One Future Collective is an organization that works towards building compassionate youth social leadership through the use of art, education, community intervention and policy advocacy – across verticals of gender justice, mental health, legal reform and development policy.

Mumbai, India
+91 9082301339
info@onefuturecollective.org
 

FemJustice Legal Centre

The Challenge

The FemJustice Legal Centre is an ambitious long-term One Future Collective project looking to address a number of challenges within the justice system. Namely,

  • the lack of high quality legal aid available in India as a survivor of gender-based violence;
  • how the justice system itself can play a role in re-victimising or re-traumatising survivors of gender-based violence;
  • the gap between legal professionals and the broader gender rights movement.

The root causes for these issues are varied but include the patriarchal socio-cultural norms that have been embedded into our legal system and way we practice law, the existence of rape culture more generally and, the idea that the law is a solution rather than one tool in the broader movement.

Our Theory of Change

The FemJustice Legal Centre seeks to increase the use of feminist lawyering techniques in the legal sector, with a particular focus on increasing feminist leadership among legal practitioners, law students and other individuals working with survivors of gender based violence.

We believe that the legal field has massive potential to advance the feminist and gender-rights movement. In order for this to be successful, legal approaches with a gender-sensitive lens need to be employed.

Rather than just filling the legal aid gap in India, we work to provide a space where the process of seeking justice can be a transformative tool to combat gender-based crimes, while simultaneously recognising the survivor-client’s agency, lived reality and desires for justice. This project hopes to change the narrative around gender-based violence by distilling theory into practice.

Our Model

1. Trainings, workshops and courses

By creating a replicable curriculum to equip lawyers with the right skills to support survivors of violence, we hope to equip participants with the tools to translate theory into practice. Skills participants will gain include, but not be limited to, how:

  • To make survivor-centric and rights-based arguments in court;
  • To practice feminist principles when interacting with their survivor-client; and
  • To apply a trauma-informed approach when building the client-attorney relationship.

The workshop and training element of this project seeks to challenge the traditional notion that law is a neutral, objective and rational set of rules, unaffected by the perspective of those who wield power in societies.

Participants shall address the social, cultural and political contexts that shape the legal system. Given that law (as a culture, system and as an institution) is a reality that women and non-binary people face and engage with, it is essential for gender rights activists to explore how law can be utilised to transform lives. During the course participants will apply the feminist lawyering principles to a law, policy or practice that is currently limiting women’s human rights. They will be encouraged to develop strategies which they can utilise in their own work to change this. Eventually, we hope to create an online platform to open-source methodologies on feminist lawyering, to collaborate and share best practices and build a critical mass of trained lawyers to ultimately transform the way judicial systems characterise gender-based violence.

If you would like to run this workshop with us or invite us to your institution, get in touch using the form below.

2. Feminist Legal Aid

We intend not only to simply train individuals but also provide a space through which they can practice what they have learnt. Given the demand for good, affordable legal aid we see an opportunity to invite participants in our course to also become advisors at our feminist legal aid platform. This will be developed in collaboration with the community we intend to support.

If you would like to get involved in or support the development of Feminist Legal Aid, get in touch using the form below.

Mentors & Advisors

We are proud to be working with a number of experts and advisors for this project, including:

Jhuma Sen, Assistant Professor and Assistant Director, Centre for Human Rights Studies and Assistant Director, Mooting and Advocacy Programme, Jindal Global Law School. Jhuma also led the Feminist Judgements Project in India.

Ekaterina Yahyaoui, the Vice-Dean for Research in the College of Business, Public Policy and Law and a Lecturer in the Irish Centre for Human Rights, School of Law, National University of Ireland, Galway. She is also an associate researcher at the Hans and Tamara Oppenheimer Chair in Public International Law, McGill University, Canada.

Rosemary Hunter, who served as Director of the Socio-Legal Research Centre and Dean of the Law Faculty at Griffith University in Brisbane before moving to the U.K. to the University of Kent and Queen Mary University of London. Together with Professor Clare McGlynn and Dr Erika Rackley at Durham University, she was one of the co-organisers of the Feminist Judgments Project.

Devyani Kacker, a lawyer qualified in India and New York with experience in pro bono legal projects, cross-border research and policy advisory programmes and the International Criminal Court in the Hague. Devyani also engaged in private practice in New Delhi before the Supreme Court of India, Delhi High Court and trial courts in the areas of constitutional and criminal law.

Sweekar Trivedi, a Judge Advocate General of the Indian army.

Amal Sethi, a doctoral candidate at Penn Law where he researches on Constitutional Courts in Developing Democracies. He has served as a Special Rapporteur for a United Nations Forum on ‘Women and Legislative Reform’ and part of a group that provided recommendations to the Office of the UNHCHR and UN Women on the ‘Impact of Gender Equality Provisions and Constitution Making’.

Raghav Mendiratta, a lawyer and an alum of the Annenberg-Oxford Media Policy Summer Institute 2018. He frequently writes on issues of Gender Justice and his articles have been published by organizations such as Oxford Human Rights Hub, the Indian Express and the Journal of the Indian Law Institute.

Get Involved

Fill out this form to get involved in the FemJustice Legal Centre at One Future Collective. You can also write to us at info@onefuturecollective.org with queries.

One Future Collective