow Alain Werner, the director of the Geneva-based legal organization Civitas Maxima, played a critical role in the conviction of former warlord Alieu Kosiah. “This is a landmark judgment, not only because it is the first war crimes conviction against a Liberian commander, but because it...
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Accused Cannibal Rapist Haunted Her. Then She Faced Him.

"In 2013, Alain Werner, the Swiss lawyer who runs Civitas Maxima, an organization investigating crimes on behalf of Liberian victims to prosecute perpetrators in national courts, received a tip: a former ULIMO commander was living near Lake Geneva." Ashoka Fellow Alain Werner and organization...
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Surveillance and Human Rights: The Impacts of Evolving Surveillance Technology

Watch the interview on YouTube! With the goal of ending discriminatory surveillance, the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (S.T.O.P.) challenges individual misconduct and broader systemic failures. S.T.O.P. creates policies that balance new technologies and age-old rights while educating...
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“Our Lives Are Being Sacrificed:” The Fight for Environmental Justice

"As President Biden aims to take the global lead on combating the climate crisis, he is also focusing on local, neighborhood-level issues with a pledge to invest in minority communities who too often bear the brunt of environmental degradation." Vivek Maru, founder of Namati and an Ashoka Fellow...
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Ashoka in Brief - Racial Bias and Police Accountability

Van Jones, now a CNN commentator, but selected as Ashoka Fellow 20 years ago for his work to address racial bias and bring accountability to policing, contrasts the Rodney King verdict of 1992 with this week’s verdict in Minneapolis, and how the latter signals to young Black people: “We CAN make...
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"California Supreme Court shrinks role of cash bail in jailings"

In a landmark ruling yesterday, California’s Supreme Court moved a significant step closer to ending cash bail - a system that forces millions into jail pre-trial who cannot afford to pay. Fellow Gina Clayton-Johnson, founder of Oakland-based Essie Justice Group, says bail is the mechanism that has...
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Priti Krishtel: Vaccine Nationalism Is Dangerous to the U.S.

"Health inequality was badly exposed during this pandemic, but Priti Krishtel says it doesn't have to be this way. She is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the non-profit Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge. She spoke to Hari Sreenivasan about the need to rethink how patents are...
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"To Fight Poverty, Raise the Minimum Wage? Or Abolish it?"

"The minimum wage has stagnated at $7.25 an hour for more than a decade. Is increasing it to $15 the best way to fight poverty?" Ashoka Fellow Saru Jayaraman, the president of One Fair Wage and director of the Food Labor Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley joins Jeffrey Miron...
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"The Path to Racial Justice Runs Through This Agency"

Ashoka Fellow Priti Krishtel, the founder and executive director of the Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge weighs in on Bidens selections for the next director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and the weight that the president's decision carries.
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Even a small farm needs a strong food safety plan and legal protection for it

Rachel Armstrong, Ashoka Fellow and the founder and executive of Farm Commons weighs in on the legal needs of small-scale farmers, protecting themselves from lawsuits, and increasing legal resiliency.
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Response to Capital Riots Could Hurt Minorities

"Civil liberties advocates are warning that the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol could lead to new police and surveillance powers. If history is a guide, they say, those tools could be used against Blacks and other people of color in the justice system, not the white rioters who stormed Congress."...
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Tech & Democracy: Why we must update the social contract for the digital age

On January 13th, we talk to Albert Fox Cahn, founder of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (S.T.O.P.), about the threats and opportunities of surveillance technology, and why we must update the social contract for the digital age. Watch the Video on YouTube This conversation is part of...
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What’s Ahead for Asylum Seekers in the U.S.

"Fellow Swapna Reddy is making sure asylum seekers are seen as the strong, resilient changemakers they are - in their own lives and in American society."

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Why We Must Update the Law for the Digital Age

Albert Fox Cahn advocated for the Public Oversight of Surveillance Technology (POST) Act. Passed in June 2020, the Act will require the NYPD to disclose every spy tool it uses.

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ACMS 2020 Changemaker Lawyers

From November 17th to 19th, 2020, the Ashoka Changemakers Summit is taking place virtually around the globe. Ashoka's Integrity Team is excited to participate by hosting a panel on Changemaker Lawyers on Wednesday at 2pm EST. Learn more about our talk and the panelists in our packet. Learn More...
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In a Moment of Change, Savvy Firms Are Finding Ways to Innovate

"For law firms, the key to preparing for post-pandemic growth is to pay attention to where the proverbial snow is melting."
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Can Prosecutors Be Taught to Avoid Jail Sentences?

Which part of the justice system has most resisted change? It's not the police - At least 60 district attorneys have come to see incarceration as destructive, racist, expensive and ineffective. But can they persuade their own staffs? Adam Foss founded Prosecutor Impact to repair our criminal justice...
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Is There A Higher Calling For America’s Lawyers?

Supporting a new generation of lawyers and legal organizations to work alongside progressive movements for change

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