Strategic Litigation

Women murdered with systematic impunity for their killers. Protesters surveilled and tortured by police. Journalists jailed for speaking truth to power. With authoritarianism on the rise, we collaborate with local partners around the world to confront systematic abuses, often after all else has failed.


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Our Approach to Selecting Cases

Our litigation is “strategic” because we bring cases that represent broad issues, cases in which successful outcomes create positive change throughout society, in addition to the relief delivered to a single client. With unique global experience before both the Inter-American and African human rights bodies, as well as the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and others, we turn to these courts with our partners to protect human rights and achieve justice for entire groups of people, even an entire country or region—often setting new international legal precedent to advance human rights.

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#JusticiaParaVicky: The historic case of Vicky Hernández et al. v. Honduras

In the midst of the June 2009 Honduran coup d’état, with the streets of San Pedro Sula closed to all but military and police forces, 26-year-old trans woman Vicky Hernández’s body was found with a gunshot wound to the head.

Vicky’s story—and the impunity the state has granted her killers—is all too familiar in Honduras. In the decade since Vicky’s extrajudicial execution, more than 300 LGBTQ+ people have been targeted and killed for their gender identity; of those, only 67 cases have been prosecuted, resulting in fewer than 20 convictions.

Vicky Hernández et al. v. Honduras, litigated by Red Lésbica Cattrachas and RFK Human Rights, was the first case involving lethal violence against an trans person to reach the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

On June 28, 2021, exactly 12 years after Vicky’s murder, the Court made a landmark ruling holding the government of Honduras accountable for her death and issued a series of reparations, including financial support for Vicky’s family, that set a legal precedent for LGBTQ+ rights throughout the region.