Under no system of law designed to protect the rights of every individual accused has it proved possible to conduct a mass trial fairly. There are two significant points about mass trials which run counter to the principle of the fair administration of justice. First, they tend to shift the weight of repressive law from the political ring-leaders to the rank and file of any political resistance movement. Thus they may be used to deter people from joining political organizations with which the government may clash. Further, these trials, because of their inevitable length, constitute a great burden on the accused and their families. However independent the judiciary is, and however fairly the trials are conducted, there is no effective way of preventing or redressing the injury suffered by the prolonged nature of the trial. The award of costs against the prosecution is rarely experienced and there is often little if any form of legal aid for the accused.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.