Initiative led by ex-UN lawyer Julia Salasky brings crowdfunding to courts
Did you ever feel that something your local authority did was unfair to someone? Did you have the will to fight a big corporation, but was afraid of the costs involved (and that no one would back you up)? Now there’s a way to challenge this, at least in the United Kingdom: crowdjustice.
The project is an idea by Julia Salasky, an ex-United Nations lawyer. She has identified that many communities have to cope with inefficiencies and even unjust and unfair treatment to citizens (or, at least, a small group of them) because no one has the courage to sue the government or a big enterprise, mainly because the individual or group that decided to take action would have to bear the costs on his/her own.
Now people can point something that needs correction, in the form of a lawsuit, and post it to this website to gather funds to fight for such causes. Other people who identify with the problem can fund the project and the litigation has now grounds to start.
This public interest project is starting right now and they have, so far, just one featured project: the case of Gilberto Torres, a Colombian engineer who claims BP Oil has ruined his life when he stood up against it on a case of environmental and human rights abuse. He’s now asking for 5,000 pounds to fight in this case.
While the project is certainly useful, it has been controversial as well. After all, there is now an incentive for individuals to blame governments and companies in lawsuits, while making a big noise about it. However, that’s commonplace in petition websites, internet forums and even in some mainstream media channels. It may even be a positive thing for defendants as well, since companies and governments cited will also know, in advance, that some lawsuit is brewing and have a way to measure public perception based on the number of backers and the amount of money being raised (thus being able to prepare for a legal case while working on a countermeasure PR campaign in the public view).