Bangladesh: Justice for All?

Regina Paulose

In 1971 West Pakistan conducted military operations to prevent an alleged “uprising” in East Pakistan. These military campaigns were targeted towards various religious, political, and minority groups. Hundreds of thousands of refugees fled into India which inevitably provoked a conflict between India and Pakistan. By the end of 1971 the geopolitical landscape of South Asia changed as Bangladesh was born. After the 1971 war, Sheik Mujibar Rahman had ordered an Inquiry to determine the number of people who perished as a result of the conflict.[1] To do so Bangladesh passed the 1973 International Crimes Tribunal Act (ICTA), which was enacted to prosecute those responsible for grave international crimes. Continue reading

At the court of the naked Emperor: Reflections on the Assembly of State Parties of the ICC

David Hoile

The Assembly of State Parties, the body charged with the management and oversight of the International Criminal Court, is meeting this week in The Hague. It brings together smug western politicians, lawyers infused with their own self-importance, bored diplomats, naïve fresh-faced interns and a slew of excitable, self-righteous human rights activists from a variety of well-funded western non-governmental organisations. Having spent several days in attendance at this annual jamboree and having spent several years closely observing the behaviour of the ICC, Hans Christian Andersen’s tale The Emperor’s New Clothes comes immediately to mind. Continue reading

Rape as a Crime versus Rape as a Punishment: What is going on in India?

Written By Garima Tiwari

Indian village council orders sisters to be raped and paraded naked after their brother elopes with married woman.[i]

This recent news and few other similar incidents evoke a number of sentiments. Of course, it is an illegal order with no statutory backing, yet it is an order of the “members of the society” or as are called “Kangaroo Courts” . And it raises pertinent issues about the perception of women in India within a complex web of Caste, Culture, Religion and a family –community system still very patriarchal. While the Nirbhaya Delhi Gang rape case is still sore and the Government’s “security regime” -in place, headlines of “sentencing to rape”, create a mismatch in legal and societal standards. This post loosely  puts forth ideas on how the simple formula of merely punishing the offender does not even look like a step forward in acknowledging the deep seated problem in a complex society like India. Continue reading

LEAHY LAW AND AI REPORT ON NIGERIA: DISTICTION AND PROPORTIONALITY IN THE ANTI TERROR OPERATION

Author: Elias Offor

A horrendous crime against humanity being committed daily by the Boko Haram terror group where casualty figures are quoted to near accuracy- a replication of what used to happen in distant lands that looked peculiar to a particular people and sounded like mere myths to the rest of us in a way that the mind is less troubled- is now a practical reality in our midst. Yet the horror and mind-bugling impact continues to recede to the extent, a mere tale of woe which in Shakespeare terms, are all sound and fury signifying nothing.   Continue reading

The Right to Belong: Dealing With Statelessness in Sub-Saharan Africa

Author:  Michael Addaney

‘Statelessness is a profound violation of an individual’s human rights. It would be deeply unethical to perpetuate the pain it causes when solutions are so clearly within reach.’

Antonio Guterres, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

In recent years statelessness has become a major concern in various contexts and levels particularly within Africa. Often, statelessness is associated with displacement through armed conflicts as well natural disasters and hence overlaps with the flow of refugees and Internally Displaced Person (IDPs). With Africa’s colonial heritage, critical issues arose from the succession of states and the determination of national status within emerging and transitional states. Moreover, most African states have different approaches in determining nationality and civil status which inadvertently conflict with the legal and policy frameworks of other states. All the above situations create statelessness. Continue reading

Family Reunification Under International Law

Author: Giovanni Giudetti

Family reunification can be seen as “on the one hand, as a humanitarian or human rights issue, and, on the other hand, as an immigration matter which might place a strain on the labour market and social facilities, such as housing, education and medical facilities”[1]. Continue reading

UN Peacekeeping and Sexual Violence

Author: Regina Paulose

As early as 2013,[1] the French government received reports from the UN that French troops had sexually assaulted young children in the Central African Republic (CAR). Apparently frustrated with UN inaction, Anders Kompass, a Senior UN Official, leaked an internal report regarding these crimes to French officials. Despite the prior knowledge, France only recently took decisive action recently.[2]  Officials in the CAR have also opened an inquiry into the matter. UN Human Rights Chief Zeid has noted the abuse is likely the “tip of the iceberg.”[3]   Continue reading