Regarding Rights

Academic and activist perspectives on human rights

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Human Rights concerns with PNG reinstating the death penalty

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By Betheli O’Carroll

TC Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland

Papua New Guinea (PNG) has amended their legislation to extend the death penalty to cover more criminal offences. Previously, the death penalty was applicable to treason, wilful murder, piracy, and ‘attempted piracy with personal violence’ in PNG,[1] but it has not been used in practice for more than 50 years.[2] Consequently, Amnesty International, which describes the death penalty as ‘the ultimate denial of human rights… the premeditated and cold-blooded killing of a human being by the state in the name of justice’,[3] currently classifies PNG as ‘abolitionist in practice’.[4] In 2013, however, PNG legislated to extend the death penalty to crimes of aggravated rape, ‘robbery with violence’, and ‘sorcery-related killings’.[5] Continue Reading →

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Centre for International Governance and Justice: News and Events

Recent and Forthcoming CIGJ Seminars

The Centre has been fortunate to host a number of exciting seminars in the past few weeks.

On September 9th CIGJ visitor Govinda Sharma presented “Ensuring accountability in post-conflict Nepal: Time to re-examine the role of Truth Commissions” as part of the RegNet Seminar series. This past week saw Margot Salomon of the London School of Economics give a seminar that the Centre co-hosted with the Centre for Moral, Social and Political Theory on market logics in contemporary human right policy.

This coming week the Centre will host a seminar by RegNet visitor Yasunobu Sato titled “A human security approach to human rights due diligence: A case study of land disputes in post-UNTAC Cambodia.” Based on his experience as Human Rights Officer of UNTAC (United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia) in 1992-93, Professor Sato will review Cambodian land disputes in light of law reform assistance and examine the difficulties and unintended consequences of the human rights due diligence model being promoted by the United Nations Human Rights Council and other international organizations as part of the peace building process.

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Torture, the War on Terror, and The New York Times

By Cynthia Banham,

Centre for International Governance and Justice


Last month, The New York Times decided it was time to ‘recalibrate’ its language to describe aspects of the US’s treatment of detainees in the war on terror. The executive editor, Dean Banquet, released a statement announcing that, at the urging of the newspaper’s reporters, from now on it would use the word ‘torture’ to describe some of the more brutal interrogation methods the CIA used against detainees under the Bush Administration. Previously the newspaper had used euphemisms favoured by the Bush Administration to describe these practices, such as ‘harsh or brutal interrogation methods’. Continue Reading →

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Centre for International Governance and Justice: News and Events

Welcome Mikko!

Last month the CIGJ welcomed another of its Visiting PhD Scholars. Mikko Rajavuori is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Law at the University of Turku, and a member of the Academy of Finland’s National Law in a Changing World Doctoral Programme. He holds an LL.M, and B.A in Finnish and Scandinavian history. Mikko has already presented his research to members of the Centre and RegNet, in an informal seminar in which he discussed the rise of state ownership from a human rights perspective. Continue Reading →