Practice Areas

 

PILPG assists clients in addressing legal challenges arising during times of conflict.  To promote peace and sustainable political development, PILPG provides pro bono legal services in six primary practice areas:

Peace Negotiations

Post-Conflict Constitution Drafting 

War Crimes Prosecution 

Policy Planning 

Water Diplomacy

Democracy and Governance

 

Peace Negotiations

PILPG provides pro bono legal assistance and political counsel to parties and mediators involved in peace negotiations.  PILPG works closely with clients to clarify and prioritize goals, develop negotiation strategies, and create effective mechanisms for implementing peace agreements.  PILPG members customarily participate as advisors during negotiations, and PILPG frequently opens in-country program offices to support its peace negotiations work.  To date, PILPG has advised participants in over two dozen international peace negotiations.

  • Armenia:  PILPG served as legal counsel to the Armenian delegation during the Key West peace negotiations.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina:  PILPG served as legal counsel to the Bosnian government during the Dayton peace negotiations and advised the Bosnian government in connection with the Brčko arbitration.  PILPG also provided legal assistance to the Bosnian government during the Brussels negotiations on state succession and served as legal adviser during the 2005-2006 negotiations on the Dayton Constitution.
  • Darfur:  PILPG serves as legal counsel to the Darfuri delegation to the Doha peace talks with the Government of Sudan.  PILPG also facilitated a global Darfur Diaspora Consensus Program to assist Darfuri civil society and advisors in preparing for peace negotiations and prepared the Darfur Peace Agreement Drafting Guide, a comprehensive document analyzing the impediments to a peaceful resolution of the Darfur conflict.
  • Georgia:  PILPG assisted the Republic of Georgia in negotiations with the Russian government concerning the Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.  PILPG established a program office in Tbilisi to support its work in Georgia.
  • Kosovo:  PILPG served as legal counsel to the Kosovar delegation during the Rambouillet negotiations.  PILPG also advised the Kosovar government during the Vienna final status negotiations and assisted in the drafting of the 2007 constitution.  PILPG established a program office in Prishtina to assist with preparations for final status negotiations.
  • Libya:  PILPG provides legal and policy planning assistance to the Libyan Transitional National Council to promote the achievement of sustainable peace in Libya, including the establishment of transitional justice mechanisms and a post-conflict transition plan.  PILPG also provides assistance on the development of a post-conflict constitutional framework for Libya.
  • Macedonia:  PILPG served as legal counsel to the Macedonian-Albanian delegation during the Skopje/Lake Ohrid peace negotiations.
  • Montenegro:  PILPG served as legal counsel to the Montenegrin government during the negotiation of the Union Treaty with Serbia.
  • Nagorno-Karabakh:  PILPG advised the government of Nagorno-Karabakh on negotiations during the Minsk peace process.
  • Northern Cyprus:  PILPG served as legal counsel to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus during the peace process concerning the unification of Cyprus.
  • Philippines/Mindanao:  Working in collaboration with the U.S. Institute of Peace, PILPG provided legal assistance to the mediators of the Philippines-Mindanao peace process.
  • Somalia:  PILPG served as legal counsel to the civil society delegation to the Somalia peace talks held in Eldoret, Kenya.
  • Republic of South Sudan:  PILPG advises the Republic of South Sudan on legal issues related to implementation of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).  PILPG also served as legal counsel for the Southern People’s Liberation Movement in the arbitration against the Government of Sudan over the disputed Abeyi region.  PILPG established a program office in Juba to support its work in South Sudan.
  • Sri Lanka:  PILPG assisted the Sri Lankan government during the Geneva peace negotiations, including advising on mechanisms for devolving power to provincial governments.  PILPG established a program office in Colombo to support its work in Sri Lanka.

Peace Negotiations Toolkit

PILPG has developed a Peace Negotiations Toolkit to help parties, mediators, and practitioners better prepare to negotiate and implement peace agreements.  The toolkit includes negotiation simulations, a Peace Agreement Drafter’s Handbook, Quick Guides, a primer on earned sovereignty, and Peace Negotiations Watch.

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Post-Conflict Constitution Drafting

PILPG provides pro bono legal assistance and political counsel to parties involved in drafting and implementing post-conflict constitutions.  PILPG works closely with clients to translate political agreements into effective constitutional provisions.  PILPG frequently opens offices in-country to support its post-conflict constitution work.  To date, PILPG has assisted over a dozen states and governments in drafting and implementing post-conflict constitutions.

