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Legal Action Worldwide (LAW)

Area served: Worldwide
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LAW is an independent, non-profit organisation comprised of a network and think tank of prominent human rights lawyers and advisors.

It provides innovative legal assistance to the least represented people, especially women and children, in fragile and conflict-affected states.

LAW mobilises domestic, regional and global legal expertise to improve access to justice and obtain redress for people suffering from human rights violations and abuses.

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What we do

Our Vision

People in fragile and conflict-affected states have had little success in claiming their rights. LAW uses creative legal strategies to improve access to justice and provide legal redress to those who need it most.

How do we work ?

We provide a range of legal and advocacy mechanisms to assist our clients. The decision as to which mechanism is most appropriate is made on a case-by-case basis and ultimately depends upon what the client wants. It is the client’s case and LAW places them at the centre of decision making.

Our approach is based on our four pillars:

Think Tank for Creative Lawyering

LAW is comprised of a network and think tank of prominent human rights lawyers and advisors from the Middle East, Africa, Europe, America and South America who advise LAW on the development of innovative legal strategies aimed at effecting legal change. LAW draws on this expertise through hosting expert thematic and geographical roundtables, producing preliminary opinions, position papers and reports.

Legal Assistance and Empowerment

People living in conflict contexts generally experience both an increased vulnerability to human rights violations and a decreased ability to access justice. We work with existing grassroots networks to increase rights awareness and knowledge of the availability of legal avenues for redress. We place emphasis on vulnerable groups such as women, children, displaced people and indigenous groups. We also work with government institutions to build their capacity to protect and empower their citizens through drafting legislation, policies and guidelines. 

Strategic Casework

LAW’s strategic casework aims to establish important legal precedents, effect changes in domestic and global legislation or policy and to provide legal redress to communities. Casework ranges from civil litigation, criminal prosecution to complaints lodged with relevant domestic, regional or international bodies. A successful case can lead to injunctions that prevent human right violations, the provision of compensation to those whose rights have been violated and accountability for perpetrators. Even if a case is unsuccessful, it can still act as a deterrent to those involved in human rights violations and positively influence public opinion. 

Legal Advocacy

LAW advocates domestically, regionally and internationally for changes in laws, policies and practices through high-level panel discussions, bilateral consultations and the use of social media. LAW believes that the ‘Court of Public Opinion’ can often impact change much quicker than the outcome from legal cases.

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Core Team

Antonia Mulvey
Antonia Mulvey is the Founder and Executive Director of Legal Action Worldwide (LAW). She is a British lawyer with more than 17 years experience in international, refugee and criminal law. Mulvey has established and headed rule of law and access to justice programmes for the UN and INGOs in Sudan, Somalia and the occupied Palestinian territory.
Mulvey is a Criminal Justice Expert for the European Union Security Sector Reform Section, a Justice Expert for the UK Department for International Development and UN Bureau of Conflict Prevention. 

Omar Abdulle
Omar Abdulle is a consultant Senior Legislative Drafter at Legal Action Worldwide (LAW). Abdulle holds a B.A. in Law from the Somali National University, and a Diploma in Legal Studies.

Tahlil Ahmed
Tahlil Ahmed is a Senior Legal Expert at Legal Action Worldwide (LAW). Ahmed holds a degree in Law from the Somali National University, and has over 30 years of experience working on and coordinating programmes on the rule of law and access to justice for UNDP.

Honourable Abdurahman Hosh Jibril
Honourable Abdurahman Hosh Jibril was born in Somalia but holds dual Somali/Canadian citizen. In mid-2011, he was appointed as the Minister of Constitutional Affairs and Reconciliation of the Somali Transitional Federal Government, and during 2011/2012, he spearhead the drafting and completion of the Provisional Constitution which was adopted in August 2012 and which is the foundational basis of the current political dispensation of Somalia.

Clare Brown
Clare Brown is LAW’s legal officer currently working on addressing sexual violence in conflict in the Horn of Africa through innovative legal assistance.

Roisin Mangan
Roisin Mangan is LAW’s legal advocacy officer who leads all of LAW’s advocacy efforts. She has a particular focus on the effect of counter terrorism operations on women and children and also coordinates the global women’s network.

Somalia - Sexual Offense Bill first draft


Somalia Sexual Offences Bill

LAW partnered with UNFPA, UNHCR and UNDP to provide technical expertise on the drafting of the Sexual Offences Bill in Somaliland, Puntland and South Central regions.

The Bill will repeal and replace provisions from these laws ensuring that any sexual offence will be prosecuted under the new sexual offences legislation.

The Bill will also introduce new sexual offences that are not provided for in the Penal Code as well as redefine and expand the scope of existing crimes.

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First Legal Aid Network in Somalia

In September 2014, LAW launched the first Somali Legal Aid Network (SLAN) connecting fourteen legal aid providers across Somaliland, Puntland, and south central regions of Somalia. The aim of the network is to bring Somali lawyers together to share information, learn, and identify common challenges and ways to overcome them. The network was established by LAW following extensive consultations with all legal aid providers and is the first of its kind in Somalia.

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Legal Responsibility and Accountability Project

LAW is undertaking a project on legal responsibility and accountability of the security forces in Somalia allegedly committing SGBV. The project aims to increase access to justice and provide legal redress to survivors of sexual violence allegedly committed by the security forces through the provision of innovative legal assistance.
LAW seeks to achieve this by having constructive dialogue with the Somali government, Somali civil society, AMISOM, the UN and international donors who support the security forces in Somalia to ensure perpetrators of sexual violence are held accountable.

Women Lawyers Network

In June 2014, we launched ‘The Women Lawyer’s Network: Working in Conflict’ to establish and facilitate connections between women lawyers from the Americas, the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Africa.  Access to justice for women and children is a global issue and requires more attention. The network supports and empowers women lawyers working in conflict areas so that they can more readily address the challenges before them and at the same time provides international women lawyers with on- the-ground knowledge and direct insights of their experiences.

No Safe Haven

The No Safe Haven (NSH) project seeks to end international impunity for war criminals and the perpetrators of human rights violations and to provide justice to the victims of such atrocities. It focuses on providing access to justice through the principle of universal jurisdiction and provides advice and support to lawyers and NGOs working to launch criminal prosecutions or civil claims against those suspected of grave human rights violations. The NSH project is based in London.