International

Destination Justice supports the Petition to the International Association of Prosecutors

GENEVA, 5 September 2017 Dear members of the IAP Executive Committee and the Senate, Dear members of the IAP, In the run-up to the annual conference and general meeting of the International Association of Prosecutors (IAP) in Beijing, China, the undersigned civil society organisations urge the IAP to live up to its vision and bolster its efforts to preserve the integrity of the profession. Increasingly, in many regions of the world, in clear breach of professional integrity and fair trial standards, public prosecutors use their powers to suppress critical voices. In China, over the last two years, dozens of prominent lawyers, labour rights advocates and activists have been targeted by the prosecution service[1]. Many remain behind bars, convicted or in prolonged detention for legal and pea...

International Law Protections for Minority Groups’ Right to Self-Identify

International law protects minority groups' right to self-identify in several key ways, confirms a new briefing paper released by Destination Justice today, "International Law on Minorities' Right to Self-Identify". The briefing paper explains that minority group protections stem from one core international law principle that states are prohibited from discriminating against a person on the basis of their race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Press Release: The International Senior Lawyers Project (ISLP) with the expertise of Destination Justice Released its Monitoring Report of the Trials of the Cambodian Garment Workers Arrested in January 2014

On 26 September 2014, The International Senior Lawyers Project with the expertise of Destination Justice (ISLP) released a report documenting the findings of trial monitors who observed the cases of 23 Cambodian nationals who were arrested, criminally charged, and convicted in connection with the garment worker protests of January 2014. Please click here to read the full report and click here to read The ISLP press release.

Press Release: Destination Justice Files UN Complaint Against Serbian Government For Bytyqi Disappearances and Murders

Geneva, Switzerland – On behalf of the victims’ family, Silvia Palomba, Co-Director of Destination Justice’s Litigation Program; and Praveen Madhiraju, counsel for the family, filed a complaint (formally known as a General Allegation) with United Nations human rights mechanisms to demand Serbia’s compliance with its international obligation to investigate and prosecute those responsible for the disappearance and murder of brothers Ylli, Mehmet, and Agron Bytyqi. The General Allegation, submitted to the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (“WGEID”) and the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence (“Special Rapporteur”), follows the WGEID’s recent criticism of Serbia’s war-crimes record and Ser...

Update on the Legal and Institutional Framework for the Protection of All Persons Deprived of their Liberty

Summary A person is deprived of his or her liberty when he or she is detained, either lawfully or unlawfully. Over ten million people are currently detained around the world by means of incarceration or imprisonment. However, other forms of detention include institutionalization for mental health reasons and detention due to migrant status. The failure to adequately protect the rights of those deprived of their liberty is a major roadblock in providing equal access to justice to all people. Whether a deprivation of liberty is arbitrary or legitimate, international human rights laws, standards, and other mechanisms provide certain protections to those deprived of their liberty. These protections aim to prevent abuses of those who have been deprived of their liberty, such as torture, neglect...

USA: The Zimmerman Trial: Reflections of an Adversarial Criminal Justice System?

“You must always point […] If you don’t have the courage to point […] you can’t expect them to have the courage to convict.”[1] Perhaps no other criminal justice system in the world better exemplifies the adversarial tradition than the American criminal justice system and the jury trial, as this American novelist’s opening line points out. This system is based upon a simple premise: that to ascertain the “truth”, there must be a confrontation between two opposing forces – the Prosecution and the Defense, respectively representing the victim’s and the accused’s version of what happened. The truth of the accusation must be proven within the rules of legal proceedings to ensure a fair playing field for the accused. Two narratives are presented before an impartial jury who acts as fact f...

USA: Bradley Manning found guilty and facing a possible maximum sentence of 90 years in military jail

Bradley Manning was found guilty on 30 June 2013, of 17 of the 21 charges leveled against him. The soldier was found not guilty of the most serious crime, aiding the enemy, Al Qaida, however he still faces a possible maximum sentence of 90 years in military jail. The sentencing phase began on 31 July 2013 and was expected to last a week. The trial was initially expected to last three months, however it now appears it will not last as long. During the sentencing phase, the defence will present evidence which had hitherto the verdict been excluded during proceedings. Such evidence includes Manning’s motive for leaking the information and his state of mind at the time. Background Who is Bradley Manning? Manning was born on 17 December 1987 in Oklahoma – the son of an American veteran Na...

Zimbabwe: Mugabe’s mandate renewed in 2013 elections

On 31 July 2013, Zimbabwe’s people went to the polls. The official election results gave Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) President Robert Mugabe 61 percent of the vote in the presidential poll. The other main candidate in the election, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai from the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) got 34 percent of the votes.  The main contenders There were five presidential candidates, of which Mugabe and Tsvangirai held the most influence. Their political parties, ZANU-PF and the MDC-T have shared an uneasy coalition government since 2009 under a deal made to end violence after a disputed poll in 2008. Prior to 2008, ZANU-PF’s hold on Zimbabwe effectively made the country a one party state. Eighty-nine year old Mugabe has been president...

Civil Parties’ Statements of Suffering at the ECCC

In national systems of criminal procedure that recognize Civil Parties, they express their suffering as their testimony proceeds. At the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) however, the first fifteen Civil Parties who came to testify in the first trial of Case 002, from the end of December 2011 to the middle of May 2013, were only allowed to discuss their suffering after the other parties had finished asking them questions on the facts at issue. The President of the Trial Chamber notably required Civil Party Lawyers to avoid questions about suffering. Only after they finished their testimony were the Civil Parties allocated time that was specifically dedicated to the expression of their suffering. Isolating the Civil Party’s statement of suffering from his or her testim...