A Litigation Strategy on the Digital Welfare State

Screen shot of the cover of the Report
Published by:
Research Bodies (Universities, NGOs, Think Thanks)
Date of publication:
Background Material


Since early 2019, the Digital Freedom Fund (DFF) has been discussing with litigators, activists and technologists how the digital welfare state impacts human rights. The current document is the outcome of this process.

This joint litigation strategy of DFF and its stakeholders lays out a vision of strategic litigation on the digital welfare state. The vision consists of general principles that can help stakeholders build cases by identifying potential human rights violations. The principles also help them think strategically about whether cases have the potential to contribute to the desired change: advancing the equality and human dignity of those in need of social protection, while at the same time protecting the digital rights of all.

This strategy also lays out more concrete – short term – litigation objectives around five thematic focus areas: entitlement, human centered technology, equality, data and privacy protection, and redress. Like the vision, these objectives and goals are based on shared priorities of stakeholders in this context. They are therefore not exhaustive. The purpose of this litigation strategy is to inspire deeper conversations on how strategic litigation could be used as part of a broader strategy to address the harms of the digital welfare state.