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New legal database for protecting community lands and resources

Dear Advocates and Allies,

As global demand for land and resources rises, dispossession of community land is increasing. Lawyers and front line legal advocates are stepping forward to defend communities’ rights, yet often struggle to find supportive legal precedent.

To address this need, Namati has created the Community Land Rights CaseBase: the first free, online, searchable database of case law from around the world relevant to community land and natural resource rights.

Visit CaseBase

In nations where community land rights remain weak, enterprising lawyers may look to foreign, regional and international courts for legal precedent to build successful arguments and strengthen their country's legal framework for community land rights. Yet accessing relevant case law can be difficult, especially when records are not digitized or available online. Too often advocates work in isolation, unaware of successful arguments or strategies from other nations that they could leverage.

CaseBase is one of many resources designed for the Global Legal Empowerment Network. As a community, we share and develop ways to advance justice. To connect with allies and access other helpful tools, join our network now.

CaseBase helps communities and their advocates to craft successful legal strategies for the protection of community, customary and indigenous lands and natural resources. It provides concise case summaries and full-text court decisions from national, regional and international courts, organized for easy use. Some highlights from the database include:

While our team will be constantly seeking and uploading new case law, the growth of CaseBase depends on participation by lawyers and advocates around the world. Please join us in using the database, adding comments and updates, submitting cases, and helping to spread the word.

Court battles to protect community land are hard-fought and hard-won.  The decisions that emerge have power, but we can’t harness that power unless we know about them. Working in solidarity, we can keep good cases from idling in law books.  We can place them in the people’s hands.

With hope,
Rachael, Melissa, Marena, Vivek and the entire Namati team

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