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7 February 2019

Overcoming barriers to public interest litigation in Scotland

Clan Childlaw
Exploring why public interest litigation by NGOs is relatively rare in Scotland
Strengthening Civil Society


The paper identifies five barriers:

  1. Poor access to information about court cases
  2. Limitations to who can take a case to court (‘standing’ issues)
  3. Short time-limits for taking cases
  4. Inhibitive costs and financial risk
  5. Limited culture of using PIL

It also suggests actions for policy-makers, NGO leaders and funders which could enable more organisations to engage in legal proceedings in the interests of the people they represent.

Other contributors to this paper include: Human Rights Consortium Scotland, Rape Crisis Scotland, Shelter Scotland, Justright Scotland, Amnesty International and Friends of the Earth Scotland.