The Center for Rights and Justice (CRJ) consists of more than 25 Cardozo initiatives, all working to achieve justice through scholarly research, public policy reform and client advocacy. For more than 35 years, Cardozo School of Law has championed progressive programs designed to expand paths to justice. The Center for Rights and Justice is a home for the diverse approaches Cardozo takes to achieving justice.
The CRJ recognizes that rights and justice are expansive concepts that mean many different things to many different people. At the CRJ, we focus on the themes of fairness, equality, accountability and transparency. It is the CRJ’s mission to bring to light through education and action these important elements of rights and justice.
The CRJ includes programs such as The Innocence Project, founded at Cardozo Law more than 20 years ago and renowned nationally for transforming the criminal justice system; student engagement such as Public Law Advocacy Week; and faculty work in such areas as consumer, immigrants' and civil rights. The Center for Rights and Justice bring together the law school's many commitments to what Benjamin Cardozo called “the welfare of society."
DIMENSIONS of JUSTICE
The struggle for equality is central to the pursuit of social justice. Like fairness, the norm of equality holds that the law should not be biased. But equality has a more particular meaning in our legal tradition, because it speaks to specific manifestations of bias that compromise the legitimacy of our shared institutions -- denial of equal treatment based on race, sex and other socially salient personal characteristics. Equality also goes beyond formal equal treatment and non-discrimination. It includes the substantive public policies that enable people belonging to historically subordinated groups to live as true equals in our society.
Access is a critical dimension of any justice system. If everday people cannot access their rights, either because the legal system is opaque or because legal assistance is unavailable or too expensive, then a justice system cannot function.
Justice is often served through information. Information can enable us to improve our justice system as well as ensure accountability. Information can reduce unfairness and inequality and can increase access. Transparency of a justice system, then, is central to its workings.
Center for Rights and Justice, Related Programs
- The Bet Tzedek Legal Services Clinic
- The Cardozo Law Institute for Holocaust and Human Rights
- Clinics & Field Clinics
- Floersheimer Center for Constitutional Democracy
- Holocaust Claims Restitution Practicum
- The Innocence Project
- Public Service Law Advocacy Week
- The Public Service Law Center
- Student Advocacy Groups
- Kathryn O. Greenberg Immigration Justice Clinic