The International Justice Project (IJP) is an independent, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization based in Newark, New Jersey. Since its founding, the IJP has worked tirelessly to advance its mission of promoting human rights through the rule of law and providing holistic support to victims of the world’s most heinous crimes–genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. To do so, we engage in four key areas of work:
1. Casework: The co-founders of the IJP are members of the List of Counsel and admitted to practice law at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands. They represent victims participating in the case against Sudanese President Bashir and the Darfur Situation. The IJP does not engage in the practice of law, but instead, we support the victims in this process and assist individuals seeking to submit applications for participation in the ICC proceedings.
2. Advocacy: We advocate for the end of impunity and the advancement of victims’ rights at the ICC and other international tribunals. In particular, we galvanize and work with activists, lawyers, NGOs, educational institutions, and other organizations committed to justice, peacemaking, and reconciliation to find ways to promote victims’ rights and the cause of justice.
3. Training: We train and educate lawyers, intermediaries, advocates, activists, and other interested parties on human rights and international criminal law around the world.
4. Programs: Through our health and rehabilitation programs, we help rebuild the lives of victims of physical, emotional, and psychological harm, which ensued as a result of international crimes and human rights violations.
What Makes Us Unique
The IJP adopts a holistic approach to healing for the victims of mass atrocities that incorporates justice, advocacy, education, and health. Working at both the grassroots level with victims and civil society members and at the policy level with key decision makers, we aim to have long-lasting, sustainable effects. We work with a range of partners and different sectors, including government, international organizations, nongovernmental organizations, academic institutions, lawyers, psychologists, health professionals, activists, students, and the private sector.
The IJP was founded in 2004 by Raymond M. Brown, Esq. and Wanda M. Akin, Esq., two human rights lawyers and experts in international criminal law. Mr. Brown and Ms. Akin are also two of only 50 American attorneys who are members of the List of Counsel and who are admitted to practice at the ICC in The Hague, Netherlands.
In June 2006, Mr. Brown and Ms. Akin (who are also husband and wife) traveled to The Hague to file the first applications for participation on behalf of victims of the violence in Darfur, Sudan. Having consulted for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and practiced before the Special Court for Sierra Leone, Mr. Brown and Ms. Akin decided to focus their attention on providing the victims of the Darfur crisis with a voice at the ICC.
The United Nations Security Council referred the Darfur situation to the ICC in 2005 via United Nations Resolution 1593. The Rome Statute, which established the ICC, grants victims the right to participate in court proceedings from the investigation phase through the appeal phase. First, however, victims must file formal applications for participation with the ICC, and these applications must be approved by a Pre-Trial Chamber of Judges.
To date, Mr. Brown, and Ms. Akin have identified and compiled data from hundreds of potential victims of the Darfur Diaspora in Sudan, Chad and the United States, including Indiana, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and New York. It is our hope that one day, each of the victims from the Darfur crisis will see justice.
Mr. Brown and Ms. Akin are accepting additional pre-applications for Darfurian victims. Victims include any person against whom an offence may have been committed. An offence includes economic loss and physical, emotional, and mental harm. The harm or loss must have occurred in Sudan after July 1, 2002. Darfurians in the Diaspora need not have been in Sudan if a close family member suffered harm or loss. Additionally, Darfurians may apply on behalf of victims who currently reside in Sudan.