  • Afghanistan:  PILPG provided legal assistance to the government of Afghanistan in the drafting and implementation of the 2004 constitution.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina:  PILPG provided legal assistance to the Bosnian government during the Brussels negotiations on state succession and served as legal adviser during the 2005-2006 Bosnian constitutional negotiations.
  • Burma:  PILPG advised the National Council for the Union of Burma on the development of a new constitution to govern Burma after the transition from the current military regime.
  • Iraq:  PILPG served as legal counsel to the Iraqi Constitutional Commission during the drafting of the 2005 constitution and provided legal assistance to the Iraqi government with the 2007 Constitutional Review Process.  PILPG established a program office in Baghdad to facilitate its work in Iraq.
  • Kosovo:  PILPG assisted in the drafting of the 2007 Kosovo Constitution.
  • Liberia:  PILPG has provided legal assistance to the government of Liberia on issues of constitutional reform.
  • Libya:  PILPG provides legal and policy planning assistance to the Libyan Transitional National Council to promote the achievement of sustainable peace in Libya, including the establishment of transitional justice mechanisms and a post-conflict transition plan.  PILPG also provides assistance on the development of a post-conflict constitutional framework for Libya.
  • Montenegro:  PILPG provided legal assistance to the Montenegrin government in preparing for the 2006 referendum on independence and drafting the 2007 Montenegro Constitution.
  • Nagorno-Karabakh:  PILPG provided a comprehensive constitutional review for the 2007 Nagorno-Karabakh Constitution.
  • Nepal:  PILPG is advising the Nepalese Constituent Assembly as it prepares a post-conflict constitution.  PILPG established a program office in Kathmandu to support its work in Nepal.
  • Somaliland:   PILPG has assisted the Somaliland government in pursuing constitutional reform and drafting legislation.  PILPG established a program office in Hargeisa to support its work in Somaliland.
  • Tunisia: PILPG provides legal assistance to Tunisian political party and civil society leaders in issues related to constitution drafting and transitional justice.
  • Yemen:  PILPG assists pro-democracy and civil society leaders in Yemen on issues related to its democratic transition and constitution drafting processes.
  • Zimbabwe:  Following the 2008 post-election violence, PILPG provided assistance to the Movement for Democratic Change in implementing the Global Political Agreement in Zimbabwe.

Post-Conflict Constitution Toolkit

PILPG has developed a Post-Conflict Constitution Toolkit to help parties, mediators, and practitioners better prepare for drafting and implementing post-conflict constitutions.  The toolkit includes negotiation simulations, a Post-Conflict Constitution Drafter’s Handbook, and Quick Guides.

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War Crimes Prosecution

PILPG provides pro bono legal assistance to international and domestic tribunals engaged in the prosecution of war crimes.  PILPG advises these tribunals on the entire spectrum of issues pertaining to war crimes prosecution.  PILPG frequently establishes project offices in-country to support its work on war crimes prosecution.

  • Côte d’Ivoire: PILPG provided legal assistance to the Government of Côte d’Ivoire in relation to the investigation and prosecution of atrocity crimes committed during the 2010-2011 post-election crisis.
  • International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia:  PILPG has provided legal assistance to the Office of the Prosecutor for the Yugoslav Tribunal in The Hague.
  • International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda:  PILPG provides legal assistance to the Office of the Prosecutor for the Rwanda Tribunal in Arusha.
  • Special Court for Sierra Leone:  PILPG provides legal assistance to the Office of the Prosecutor for the Special Court for Sierra Leone.
  • Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia:  PILPG provides legal assistance to the Office of the Prosecutor for the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia.
  • Iraqi High Tribunal:  PILPG has provided legal assistance and judicial training to the Iraqi High Tribunal.
  • International Criminal Court:  PILPG provides research assistance to the International Criminal Court.
  • Kenya Piracy Court:  PILPG provides research assistance to the UN-supported Kenya Piracy Court.
  • Uganda:  PILPG provides legal assistance to the Ugandan Government in connection with the development of a special war crimes chamber.
  • Special Tribunal for Lebanon:  PILPG provides legal assistance to the Office of the Prosecutor for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

War Crimes Prosecution Toolkit

PILPG has developed a War Crimes Prosecution Toolkit to help states and tribunals better prepare for the prosecution of war criminals and to promote academic discourse regarding war crimes.  The toolkit includes the War Crimes Research Portal, the Grotian Moment blog, the War Crimes Tribunal Drafter’s Handbook, and an annual conference on war-crimes-related issues.

Fourteenth Session of the Assembly of States Parties – ICC

PILPG has a twenty member delegation at the Assembly of States Parties in The Hague. Click here to read daily updates on the ASP sessions and side events.

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Policy Planning

PILPG provides pro bono policy planning assistance to states and governments to help them develop and implement foreign and domestic policy initiatives, design state institutions, engage in strategic planning, and coordinate multistate partnerships.  PILPG uses consulting and pro bono services of over 200 former U.S. and foreign diplomats and legal advisers.  To date, PILPG has provided policy planning assistance to over two dozen transitioning states and governments.

