This Note explores the strategies of transnational cause lawyers working
within national courts. It begins by documenting the emerging use of
international norms and arguments for the purpose of mobilizing local
communities and affecting domestic laws. The use of transnational law
today broadens the legal imagination of lawyers beyond their national
borders, constraints, and traditional audiences. Redefining the boundaries
of a legal victory, transnational law provides lawyers with tools to
continue bringing legal challenges while avoiding the dilemmas of
legitimating oppressive legal structures.
This Note presents a case study of transnational lawyering, in the context
of challenging ongoing military operations through the invocation of
international humanitarian law. In 2002, lawyers from Adalah - The
Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel -filed an unprecedented
series of petitions before the Supreme Court of Israel during an unfolding
military operation in the West Bank. They did this despite knowing that
the Supreme Court would not intervene in the military's operational
activities. The article chronicles the choices made by the Adalah lawyers
who sought to use the petitions as a vehicle to create a legal and historical
record of the events. Bypassing domestic law, the petitions were anchored
in international humanitarian law principles. They spurred official state,
military, and judicial responses to the allegations while the hostilities
were still ongoing, a crucial record amidst an enforced media blackout.
The case illustrates how transnational lawyering succeeded in mobilizing
international bodies through domestic courts.
"Transnational Lawyering and Legal Resistance in National Courts: Palestinian Cases Before the Israeli Supreme Court,"
Yale Human Rights and Development Journal:
1, Article 4.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yhrdlj/vol13/iss1/4