US Supreme Court Affirms that there is No Right to a Painless Death

Siddharth Sijoria - 8th May 2019

On 1st April, a 5-4 majority of the United States Supreme Court reiterated that while the Eighth Amendment of the US Constitution prohibits cruel and unusual punishment, this does not guarantee a right to a painless death. In Bucklew v Precythe, the Court heard a challenge to the method of execution by lethal injection ‘as […]

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Beghal v UK: Stop and Search at the Border Violates Article 8 ECHR

Joseph Johnson - 1st May 2019

Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 allows police officers at ports or border areas to question individuals for the purpose of determining whether they are a terrorist, as defined in s.40(1)(b). That power may be exercised ‘whether or not [the officer] has grounds for suspecting’ that a person is a terrorist (Schedule 7, paragraph 2(4)). […]

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Machine Decision-making in the criminal justice system: The FATAL4JUSTICE? Project

Karen Yeung - 8th April 2019

The capacity to collect, store and process digital data in real-time on cloud servers, and to subject vast data sets to train and feed machine learning algorithms, have enabled the development of machines capable of making decisions across an almost limitless array of applications. These ‘algorithmic decision-making’ (ADM) systems range from systems that offer guidance […]

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African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights Affirms the Right to Access Documents Necessary for Appeals

Tetevi Davi - 25th March 2019

On 7 December 2018, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights delivered its judgment in the case of Mgosi Mwita Makungu v. Tanzania. This judgment affirms states’ obligations to provide access to documents as part of an individual’s right to an appeal. It also clarifies aspects of the requirement to exhaust domestic remedies. Facts […]

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Universal jurisdiction to the rescue: a way forward for victims of Franco-era crimes of gender-based violence?

Lucy Geddes - 25th January 2019

Between the years of 1960 and 1974, Spanish lawyer and feminist activist Lidia Falcón O’Neill was detained seven times by security police on behalf of the Franco government, because of her protests against the regime. On five of these occasions, she alleges that she was brutally tortured, including being hung from a hook in the […]

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Justice Kennedy’s Justice for Juveniles: Roper’s Reach

Esther Hong - 26th November 2018

In the field of juvenile justice, Justice Kennedy is most recognized for his Eighth Amendment sentencing decisions.  Principally, in 2005, he authored the opinion Roper v. Simmons, which abolished the death penalty for juveniles who committed offenses when they were “older than 15 but younger than 18” years old.  At first blush, Roper appears to […]

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ECOWAS Court Rules that use of Military Tribunals to Prosecute Civilians in Nigeria Violates Right to Fair Trial

Tetevi Davi - 15th November 2018

On 29 June 2018 the Court of Justice for the Economic Community of West African States (‘ECOWAS Court’) handed down its judgment in the case of Gabriel Inyang & another v Federal Republic of Nigeria . This decision has placed clear constraints on the use of military tribunals by states to prosecute civilians for non-military offences. […]

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South Africa decriminalises the private use, possession and cultivation of cannabis

Nabeelah Mia - 2nd October 2018

On 18 September 2018, after more than a decade of perseverance by Mr Gareth Prince, his efforts finally saw fruition:  the Constitutional Court of South Africa decriminalised the use, possession and cultivation of cannabis in private for personal consumption in Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development and Others v Prince and Others.  The matter arose […]

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Indonesia’s New Counter-Terrorism Law and the Government’s Hidden Agenda?

Napat Rungsrithananon - 17th August 2018

Following the suicide bombings by attackers with links to the Islamic State in May, the Indonesian Parliament has finally approved the long-pending revisions to the counter-terrorism law. While the determination to combat a surge in home-grown Islamist militancy is not to be doubted, there is good reason to fear that the government may have a hidden […]

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