  • Darfur: PILPG trained over 300 Darfuri civil society members in five state capitals to prepare for participation in the Doha talks.
  • Kosovo: PILPG assisted the government of Kosovo to create a formal plan to develop and conduct diplomatic relations, and helped the government to establish diplomatic representation.
  • Libya:  PILPG provides policy planning assistance to the Libyan Transitional National Council to promote the achievement of sustainable peace in Libya.
  • Montenegro: PILPG trained Montenegro’s diplomatic staff in New York, Brussels, London, and Rome on embassy operations and diplomacy.
  • South Sudan: Prior to secession, PILPG advised South Sudan on the Vienna Conventions, establishing diplomatic relations, and participating in international organizations.

Ceasefire Project

PILPG provides policy planning assistance to support clients engaged in negotiating ceasefire agreements. Through negotiation simulations and other activities, PILPG assists clients in developing goals and strategies to pursue a cessation of hostilities and sustained peace.  PILPG’s ceasefire project seeks to broaden the intellectual and practical discourse on ceasefire negotiations and their role within peace processes.

Piracy Working Group

The Piracy Working Group is comprised of two-dozen leading experts from academia, government, and PILPG’s law firm affiliates.  Its mandate is to provide legal and policy advice to domestic, regional, and international counter-piracy mechanisms, with the goal of helping to create effective responses to the growing piracy threat.

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Water Diplomacy

PILPG provides pro bono legal assistance to states, government officials, and key stakeholders involved in water-based conflicts.  PILPG’s approach promotes peaceful resolution of water disputes in accordance with international law.

  • Nepal:  PILPG assisted the Government of Nepal in developing a system for water and natural resource governance.
  • Somaliland:  PILPG assisted the Government of Somaliland in developing and enacting a comprehensive water act.
  • South Sudan:  PILPG assisted the Republic of South Sudan in developing a strategy for water management in the Nile River Basin.
  • Anuak of Ethiopia:  PILPG assisted the Anuak in negotiations with the Government of Ethiopia over their right to water.

To promote the peaceful resolution of water disputes, PILPG also has developed a series of negotiation simulations, and convened a number of policy planning roundtables.

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Democracy and Governance

PILPG provides pro bono policy analysis and legal assistance to states and sub-state entities on matters aimed at strengthening the rule of law and promoting effective governance.  PILPG has advised numerous states and governments on a wide range of issues, including issues relating to formation of effective and accountable governance mechanisms, enactment of fair and legitimate laws, enhanced civil society involvement in public policy making, protection of human and minority rights, security, and environmental protection and shared natural resources.

  • Afghanistan:  PILPG advised the Government of Afghanistan on legal issues regarding implementation and compliance with the Convention to Eliminate Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
  • Czech Republic:  PILPG has assisted a variety of Czech NGOs in their efforts to improve civic participation in industrial decisions that impact the environment.
  • Dutch Antilles:  PILPG assisted the government of the Dutch Antilles with legal issues pertaining to dissolution of their state structure.
  • East Timor:  PILPG advised the Government of East Timor on issues relating to the law of the sea in their negotiations with Australia over the oil and gas resources in the Timor Gap.
  • Estonia:  PILPG provided legal assistance to the Estonian government in negotiations with Russia concerning delineation and demarcation of the Russian-Estonian border.  PILPG also provided legal advice to Estonia on international standards relating to nationality, citizenship, and the protection of national minority rights for Russians and others living in Estonia.
  • Kenya:  PILPG provides legal assistance to the Government of Kenya in their efforts to promote effective governance and national reconciliation.  PILPG’s Nairobi program office supports its work in Kenya.
  • Macedonia:  PILPG advised the President of Macedonia on options available in the UN to overcome the impasse with Greece over use of the name Republic of Macedonia.  At the request of the president, PILPG also examined potential grounds for filing a case before the International Court of Justice.
  • Nagorno-Karabakh:  PILPG has monitored four presidential and parliamentary elections in Nagorno-Karabakh.
  • Poland:  PILPG assisted the Government of Poland in drafting a new and comprehensive Law on the Environment.
  • San Bushmen of Botswana:  PILPG assisted the San Bushman of Botswana in contesting their displacement from their ancestral domain within the Central Kalahari Game Reserve.  As part of this representation, PILPG also assisted the San Bushman in filing a related complaint with the International Finance Corporation.
  • Small Island States Coalition:  PILPG advised a number of Small Island States in connection with a potential global warming case before the International Court of Justice.
  • Somaliland:  PILPG has advised the Somaliland government on legal issues pertaining to constitutional reform and a variety of legislative enactments.  PILPG established a program office in Hargeisa to support its work in Somaliland.
  • South Africa:  PILPG has advised the Parliament of South Africa on a variety of international legal issues, including questions relating to due process, human rights protections, and narcotics trafficking.
  • Tanzania:  PILPG assists Tanzanian government officials and the Commission on Human Rights and Good Governance in implementing and strengthening national human rights laws.  PILPG’s Dar es Salaam program office supports its work in Tanzania.
  • Zimbabwe:  PILPG assisted the Movement for Democratic Change with implementation of the Global Political Agreement between Zimbabwe’s leading political parties.

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