Rule of Law News

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  • One of the principal arguments in favor of international criminal justice is the claim that publicly prosecuting those who commit the worst international crimes will deter potential future perpetrators from similar actions. In recent piece on the Justice in Conflict blog, Mark Kersten argues using a deterrence argument to rally support for the cause of international justice is misguided. He...

  • Much has been made over the UN's decision to authorize forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo to neutralize armed groups. Many have drawn a direct link between this broad mandate and the defeat of M23. In a blog post for the Stimson Center, William Durch says that the real difference in the UN's DRC mission might not be a broader mandate for UN forces, but the decision to bring regional...

  • "With millions of people living close together, literally piled up in high-rises like the ones we are among right now, the adherence to the rule of law is even more necessary than ever. . ."

    While increased urbanization has many benefits, Justice Ellen Gracie Northfleet, formerly of the Supreme Court of Brazil says cities are also fragile environments. They offer comfort and convenience...

  • In May of this year the Southern Africa Litigation Centre released a report discussing the role of international criminal justice in securing accountability and preventing impunity for perpetrators of international crimes in Africa. The report encourages African nations to adopt legislation implementing the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

    Since the report's...

  • One major criticism of the Millennium Development Goals has been the lack of a benchmark for good governance, rule of law or a similar measure. As Pablo de Greiff, the UN Special Rapporteur on transitional justice pointed out in November this oversight allowed certain countries - most famously Tunisia - to present the appearance of  development success while any ordinary citizen could point to...

  • Proposed changes to Kenya's marital property bill would strip women of land rights, erode their economic independence and decrease families food security, say Tim Hanstead and Renee Giovarellio of Landesa, a global development non-profit that works to secure land rights for the world's poorest people.

    About half of agricultural labor in Kenya is done by women. Legal protection for women...

  • Justice and security programs are constantly seeking innovative ways to engage communities in their work. One method that has proved to be a valuable communication tool is theatre. A recent article by Saferworld's Elizabeth Bourne explains how Saferworld partner BRAC uses popular theatre to raise public awareness of safety and security issues and and involve community members in creating...

  • Increased interest in measuring the outcomes of efforts to improve the rule of law have been accompanied by a lively debate on the value of impact evaluations for justice reforms. Observers have raised a host of issues ranging from ethical concerns to practical roadblocks.

    In a recent blog post for the World Bank, Markus Goldstein takes a critical look at the program costs of impact...

  • It is widely recongized that including minorities and marginalized groups is essential to the processes of drafting a constitution. How best to to achieve inclusion include, and how to ensure the groups participation has real impact on the drafting process is still very much an open question. Last week, International IDEA held a two day conference exploring these and other related questions....

  • As debate over post-2015 development priorities continues the UN Special Rapporteur on transitional justice, Pablo de Greiff urged the UN and its Member States to include meaningful access to justice goals. He warned that considering justice and development as independent goals was a mistake, and that "unaddressed human rights violations are spoilers of sustainable development."

    Mr. de...

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