This information has been developed to help organisers form an effective Legal Support Team for a large action.
It is a general overview of places to begin discussion and work. Read Legal Support Team roles for a look at the details and logistics of a legal support team.
It is worth using the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) as the basis of the Legal Support Team’s mandate.
Questions to consider
- How will the legal team make decisions?
- How will the legal team be accountable to the larger group?
- What are the goals of the legal team? What assumptions are implicit that need to be made explicit?
- Who are you committing to provide legal support for? (e.g. anyone arrested in conjunction with the action, only those participating in legal solidarity, only those whose tactics or charges fall inside the “action guidelines”, etc.)
- What are likely police tactics (e.g. police picking people up in small groups after the action, rather than in mass during the action)? What are possible strategies to deal with these tactics?
- Are there proactive legal or political steps you can take to thwart police or government harassment and repression? (e.g. intervention orders, putting the police on notice, media blitz, human rights observers etc.)