Regarding Rights

Academic and activist perspectives on human rights


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Creating Permanent Memories of Torture

Image from http://www.mhpbooks.com

Image from http://www.mhpbooks.com

By Cynthia Banham

Centre for International Governance and Justice

Since Christmas 2014, it’s been possible to buy a book version of the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report on the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program on global book selling websites like Book Depository and Amazon.[1]

The book version of the “torture report,” as it’s commonly known, was published by independent New York publisher Melville House. According to media accounts, it took 72 hours and the services of a dozen employees and a team of volunteers to transform the torture report into a properly formatted manuscript ready to send to the printers for publication as a paperback and ebook. Before it was a book, the torture report was (and still is) available as a PDF document that can be freely downloaded from the Internet. Continue Reading →


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A Missed Human Rights Opportunity: The Revision of the OECD’s Guidelines on Corporate Governance of State-Owned Enterprises

CNPC Ceremony Image from www.soluxeint.com

CNPC Ceremony
Image from www.soluxeint.com

By Mikko Rajavuori, University of Turku

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is currently revising its Guidelines on Corporate Governance of State-Owned Enterprises (SOE Guidelines). Originally issued in 2005, the SOE Guidelines have emerged as one of the OECD’s most successful instruments, as governments around the world have modified their ownership practices to minimise the adverse effects of state ownership on competitive markets through improved corporate governance. Continue Reading →


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Hilary Charlesworth and colleagues speak out in support of Gillian Triggs, President of the Australian Human Rights Commission

Australian Human Rights Commission President Gillian Triggs has come under attack from sections of the media and government. AAP/Quentin Jones

Australian Human Rights Commission President Gillian Triggs has come under attack from sections of the media and government. AAP/Quentin Jones

CIGJ Director, Hilary Charlesworth joined other senior legal academics this week to express support for Gillian Triggs, who has been subjected recently to what they describe as ‘relentless attacks’, including from the Prime Minister. The attacks relate to a decision made by the Human Rights Commission in the case of Mr Basikbasik, who has been held in immigration detention for seven years, after serving a six-year prison term for a criminal conviction. Continue Reading →


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Fighting Government Surveillance with Industry Transparency Reports

Image from www.redorbit.com

Image from www.redorbit.com

Natasha Tusikov

Baldy Centre for Law and Social Policy, University of Buffalo,  State University of New York

Classified files leaked by Edward Snowden reveal that the Internet surveillance programs operated by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and its allies are heavily reliant upon data drawn from U.S.-based Internet firms like Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Apple and Facebook. Reaction to the Snowden files continues to reverberate worldwide with anger from political leaders and the public directed towards the NSA and companies that facilitate its surveillance programs. Continue Reading →


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UNHCR launches 10 year campaign to eradicate statelessness

A floating Vietnamese community in Cambodia.

A floating ethnic Vietnamese community in Cambodia.

Christoph Sperfeldt

Centre for International Governance and Justice

On 4 November 2014, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) launched a 10-year campaign to eradicate statelessness by the year 2024.

Yang Oun can no longer remember when his ancestors arrived from Vietnam to Cambodia. All he knows is that his parents and grandparents were born in Cambodia and called this place their home. Yang Oun was born in 1964 to a Vietnamese father and a Chinese-Khmer mother. He grew up in a village predominately populated by Cambodia’s ethnic Vietnamese minority. Due to his Vietnamese name he was always perceived to be more “Vietnamese” than Cambodian. When the Khmer Rouge arrived at his village, in April 1975, they separated the Vietnamese from the Khmer residents and forcefully deported his family, along with an estimated 150,000 to 170,000 other members of the Vietnamese minority, across the border to Vietnam. Continue Reading →


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High Court Nudges Australia Closer to Marriage Equality

By Holly Ritson

University of Adelaide and CIGJ, ANU

Photo: Mktp's photostream, flickr.com

Photo: Mktp’s photostream, flickr.com

The High Court yesterday handed down its unanimous and expeditious decision on the invalidity of the ACT’s Marriage Equality (Same Sex) Act 2013.

While there was understandable disappointment in the court’s declaration that the act, and any marriages solemnised under it, are of no effect, the court has delivered a judgment that should provide cause for celebration for equal marriage advocates, and those of us who enjoy a novel interpretation of a constitutional provision. Continue Reading →