1982-2007: 25 Years of Protecting Human Rights
INTERIGHTS, the International Centre for the Legal Protection of Human Rights, was created in 1982 by a group of leading lawyers, academics and human rights activists. Recognising the potential of what was then an underdeveloped body of legal principles and international commitments, INTERIGHTS' founders were convinced that international human rights law could act as a powerful tool to increase the protection of human rights.
In the 25 years that have followed, international human rights law has grown enormously both in scope and in significance. Increasingly, courts and tribunals at the domestic, regional and international levels have delivered judgments drawing on human rights principles which have transformed the lives of millions, whether it be women seeking equal treatment with men, prisoners asserting their right to freedom from torture, those accused of crimes claiming due process rights, the print and broadcast media seeking to hold politicians to account, the economically disadvantaged pursuing social justice or lesbians and gay men affirming their right to enjoy same-sex relationships free from discrimination and the shadow of criminal sanctions.
The 25th Anniversary Review highlights some of the ways in which INTERIGHTS, in line with its founding vision, has helped to expand the protection provided by human rights law often through critical test cases, or the development of new standards. INTERIGHTS' mandate today remains unchanged, although many of its activities and programmes have adapted over the years in response to new challenges and opportunities; we use international and comparative law to enforce and expand the protection of human rights generally and help those whose rights are violated obtain redress.
The Anniversary Review highlights some of the achievements of the past 25 years as well as pointing to challenges for the future. It provides an opportunity to reflect on legal developments as well as some of the momentous events which have shaped our lives and our activities during this period. It is also an occasion to thank our many supporters, partners and friends who have shared our work with us over a quarter of a century.