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What type of cases and by whom?

In order to find out how to take a case to domestic courts and which kind of action is accepted by the court system in your country, you should consult your local human rights commission or a local lawyer. It is not possible to explain here how to begin a case because it will differ from State to State. It is necessary to consider whether the violation is individual or systematic, as this will determine to an extent what type of case should be brought:

Systemic: An entire population is denied education, maybe, for example, due to budgets being allocated elsewhere.

The different types of case that might be brought:

Actio popularis (abstract claims challenging policy where there is no specific victim);

Public interest litigation (a petition from any person in relation to a violation of constitutional rights even if that individual is not the victim – such a claimant brings the case on the premise that s/he represents the collective or public interest in bringing the case);

Seeking judicial review - the power of a court to review a law or the actions of government or public authorities for constitutionality or for the violation of basic principles of justice. It is even possible to seek judicial review for the actions of a school. In some countries, there is no full power of judicial review; for example courts are not empowered to strike down legislation.

Individual: An individual or small group of people are suffering through an act of direct or indirect discrimination.

The different types of case that might be brought:

Direct participation as litigant;

Submitting amicus curiae briefs (friend of the court who assists the court on points of law in a particular case. These are generally not parties to the proceedings but bring knowledge, reputation);

 Taking the case to the national human rights commission.

Case study - Judicial Review

Anna Wu was instrumental in using this type of action in the Hong Kong case of Equal Opportunities Commission [EOC] v. Director of Education.

‘At the time a decision had to be made whether to litigate on behalf of individual claimants or to seek judicial review against the government on the policy and system. It was decided that judicial review against the policy and system would be preferable as it would require the government to change the system. This was systemic discrimination'