We receive a letter from a prisoner or family member
Assemble legal team
We instruct leading human rights barristers and forensic experts to advise on the case
Building the case
We carry out research and start building a legal case
Take case to court
We represent our client in court, challenging their conviction and/ or sentence
We provide free legal representation and assistance to individuals facing the death penalty and other vulnerable prisoners.
Legal representation is expensive and in many countries legal aid is limited or unavailable. Without legal assistance or access to mental health assessments or forensic expertise, it is frequently the poorest and most marginalised individuals who end up receiving the harshest penalties.
We provide access to justice through free legal assistance, principally at the appeal stage. We also bring strategic litigation to strike down cruel, unfair and inhuman laws. In doing so we create lasting legal precedents, ensuring that our impact stretches far beyond those individuals we directly assist. Our legal work has saved thousands of prisoners from execution.
Our legal work falls into four main categories:-
- Representation before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council: For those countries that retain the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London as their final court of appeal, we provide free legal representation before the court.
- Assistance before domestic courts: We assist local legal teams in proceedings before domestic courts and support constitutional challenges to restrict the application and scope of the death penalty.
- Assistance to foreign nationals facing the death penalty: We work with the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office to provide free legal assistance to British nationals facing the death penalty. We also work with other consular authorities to assist their nationals facing the death penalty in a foreign country.
- Cases brought before international tribunals: Where violations of international human rights law have occurred, we bring cases before international tribunals to highlight these breaches and seek remedies. We have brought more complaints before international tribunals than any other death penalty organisation.
Wherever we work, we instruct experts including leading barristers and, where appropriate, forensic psychiatrists, psychologists and other experts, all who provide their time and services without charge.