Regarding Rights

Academic and activist perspectives on human rights


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Centre for International Governance and Justice: News and Events

Examining legal responses to forced migration

Vera's students 1

Emma with Dr Věra Honusková and students from Věra’s ‘Asylum and Refugee Law Clinic’ at Charles University, Prague.

 Emma Larking was a guest speaker at a conference on ‘Legal Responses to Forced Mass Migration: Regional Approaches and Perspectives’ in Olomouc, the Czech Republic, last month.

A focus at the conference on forced migration within Africa provided a fascinating and useful corrective to characterisations of refugee flows into Europe as a crisis. It also challenged the idea – widespread in Europe – that the continent is the primary destination for all people forced into exile in Africa or the Middle East.

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The Trials and Travails of Universal Jurisdiction: The FDLR Trial in Germany

By Christoph Sperfeldt, Centre for International Governance and Justice, RegNet, ANU

The Higher Regional Court in Stuttgart

On 28 September 2015, a four-year landmark universal jurisdiction trial came to an end: The Higher Regional Court in Stuttgart, Germany, convicted Ignace Murwanashyaka and Straton Musoni, the President and Vice-President of the Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Rwanda (FDLR), and sentenced them to 13 and 8 years in prison, respectively. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hailed the judgment as an excellent example of how national criminal courts and the United Nations can work together to end impunity for serious international crimes.

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From Cold War to Human Security: The Final Report of the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

By Christoph Sperfeldt

Centre for International Governance & Justice, ANU

Public Hearings held in Tokyo by the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea © OHCHR

Public Hearings held in Tokyo by the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
© OHCHR

On 17 February 2014, the Commission of Inquiry (COI) on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) presented its long-awaited final report [1], which was shortly afterwards “categorically” rejected by DPRK representatives as a “sheer fabrication”.

The report is the culmination of more than a decade of advocacy efforts by non-governmental organisations and United Nations human rights bodies to shift the world’s attention from security and nuclear concerns in its relations with North Korea to ongoing serious human rights violations in the DPRK. Continue Reading →


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The Long Way from Rome to Jakarta: Prospects of Ending Impunity for International Crimes in Southeast Asia

Main Courtroom of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). Source: Public Affairs Section / ECCC.

Main Courtroom of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC).
Source: Public Affairs Section / ECCC.

By Christoph Sperfeldt

More than ten years after its entry into force, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is enjoying wide-spread global support. Despite this progress, states in Asia generally remain reluctant to join the Rome Statute. Nevertheless, the global dynamic of the past years has also left its mark on the attitudes among states in the region. In Southeast Asia in particular, the promotion of human rights norms and principles at the regional level is gaining momentum, most visibly manifested in the creation of an ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights and the adoption of an ASEAN Declaration on Human Rights. Although this development has not yet advanced the issue of accountability for breaches of norms of international human rights and humanitarian law, individual states have taken steps that indicate an increased recognition of the need to prosecute those responsible for mass atrocities. Continue Reading →


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Centre for International Governance and Justice: News and Events

Laws and Societies in Global Contexts

Laws and Societies in Global Contexts

 Laws and Societies in Global Contexts – new book by Eve Darian-Smith

CIGJ congratulates Eve Darian-Smith on the recent publication of her book, Laws and Societies in Global Contexts: Contemporary Approaches (CUP). Eve is Professor in Global & International Studies at the University of California and an Adjunct Professor at RegNet, where she is a regular visitor. Eve’s text challenges the tendency in law and society scholarship to focus on single legal systems and societies. In Eve’s account, this focus ‘perpetuates a Western international relations model that too often conflates law, culture, and the nation-state’.

Centre Visitors: Christoph Sperfeldt & Jonathan Kolieb

Christoph Sperfeldt, who is a familiar face at RegNet, returned this week as a guest of the Centre. Christoph is the Regional Program Coordinator at the Asian International Justice Initiative (AIJI), where he focuses on regional human rights and justice sector capacity-building in Southeast Asia. Prior to joining AIJI, Christoph worked in Cambodia with the Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee, and as Reparations Advisor to the Victims Support Section of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). His experience in Cambodia forms the subject matter of a RegNet seminar Christoph will present on Tuesday 28th of May – on victim participation and collective reparations at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. Christoph’s other research interests include statelessness and the special procedures of the Human Rights Council.

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