Official Support for Access to Justice
Ignita Veritas United (IVU) serves as the official inter-governmental organization (IGO) host institution providing supporting infrastructure to the autonomous Sovereign Court of International Justice (SCIJ) as the “High Court” for human rights and international law cases, and its companion Arbitration Court of International Justice (ACIJ) as the “Common Court” for civil litigation and commercial arbitration cases.
Both Justice Courts, as autonomous IGO official bodies operated by the independent Judiciary profession, are supported by infrastructure of IVU as the host institution, including the resources and capabilities of the Think Tank, licensed Law Center and accredited Law Faculty subdivisions of Ignita Veritas University. These supporting institutions also develop specialized textbooks and practice manuals for better educating the Judiciary, the legal profession, human rights organizations and advocates, to make the fullest use of human rights enshrined in conventional international law, to most effectively uphold the principles of Justice.
All net proceeds from Court costs of the Sovereign Court (SCIJ) Government Court Division and the Arbitration Court (ACIJ) are used to fund the operations of the SCIJ Human Rights Court Division, through the Public Access to Justice Endowment (PAJE) Fund.
Recognizing the Need for a New Human Rights Court
For citizens of most countries in the world, there has not been any real international forum for an individual to uphold their human rights against a country that is violating those rights. Generally, individuals of most countries have not had any international Court to turn to for enforcement of their human rights within their own country. Furthermore, there has never been any international forum for citizens of one country to enforce their rights against infringement by a foreign country (outside of their regional treaty system, if any).
The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) allows claims by individual or private victims only after “exhausting domestic remedies” in country courts. However, it is not a judicial body, and takes only “advisory” and mediation measures, lacking any enforcement power.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has jurisdiction only for countries to bring claims against other countries, and does not permit individuals nor organizations to file a claim against a country for human rights violations.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has jurisdiction only for “war crimes” and related offenses, and is not a forum for any claims by individual victims of human rights violations in private cases.
The European Court of Human Rights allows only EU citizens to file claims only on violations by EU countries (the Russian Federation is included), but only after “exhausting domestic remedies” in country courts.
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights theoretically allows citizens of any country to petition, but only on violations by South American countries, and only after “exhausting domestic remedies”. Another limitation is that claims must be referred to the Court either by a member country or through its Commission, which mostly takes only “advisory” and mediation measures.
The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights allows only citizens of African Union countries to file claims only on violations by African Union countries, but only against countries which have agreed to that “option”, and only after “exhausting domestic remedies”.
The traditional human rights Courts and international law Courts are based upon the “treaty principle”, by which the Court is considered “created” by countries, and thus dependent on the treaty countries, who must agree to voluntarily submit to the jurisdiction of the Court. While this “treaty-based” method allows for the easy creation and immediate official funding of a Court, it is severely limited by allowing countries to avoid its jurisdiction at their will and convenience.
Statutory Authority for a Next-Generation Court
Although the inherently self-limiting “treaty-based” formation is one way to establish a Court of international Justice, it is certainly not the only way. Specific provisions of international law, enacted by the United Nations General Assembly as binding upon all UN member countries (UN Law of Treaties, Article 38), fully authorize and empower a sovereign supra-governmental Court, operated by the independent Judiciary profession, to exercise universal jurisdiction over all matters of international law:
All people have the right of access to Justice through an “independent” Court as an “international” institution (UN Declaration of Human Rights, Articles 10, 28);
Alternative mechanisms of “customary Justice” (UN Basic Principles of Justice, Article 7), as “international judicial organs”, possess “universal jurisdiction” to provide a “judicial remedy”, being “other bodies” independent from government influence, having their own “international processes” (UN Remedy for Human Rights, Articles 4, 5, 12, 14);
The independent Judiciary has the right, “at the international level” as an “inter-governmental organization” (IGO), being an “independent judicial authority”, to “provide professionally qualified assistance” adjudicating human rights as an “international body” (UN Right to Protect Human Rights, Articles 1, 5, 9.2, 9.3(c), 9.4);
The Judiciary can establish an independent IGO for “international cooperation” managed by “professional judges”, having “exclusive authority”, without interference by any governments in its “judicial decisions” (UN Independence of Judiciary, Preamble §1, §10, Articles 3, 4).
This powerful combination of sixteen articles from five major UN conventions, much overlooked and never before analyzed in context, was first identified as a working mechanism by Professors of the Ignita Veritas University Law Faculty in 2012. These provisions establish the requirements which trigger statutory authority for an independent Court to have universal jurisdiction with enforcement powers on a supra-governmental level:
The Court must (1) be chartered as independent from the influence of any particular government and thus truly international, (2) hold official recognition as representing the Judiciary profession, such as being an official body of an inter-governmental organization “IGO” institution chartered as an autonomous Court of Law, and (3) operate in accordance with all details of the relevant body of conventional international law from which it derives automatic statutory authority.
Ignita Veritas United (IVU), from 2012 to 2016, applied the resources of its Law Faculty and Law Centre of its namesake University, supporting a multinational association of accredited international Judges with an international law firm, to develop the first real human rights Court in history to meet those statutory criteria for supra-governmental universal jurisdiction with enforcement powers. This was established as an autonomous official body of an inter-governmental organization (IGO) operated by the independent Judiciary profession.
IVU continues developing the infrastructure and expanding the capabilities of the Sovereign Court (SCIJ) and its companion Arbitration Court (ACIJ), as a priority non-profit humanitarian project. IVU hopes to open the Human Rights division of the Court to process claims from the general public as soon as possible, subject only to a sufficient endowment level of non-profit funding.
All countries, organizations and citizens, who value the Rule of Law and human rights, are encouraged to make fully tax deductible non-profit donations to this extremely important humanitarian project of global significance.