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Online Talk, Dec 7: Strategic Litigation: Lawyers´ Activism

We are excited to announce our upcoming panel discussion entitled ‘Strategic Litigation: Lawyers’ Activism’, the third event in our series of talks on ‘Grassroots Movements and Civil Society’. In this round, our focus will be on how strategic litigation can be used as a form of activism for the protection of democracy and fundamental rights, specifically in the EU. To shine a light on this, we are honoured to have as our panel speakers Soraia Da Costa Batista, lawyer for Gesellschaft für Freiheitsrechte (GFF) e.V, who will provide her first-hand professional experience, and Angelina Atanasova, researcher at the European Social Observatory and KU Leuven.

GFF is a Berlin-based, non-profit organisation that uses its team of lawyers to conduct strategic litigation and lodge constitutional complaints to fight against laws that undermine fundamental rights, and companies or public bodies that have engaged in discrimination or stigmatisation. Furthermore, they play an active public relations role as part of their broader strategy to ensure citizens are kept informed of the current challenges. Soraia has been working with GFF since 2021, focusing on cases that deal with discrimination. She will be sharing her experiences, the challenges she has faced and successes she has achieved throughout her career, not only at the GFF but also as a legal clerk at the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights e.V and the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, among others. Like our second speaker, Angelina Atanasova, Soraia has in-depth knowledge in the field of LGBTQ+ rights, having worked on cases dealing with instances of discrimination against trans, inter, and non-binary people.

Angelina has held several research and consultant positions at institutions such as the University of Copenhagen and the Open Society European Policy Institute. Her current areas of focus as a researcher for the European Social Observatory and a PhD candidate at the Public Law Department at KU Leuven are gender equality and discrimination on grounds of disability, and specifically, how civil society actors can bring cases of violations of relevant rights before the European Court of Justice when domestic courts act in violation of European law. She will be sharing her insights into the challenges to democracy currently faced by the EU, informed by her recent work on the democratic backsliding seen in Hungary and her native Bulgaria.

The panel discussion will take place on December 7th 2022, from 18:30 to 20:00 (CET), on Zoom. Prior registration for the event is necessary and can be done here. A Zoom invitation will be sent to all registered attendees a few hours before the scheduled start of the event. We look forward to seeing you there!


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