/ April 26, 2007

The Court of Public Video


Social litigation rarely happens in a vacuum – it occurs in the legal and social context of its times. Increasingly human rights litigators are taking their cases and causes not just to trial courts, but also to courts of public opinion on sites such as YouTube, in an effort to shape the social context along with the legal arguments. A case in point of this new media landscape is Adel Hamad, a 48-year-old Sudanese elementary-school teacher imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay for five years without any charges being filed against him. Recognizing that they may not get a court hearing, his lawyers created a movie about him and posted it on YouTube to bring his cause to light. You can read more about the phenomenon in this article on Slate , or watch the film Guantanamo Unclassified via this link to YouTube. This concept has not gone unnoticed in the academic world: Harvard Law School is now teaching creative problem solving as part of its first-year curriculum.

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