Counterfeit Drugs in the International Landscape

Author: Regina Paulose

In 2012, customs authorities in Angola inspected speakers which were being shipped from China to local markets in Angola and uncovered 1.4 million packets of counterfeit anti-malarial drugs.[1] In 2013, the US Federal Drug Administration shut down an illegal counterfeit drug ring of 1,677 illegal pharmacy websites. The investigation revealed links to large organized drug networks possibly from Russia, the Middle East, and India.[2] During that same year, China arrested close to 1,300 people in the same kind of operation shutting down 140 fake pharmacy websites and confiscating material worth $362.4 million dollars.[3] Successful cases of counterfeit medicine busts seem to be few and far between around the world. Continue reading

People’s Tribunals – A New Norm?

Author: Regina Paulose

People’s Tribunals are a result of strong peaceful grassroots movements within society. People who create these movements share a common interest in discussing a legitimate human rights problem which has not been adequately addressed by a state or its entities. In some cases the problem cannot be handled in a formal judicial system because of politics or a technical legal rule prevents the issue from being raised. Continue reading

Gangs and Organized Crime in Mexico: An Interview with Professor Scott Decker

Scott Decker is a foundation professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University at the Downtown Campus. He is also affiliated faculty with the Center on the Future of War. He earned the Ph.D. in Criminology from Florida State University. His research interests include gangs, criminal justice policy, violence and the organizational structure of crime groups such as drug smugglers, human traffickers and terror groups. His most recent book, Confronting Gangs: Crime and Community, was published in 2013 by Oxford University Press. He is co-author of Drug Smugglers on Drug Smuggling (Temple University Press, 2008) a study of the highest level drug smugglers in US prisons. Continue reading

Pakistan and Balochistan: Is Ignorance Bliss?

Author: Regina Paulose

 

Balochistan is one of the largest provinces in Pakistan. The western province which is mainly composed of various ethnic tribes now faces various human rights issues which could potentially explode into larger issues. Although Balochistan is not popular in the media, the issues faced by the people in Balochistan are extremely important and require consideration by the international community. Continue reading

Respecting Victims of Terrorism in Nigeria

Author: Tosin Osasona

If the Chinese proverb that “a picture is worth a thousand words” is right, then should pictures not be used more cautiously than words? When are nauseating images of gore and dead bodies’ offensive and when are they necessary? Has the mobile revolution moved death from the taboo closet that the African culture has kept it in for ages to the open? What is the effect of the repeated publication and circulation of graphic images on public consciousness? Is the dead entitled to the right to be treated with dignity? At what point do the dead stop being just mere news item and object of morbid fascination and become human? These and some other questions were thrown up by the images that surfaced after the Abuja bombing of April 14, 2014[i] and the recent school bombing in Potiskum, Nigeria.[ii] Continue reading

The Rule of Law and Human Rights in Iran

Author: Regina Paulose

“Study the past if you would define the future.”[1]

This year Iran submitted its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) report to the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council. In its report it detailed legal principles which are supposedly given to Iranians. Among the principles presented were the “prohibition of torture,” the “right to legal counsel,” and the “presumption of innocence.” The remainder of the report makes no mention of any necessity or potential reform of its legal system. Continue reading

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