Crowd Justice: Innovation In Legal Crowdfunding To Bridge The Justice Gap
At Linkilaw We Share The View That A Fundamental Cornerstone Of The Law Is That Access To Justice Should Be Available To All.
And that’s just what Crowd Justice are doing.
About Crowd Justice
Headed by Julia Salasky, a former UN lawyer and City firm Linklaters associate, CrowdJustice is the first online legal crowdfunder to channel the energy and finances of ordinary people to raise community awareness and funds for public interest litigation.
There is something philanthropic and noble about the public funding a worthy cause for the greater good, and with the future of legal aid and the Human Rights Act in the balance, the timing is perfect.
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By harnessing technology without geographical borders, Crowd Justice offers a joined up solution to bridge the justice gap and engender positive legal change. Cases are not limited to a geographical area, the funding works on an all or nothing basis and the firm takes 5% of the funds for its fees.
The site has just successfully achieved its first funding target to assist with a claim brought by Gilberto Torres, an influential Colombian trade unionist. Mr Torres claims that BP instructed paramilitaries in 2002 to kidnap and torture him and later force him to live in exile in direct violation of his human rights.
Mr Torres Writes:
“Me and my family have had our lives destroyed because I tried to take a stand when I saw human rights and environmental abuses being committed to protect the interests of BP in Colombia.
My treatment and the fear caused by kidnapping and other human rights abuses against me and others campaigning against BP in Colombia has suppressed opposition to BP and its subsidiaries. This should not be allowed to happen.
I am not the only person affected by what happened. In since the oil companies came, every time a community activist or trade union member stood up in Casanare to challenge human rights abuses or damage to the environment, they were threatened, attacked and in hundreds of cases murdered. I hold the multinationals responsible for this.”
Mr Torres has now achieved permission from the High Court to serve a claim against OCENSA, the Colombian company which was established by BP to develop the Casanare oil pipeline, and Particulars of Claim are due to be served on 14 June 2015.
Crowd Justice will not be taking cases which are entitled to legal aid: the site aims to crowdfund human rights, judicial review and community cases which represent a significant public interest.
Final Words On Legal Crowdfunding
Whilst crowd funding platforms are new to the legal sector, the ability to raise donations over the internet to support a meaningful community-led cause, which helps those less fortunate, is bound to catch on. It makes us feel warm inside.
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