Racial injustice in the United States and the international response

Author: Dr. Thamil Venthan Ananthavinayagan, PhD (NUI Galway), LL.M. (Maastricht University) Lecturer for International Law at Griffith College, Dublin/Ireland

Introduction:

In 2016 the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent (hereafter: the Working Group) visited the United States of America (hereafter: USA), one of the many special procedures under the auspices of the United Nations Human Rights Council, in order to assess the treatment and situation of people with African Descent in the country. With their report, the Working Group concluded that

[C]ontemporary police killings and the trauma that they create are reminiscent of the past racial terror of lynching. Impunity for state violence has resulted in the current human rights crisis and must be addressed as a matter of urgency.[1]

The current atmosphere in the USA reveals a quite blunt manifestation of a deeply divided and troubled society, a society that is haunted by its past and offers a bare view of the remnants of slavery that preoccupies the public discourse and society’s consciousness. Continue reading

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Artificial Intelligence and International Humanitarian Law

Author: Dr. Garima Tiwari

Partially autonomous unmanned military drones, lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS), automated defensive systems like Israel’s Iron dome, and ‘killer robots’ have highlighted the need for immediately regulating the production, distribution and use of weapons based on artificial intelligence. This post will raise and re-iterate the issues relating to the International Humanitarian Law and Artificial Intelligence. Continue reading

Justice for the Rohingya and Minority Groups in Myanmar

Since August 2017, the plight of the Rohingya people has re-captured the attention of the international community. The United Nations and other parties have been slow to label the ongoing situation in the Rakhine region genocide.  However, recent statements by UN Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide indicate a significant change in international rhetoric. The current crisis was a result of the alleged attacks by a rag tag group known as the ARSA which occurred in August 2017. The military responded to these attacks which resulted in thousands fleeing. The disproportionate response by the military and various mobs have continued to perpetuate genocide and crimes against humanity resulting in a humanitarian emergency. Continue reading

Armed Conflict and Sexual Violence: A Look at Victims and Perpetrators

Maria Concepcion Badiola

Women are said to be more vulnerable and therefore are more likely to suffer sexual violence. For that reason, the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols specifically safeguards the rights and safety of them and this measure constitutes a positive way to protect those rights and avoid the perpetration of sexual crimes. However, and despite the legislation is clear on prohibiting sexual violence, a big problem related is the misconception on gender roles as well as the male protection within the law. Continue reading

Female Victims Only? Casting Doubt on the Prosecution of Forced Marriage in Ongwen’s Case

Author: Laura Nacyte*

In December 2016, the trial against Dominic Ongwen, a former commander of Uganda’s rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), commenced before the Trial Chamber IX of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Remarkably, the defendant is the first person at the ICC to face the charge of forced marriage. The latter was brought in addition to other charges of sexual and gender-based crimes, including rape, sexual slavery, enslavement, and forced pregnancy. Although not a separate offence under the Rome Statute, forced marriage is prosecuted as an ‘other inhumane act’, a crime against humanity, pursuant to Article 7(1)(k). Continue reading

Forced Sterilization: Problem Solved?

Author: Regina Paulose

In 1927 the US Supreme Court heard the case of Carrie Buck, a “feeble minded” woman, who was locked up in a state institution. The laws in Virginia gave the superintendent of the institution authority to determine that if it was in the “best interest of the patients and of society” the inmate may be sexually sterilized.  The US Supreme Court voted in favor of Virginia’s statute on forced sterilization. Continue reading

Organized Crime and Waste Management

Author: Regina Paulose

 

For several years, the U.S. government had been collecting a small fee for nuclear waste storage. Although the fee was being collected through consumer electric bills, the government had not begun to store nuclear waste. The fees collected went into a fund. In 2014, a federal court ordered the government to stop collecting the fee. That year, the fund was estimated to be at $31 billion dollars. Continue reading