With the start of US-led air strikes on Islamic State targets in Syria this week, and Parliament due to vote today on British military action in neighbouring Iraq, attention is once again focused on the conflict which has cost so many lives since 2011. When G8 leaders met in Fermanagh last year, they committed themselves to helping to bring…Continue reading Attacking Islamic State vs protecting civilians in Syria?
On April 14, over 200 girls, most of them aged between 16 and 18, were abducted as they slept, from their school in Chibok, north-eastern Nigeria. More schoolgirls have been kidnapped since. All of these girls are missing, their whereabouts and safety unknown. Islamist armed group Boko Haram claimed responsibility. It aims to overthrow the government by…Continue reading #BringBackOurGirls & defend the right to education
The above headline would be one usually welcomed by human rights activists here and throughout the world given the significance it could have: no more convictions on the basis of ‘confessions’ beaten out of suspects; an end to police corruption, an end to agent provocateurs fitting up persons, the list goes on. Yesterday however the…Continue reading An end to miscarriages of justice?
CAJ made two submissions to the Haass process. The first (S419) related to advocating a single mechanism to deal with the legacy of the conflict. The other sets of issues dealt with by the Panel of Parties, including “Flags, symbols, emblems and related matters” and dealing with parades and protests, were dealt with in a…Continue reading The Haass / O’Sullivan Proposed Agreement on parades and flags: analysis from a human rights perspective
The Ministry of Justice is drafting the two UN reports (the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mid-term report, and the periodic report under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)). General background on the reporting process in the UK is available at: – UPR: http://www.justice.gov.uk/human-rights/universal-periodic-review – ICESCR: http://www.justice.gov.uk/human-rights/periodic-reports-to-the-united-nations The draft reports themselves will…Continue reading UK reports for UPR (mid-term) and ICESCR
Kamalesh Sharma, the secretary-general of the Commonwealth – and Chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast – is under fire after being accused of withholding crucial legal advice that could have prevented Sri Lanka from hosting the imminent heads of government meeting. The legal opinion said that the firing of the Sri Lankan chief justice by President…Continue reading Queen’s Chancellor (and Commonwealth chief) under fire over Sri Lankan abuses
On Wednesday 13 November 2013 the Human Rights Centre, School of Law at Queen’s University Belfast are hosting a one day conference entitled ‘Challenging the Oppression of Lawyers in Times of Conflict’. It is open to anyone interested in conflict studies, politics, international relations, human rights, international law, justice and transitional justice. SPEAKERS…Continue reading CONFERENCE: Challenging the Oppression of Lawyers in Times of Conflict
“Workers of my country, I have faith in Chile and its destiny… Go forward knowing that sooner rather than later, the great avenues will open again where free people will walk to build a better society.” Last broadcast of President Salvador Allende Today 11 September 2013 is a key anniversary in the international human rights…Continue reading Chile 11 September 1973: 40 years on
On the face of it last week was a good week for scrutinising power in that questions from the UK Parliament did ultimately derail the stated desire of the UK government to partake in an imminent attack on Syria (in effect a further intervention given the existing levels of UK support for the rebels). Among those who …Continue reading (More) UK intervention in Syria: some additional questions
We’re all a wee bit devastated here at Amnesty International at the news of the death of Seamus Heaney. He was a great friend and supporter of our work and of activism for human rights generally. We formally note our sorrow at his passing here, while my colleague Colm O’Gorman has posted a beautiful tribute on…Continue reading Seamus Heaney, ambassador of conscience
Whether ultimately found innocent or guilty, Dungannon woman Michaella McCollum Connolly and Scot, Melissa Reid, face the prospect of a lengthy stay in Peru’s overcrowded and under-resourced prison system. In fact there are twice as many prisoners as there are prison places. Last year there was a total prison population of 57,095 but only space…Continue reading Peru’s prison conditions – a state of emergency
On 9 July 2013 the European Court of Human Rights issued its judgment in the case of Vona v Hungary relating to a supremacist organisation engaged in military-style assemblies. The authorities had ultimately dissolved the organisation following its attempt, blocked by police, to march through a street inhabited by Roma families. In the context of protecting…Continue reading Sectarian/racist expression and restricting parades to protect the rights of others: implications of Vona v Hungary