African National Bar Associations and the Promotion of International Criminal Justice in Africa

Author: Tosin Osasona

Bar associations and law societies are a critical component of legal institutions across the world and the same can be said of African bar associations and law societies. There are fifty-four distinct national lawyers associations in Africa, five regional lawyers association and a Pan-African Lawyers Union that serves as continental platform for lawyers’ guilds across the continent.[i] Some of these national organizations have a long history dating back to colonial period and have evolved over time reflecting the political and social cultures of their societies, so much that they have become an integral part of the legal process in public consciousness.[ii]  In fact, the legal profession in Africa has been labeled “the most dominant and the most influential profession.”[iii] Continue reading

The Death of Duvalier and Justice for Haiti

Author: Regina Paulose

On October 4, 2014, Jean Claude Duvalier died of a heart attack. Widely known as “Baby Doc” he was given control over Haiti – at the age of 19- after his father passed away in 1971.[1]  His father, Francois Duvalier, was an educated physician. He was known as “Papa Doc.” Papa Doc instituted the “Duvalierist Revolution” where he declared himself president for life, destroyed any institution outside his reach or which criticized him, neutralized the army and had them replaced with the infamous secret police, the tonton makout.[2]  Continue reading

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Civilians And The Rome Statute

Written by Garima Tiwari

 

More than 2,000 Palestinians were killed in the 50-day conflict in July and August, about 70 percent of them civilians, according to the U.N. Seventy-one Israeli soldiers and civilians were killed in combat and in rocket and mortar strikes. [i]The chief Palestinian Authority negotiator, Saeb Erekat, claimed that 96 percent of Gazans killed in the summer’s Israel-Hamas conflict were civilians, reiterated PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s charge of Israeli “genocide,” and accused Israel of seeking to impose apartheid on the Palestinians.[ii] Continue reading

Terrorism Prevention and the Convention against Torture

Author: Regina Paulose

Given the significant rise of recent terrorist activities many countries are updating their “anti-terrorism” legislation. Unfortunately, these updates continue to neglect a critically important balance with the Convention against Torture. This imbalance is caused because of the vagueness surrounding the terms “terrorist” and “terrorism” and because an enormous amount of discretionary and unchecked power is given to law enforcement whereby the governments essentially condone the use of torture. Continue reading

Conscientious objection to military service: Punishment and discriminatory treatment

Author: Emily Graham

 

Conscientious objection to military service is recognised by the United Nations as part of the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion or belief. However, conscientious objectors face a number of serious and negative implications for their refusal to perform military service when States do not recognise or adequately implement this right.[1] Continue reading

Saving the Rohingya

Author: Regina Paulose

Burma has been involved in the lengthy process of democratization since 2011. Some argue that Burmese reforms are not genuine while others argue that the process is genuine but democratization remains complicated by a myriad of political and cultural issues.[1] Although Burmese President Thein Sein is a remnant  of the former dictatorship, there has been progress in freedom of expression and freedom of the press.[2] Yet recently, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar stated that there were “worrying signs of backtracking” and that the patterns witnessed “impose a climate of fear intimidation to the society at large.”[3] Continue reading

Diminishing Space for the International Criminal Court

From recent events around the global the continued efficacy of the ICC as a global court of last resort is seemingly under threat. The loud silence of the prosecutor new armed conflicts emerge and the old conflicts take new dimensions heightens the question regarding the continued viability of the court. Continue reading