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

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

Counter-Terrorism and 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