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4 Core Principles Every Human Rights Lawyer Stands By

4 Core Principles Every Human Rights Lawyer Stands By

As we delve into the principles that guide human rights lawyers, we've gathered four insightful perspectives from attorneys and disability lawyers. From promoting equal protection to advocating for non-discrimination, discover the principles these legal professionals stand by in their pursuit of justice.

  • Promoting Equal Protection

  • Standing by Unpopular Opinions

  • Upholding the Inviolability of Dignity Principle

  • Advocating for Non-Discrimination

Promoting Equal Protection

Equal protection is one of the most important legal doctrines in Western law. This principle, often associated with the concept of equality before the law, asserts that all individuals, regardless of their background, identity, or characteristics, should be treated equally by the legal system. It means that no one should receive preferential treatment or discrimination based on factors such as race, gender, religion, nationality, socioeconomic status, or any other protected characteristic.

Equal protection under the law is crucial for protecting vulnerable and marginalized groups who are often disproportionately impacted by discrimination and systemic injustices. This principle supports the notion that all individuals should have equal access to justice, regardless of their background. Human rights lawyers work to remove barriers that hinder marginalized individuals from seeking legal remedies.

Equal protection ensures that legal proceedings are conducted fairly and without bias. Lawyers committed to human rights uphold this principle to prevent unjust outcomes. Upholding equal protection under the law strengthens the rule of law by promoting accountability, transparency, and consistent application of legal principles.

By advocating for equal protection, human rights lawyers contribute to broader social change and the dismantling of systemic discrimination.

Standing by Unpopular Opinions

One principle that I abide by is to never let my livelihood affect my opinions on human rights issues. Sharing a progressive opinion while practicing law in rural, conservative Alabama can be dangerous. However, when I have an unpopular opinion, such as on police brutality or Palestine, I'm not afraid to share it and back up my beliefs.

Upholding the Inviolability of Dignity Principle

A cardinal principle I staunchly uphold as a human rights lawyer is the "Inviolability of Dignity." Every individual, regardless of their background, circumstance, or actions, inherently deserves respect for their human dignity. Whether I'm representing a client or confronting an adversary, I ensure their dignity remains uncompromised. Recognizing and preserving this essential human attribute forms the bedrock of genuine justice and is central to advancing human rights universally.

Advocating for Non-Discrimination

As a lawyer who believes in human rights, one principle I stand by is non-discrimination. Non-discrimination is a fundamental principle that ensures all individuals are treated equally and protected from any form of discrimination. It encompasses the idea that no person should be subjected to unfair treatment or prejudice based on their race, color, sex, language, religion, or any other protected characteristic.

Upholding non-discrimination is crucial in promoting justice, equality, and respect for the inherent dignity of every individual. By advocating for non-discrimination, I strive to create a society where everyone's rights and freedoms are respected and protected.

Lee Odierno, Personal Injury Lawyer, The Odierno Law Firm, P.C.