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Belgian Parliament Introduces Sex Quota in Constitutional Court

Belgian Parliament Introduces Sex Quota in Constitutional Court

On the 4th of April, the Belgian Parliament passed a Bill that introduces sex quotas in the composition of the Constitutional Court (CC). It requires the Court to be composed of at least a third of judges of each sex. This requirement will however not enter into force immediately, but only once the Court is in [...]

McCutcheon v FEC: The Harvest of Pernicious Seeds Sown in Buckley and Citizens United

McCutcheon v FEC: The Harvest of Pernicious Seeds Sown in Buckley and Citizens United

The US Supreme Court very recently handed down its decision in McCutcheon v Federal Election Commission, undoubtedly the most important campaign finance ruling since its controversial 2010 judgment in Citizens United. In a 5-4 decision, the Court ruled to abolish aggregate contribution limits which restricted how much an individual donor may contribute in total to [...]

Victory in First Certified Class Action Sees Teachers Appointed and Paid

Victory in First Certified Class Action Sees Teachers Appointed and Paid

A landmark settlement agreed on 20th March 2014 in Linkside v Department of Education has consolidated the law regarding class action in South Africa, and is a significant victory in the fight to ensure children’s right to an education. It is astounding to imagine that educators, who work so hard to ensure that children receive [...]

Children Gain Access to International Justice

Children Gain Access to International Justice

This week marks a major breakthrough in international justice for children. It is a turning point in a deeply personal battle of justice for children that I have fought for the past 15 years. I have dedicated my life to defending the rights of children around the world, particularly the most vulnerable children. Through my [...]

The Criminalization of Protests: Repression and Human Rights Abuses in Venezuela

The Criminalization of Protests: Repression and Human Rights Abuses in Venezuela

In Venezuela, anti-government protests are being brutally repressed; many demonstrators have been jailed, with some believed to have been tortured. On February 12, 2014, university students opposed to the current government carried out a rally a Caracas.  This date was purposely chosen for the rally because February 12th is Youth Day in Venezuela.  Youth Day [...]

CJEU Holds the Data Retention Directive Invalid

CJEU Holds the Data Retention Directive Invalid

In joined cases C-293/12 and C-594/12, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that Directive 2006/24/EC on the retention of data by service providers for the purposes of investigating, detecting and prosecuting serious crime was invalid. There was a disproportionate interference with the right to respect for private life and with the right to [...]

Perpetual Life Sentences, Reformation and the Indian Supreme Court

Perpetual Life Sentences, Reformation and the Indian Supreme Court

It is trite to say, or so we hope, that a retributive criminal justice system has no place in a society conceived from the idea that human rights in general, and human dignity in particular, is of paramount importance. As civilized societies dedicated to democracy and constitutionalism, a system of reformative justice seems but natural. [...]

50 Years Later, Still in Search of Truth: Challenges Facing Truth Commissions in Brazil

50 Years Later, Still in Search of Truth: Challenges Facing Truth Commissions in Brazil

On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the military coup, which initiated the latest and the longest Brazilian dictatorship (1964-1985), the statements of the retired Army Colonel, Paulo Malhães, at a public hearing of the National Truth Commission (the “CNV”) held on March 25th, shocked the Brazilian public. “I killed as many people as [...]

United Nations Human Rights Council: Commission of Inquiry into Human Rights Abuses in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

United Nations Human Rights Council: Commission of Inquiry into Human Rights Abuses in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

On 26 March 2014 the United Nations Human Rights Council (“HRC”) passed a Resolution ‘condemning in the strongest terms’ the continuing violation of human rights and calling for the referral of a wide catalogue of human rights abuses by the Democratic Republic of Korea (“DPRK”) to the International Criminal Court (“ICC”) for investigation (“Resolution”).  The [...]

What Has the European Union Ever Done for Women?

What Has the European Union Ever Done for Women?

As the 2014 European elections are approaching this is an appropriate time to pause and reflect on what the European Union has ever done for women. The EU was established in 1958 with the Treaty of Rome (formerly European Economic Community) by the so called ‘founding fathers’. However, the EU also had a lot of [...]

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