Donate
Areas Of Practice

Good Governance

The Good Governance Program pursues openness and honesty in government, supporting civil society and independent journalism to hold officials and institutions accountable.

We advise many investigative journalism organizations around the world on issues of avoiding and defending against defamation claims, establishing joint investigations through data sharing and co-publication, employing journalists and editors in and from other countries, setting codes of conduct to promote safety, equal opportunity, and safety, and the like.  Our clients include the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, the A Culture of Safety Alliance, the Arab Journal of Interventional Radiology, and bellingcat.com.

We collaborate with organizations promoting openness, transparency, and accountability, including Transparency International and many of its national chapters.  We have helped to develop a model legal definition of grand corruption as part of an effort to criminalize grand corruption nationally and internationally.  At the same time, we help clients ensure protection of digital rights, through advocacy and compliance with new legislation like the General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union.

The program also supports women’s reproductive health rights on behalf of organizations working globally.  We have advised on national legislation and enforcement in Latin American, African, and European countries, and provided international and local counsel to advise on specific issues and problems in Brazil, South Africa, and Nicaragua, among others.

The program also has supported the research and advocacy of United Nations Human Rights Council bodies, related to accommodation of indigenous rights in natural resource extraction, solitary confinement practices, and the use of mercenaries by U.N. member states.

We’ve called on the Vance Center as a trusted counsellor many times over the last year, often at the last minute, and it always provided the help we sought, including law firms in Europe and the United States to protect and defend us and our partners from legal troubles and expense.

Drew Sullivan , Co-Executive Director, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project

The Vance Center managed to organize research on complex, sensitive issues by qualified lawyers in a wide variety of jurisdictions, which it presented cogently and pragmatically.  It also has taken the initiative to recommend measures to strengthen our operations, which we greatly appreciate.

Chris Purdy, President and CEO, DKT International

New Projects

Solitary Confinement

The Vance Center and the Weil law firm have begun surveying the regulations and practices governing solitary confinement in 27 jurisdictions in 22 countries around the world....

Read more
Close

Solitary Confinement

The Vance Center and the Weil law firm have begun surveying the regulations and practices governing solitary confinement in 27 jurisdictions in 22 countries around the world.  In 2016, Professor Juan Mendez, then the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, issued the report “Seeing into Solitary” based on the Vance Center’s and Weil’s survey of 35 jurisdictions in 26 countries.  Professor Mendez, now on behalf of the Anti-Torture Initiative of the Washington College of Law at American University, has requested a survey of additional jurisdictions.  He issued a landmark report in 2011 finding that, except in limited circumstances, solitary confinement constitutes torture under international law.  The survey seeks to determine how UN member states have addressed this finding in their use of solitary confinement.

New Projects

Solitary Confinement

The Vance Center and the Weil law firm have begun surveying the regulations and practices governing solitary confinement in 27 jurisdictions in 22 countries around the world....

Read more
Close

Solitary Confinement

The Vance Center and the Weil law firm have begun surveying the regulations and practices governing solitary confinement in 27 jurisdictions in 22 countries around the world.  In 2016, Professor Juan Mendez, then the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, issued the report “Seeing into Solitary” based on the Vance Center’s and Weil’s survey of 35 jurisdictions in 26 countries.  Professor Mendez, now on behalf of the Anti-Torture Initiative of the Washington College of Law at American University, has requested a survey of additional jurisdictions.  He issued a landmark report in 2011 finding that, except in limited circumstances, solitary confinement constitutes torture under international law.  The survey seeks to determine how UN member states have addressed this finding in their use of solitary confinement.

Ngos We Work With

ACOS Alliance
Pure Earth
Corruption Watch UK