A Little About Us ...

"Defending the Innocent, 
Around the World, Together." 

We are a not-for-profit whose charitable efforts are worldwide.  Our Global Headquarters are located in Chicago, Illinois, at 161 N. Clark St., Suite 1700.  We are located in the heart of Downtown Chicago's Legal District, situated one block from the Illinois Supreme Court Building, across the Street from the James R. Thompson State of Illinois Center [Soon to be the Chicago home of GOOGLE] , and down the block from the Daley Center Plaza (Cook County 1st Judicial Circuit Courthouse), as well as the Administrative offices of the City of Chicago and Cook County governments.

Mission Statement


The International Innocence Initiative works to prevent wrongful convictions, free the innocent, and create fair, compassionate, and equitable systems of justice for everyone - wherever they find themselves accused on the planet. 


About/Vision Statement


The International Innocence initiative is the manifestation of the vision of several well-known international lawyers who became fed up with witnessing injustices time and time again all over the world.  More often than one can imagine, innocent people find themselves accused in foreign jurisdictions (such as other states or foreign countries) without the means or resources to obtain qualified legal counsel to defend against the false accusations.  These lead to prolonged detentions based, oftentimes, on the political interests of those in power, and at the expense of due process rights and human rights.  The International Innocence Initiative was created to fill that void so wherever in the world someone is detained wrongfully – the innocence initiative stands in the gap to protect their rights.


The International Innocence Initiative is a not-for-profit organization established by a team of dedicated and experienced legal practitioners.  Lawyers working under the International Innocence Initiative have worked for the better protection of fair trial rights and defended the rights of people facing criminal charges in a country other than their own for many years. Our vision is a world where every person’s right to a fair trial is respected, whatever their nationality, wherever they are accused.


The International Innocence Initiative was established to help people arrested outside their own country to defend their right to a fair trial. Every year we aim to assist multiple persons and their families to navigate a foreign legal system by offering practical advice, including contacts of local lawyers; guidance on key issues encountered by people arrested abroad; basic information on different legal systems and local sources of support; and legal representation globally as needed. As a not-for-profit charity, we do not charge for any of the assistance that we provide.


We believe that respect for fundamental rights and the rule of law are the hallmarks of a just society and that the right to a fair trial is at the heart of this. Sadly, too many shocking cases of injustice demonstrate how, time and again, this most basic human right is being abused. We fight against injustice by ensuring that the right to a fair trial is respected in practice. Working with our clients and international networks, we also campaign for strengthening of due process rights in criminal justice laws so that they are robustly enforced rather than being abused and/or diluted.


Therefore, the International Innocence Initiative has committed its mission to identify critical issues of underprivileged persons and those simply without the means to finance costly litigation, and navigate the complexities of a foreign legal system, when facing the criminal justice system and potential injustice in a foreign jurisdiction. The International Innocence Initiative also strives to ensure the criminal justice system is as accessible, efficient and effective as possible. International Innocence Initiative staff are guided by the following values as they work to fulfill this mission.

What Can We Offer Together ...

1.Retention and Representation by qualified counsel at no cost or reduced cost for persons of insufficient/limited means to find/retain counsel on their own.

2.Educational materials & outreach as to the rights people have and issues of foreign laws applicable to visitors.

3. Training and outreach to prepare legal practitioners to deal with multijurisdictional representation of clients.

4. Any other relevant service that promotes the above mission and is compliant with the charitable nature of the project.

... As Services for Those In Need.


We believe in personal and professional integrity. We take pride in Our mission and in maintaining and building on the Initiative’s reputation for producing high-quality work that is accurate, honest, fair, timely, and ethical. To that end, we conduct our activities and ourselves in a manner that earns the public’s trust and inspires confidence in our work. We seek to encourage public feedback on our activities and public participation in planning activities and meetings.


We believe in an environment that supports and encourages a diverse workplace. We are committed to creating a comfortable and effective work environment; building rapport between people who are culturally, racially, and by gender different; utilizing the diverse ideas and experiences of all people in the workplace; supporting the right of every individual to be treated with fairness, consideration, and respect; and enhancing our organizational culture by continuously improving human resource practices so that all staff feel welcome, their differences are valued, and they are supported in their work.

Public service

We recognize that as a public charity, we serve the public. We understand that our purpose is to serve the best interests of the public. To maximize the use of donated funds in support of our mission, we strive to operate in a cost-effective and efficient manner, and support programs that operate in such a manner. We acknowledge our responsibility to disseminate information to maintain transparency of our work and use of donated funds.


We value teamwork and collaboration. We seek an atmosphere where individual talents and organizational expertise are combined to achieve successful outcomes. Internally, we foster shared participation, responsibility, and recognition among staff at all levels and across functional units. Externally, we facilitate constructive relationships among policymakers, criminal justice agencies, and stakeholders throughout the criminal justice system.


We are committed to cooperation and teamwork and keep the value of those with whom we associate, inside and outside of Initiative, at the forefront as we pursue our mission. We strive to treat others with consideration, common courtesy, and dignity.

Professional Development

We believe the most important asset of the International Innocence Initiative is the spirit of volunteerism and professionalism that drive the hard work of our staff, and we believe in giving each staff member and volunteer a chance to realize his or her fullest potential. We are committed to enhancing and expanding the skills, knowledge, and expertise of our staff. Therefore, we work to meet training needs and promote individual as well as collective career enhancement.


We believe all our work must be of high quality. That is, it should be useful, informative, timely, complete, accurate, cost effective, objective, free from bias, accessible, and reflective of the best professional practice. We also believe that the work of any one staff person reflects upon the work of the entire Initiative.   We expect all staff members and volunteers to generate high-quality work products.

Now is the time to give.

Much of our work is time sensitive. Every gift is immediately put into action in the fight against injustice.
Donate Now

+1 (312) 204-7252

+1 (800) 486-2950 [Toll Free]

161 N. Clark St., Suite 1700
Chicago, Illinois, 60601
United States of America
Headquarters in Chicago
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