Lawfare

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Concept.png Lawfare Project Rdf-icon.png
Brooke Goldstein.jpg
Executive Director Brooke Goldstein
Interest ofBrooke Goldstein

Lawfare is a form of war consisting of the use of the legal system against an enemy, such as by damaging or delegitimising them, tying up their time or winning a public relations victory.[1][2] The term is a portmanteau of the words law and warfare.

The Lawfare Project defines lawfare as "the abuse of Western laws and judicial systems to achieve strategic military or political ends".[3] From this perspective, lawfare consists of "the negative manipulation of international and national human rights laws to accomplish purposes other than, or contrary to, those for which they were originally enacted".

In a 2010 speech on the topic, Lawfare Project Director Brooke Goldstein elaborated:

Lawfare is about more than just delegitimising a state's right to defend itself; it is about the abuse of the law and our judicial systems to undermine the very principles they stands for: the rule of law, the sanctity of innocent human life, and the right to free speech. Lawfare is not something in which persons engage in the pursuit of justice; it is a negative undertaking and must be defined as such to have any real meaning. Otherwise, we risk diluting the phenomenon and feeding the inability to distinguish between what is the correct application of the law, on the one hand, and what is lawfare, on the other. Because that is the essence of the issue here, how do we distinguish between that which constitutes a constructive, legitimate legal battle (even if the legal battle is against us and inconvenient) from that which is a counterproductive perversion of the law, which should be allocated no precedent? The delineation is not as simple as some may like to make it; that is, that lawsuits against terrorists are good, and legal actions against the U.S. and Israel are bad. Now, the question is not "who is the target", but "what is the intention" behind the legal action: is it to pursue justice, to apply the law in the interests of freedom and democracy, or is the intent to undermine the system of laws being manipulated?[4]

 

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Document:What is UK Lawyers for Israel’s relationship to the Israeli governmentArticle12 March 2019Hilary AkedIsraeli diplomat Shai Masot – who worked for the anti-BDS Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs in London – was recorded in Al Jazeera’s 2017 undercover documentary The Lobby saying of groups such as UKLFI: "It’s good to leave those organisations independent. But we help them, actually."


References

  1. "Is Lawfare Worth Defining?" (PDF). Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law. 43 (1). 11 September 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 August 2011.Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css must have content model "Sanitized CSS" for TemplateStyles (current model is "plain text").
  2. "p. 55"
  3. "The Lawfare Project: What is Lawfare?". Archived from the original on 19 April 2013. Retrieved 17 July 2013.Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css must have content model "Sanitized CSS" for TemplateStyles (current model is "plain text").
  4. Brooke Goldstein (5 November 2010). "Lawfare: Real Threat or Illusion". Retrieved 25 November 2014.Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css must have content model "Sanitized CSS" for TemplateStyles (current model is "plain text").
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