News + Features

INPROL facilitates the sharing of information and knowledge among the rule of law community. This page provides members with news on latest developments in the rule of law field, innovative projects and new publications.

  • October 9, 2014

    Why are Police Becoming More Like Soldiers?

    In the last decades, militarization of the state and surveillance of the population have grown exponentially in many western countries. Police forces, civilian institutions and even urban spaces have followed this trend of securitization. Images of heavily armed police forces clashing against protesters in the US, UK, France and many other countries are becoming increasingly common. Leaked official documents have detailed the extensive surveillance programs several states use to spy on their denizens, under the auspice of “national security”. While the “war on drugs” and the “war on terror” have often provided the pretext, those affected by militarization and surveillance are mostly neither criminal kingpins nor “terrorists” but ordinary citizens. It has been political activists and groups, those who express dissent and protesters, as well it is true as small-time criminals, who have been on the receiving end of police SWAT team raids, extensive (often illegal) surveillance and assaults by heavily-armoured riot police.

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  • October 8, 2014

    Justice in Conflict BLOG: The Complementarity Turn in International Criminal Justice

    Fairly or not, the Court has been the target of a growing chorus of criticisms which insist that it unfairly targets African states and embodies the latest line of neocolonial tools imposed on weak states by the powerful West. In Libya, the ICC was left desperate and empty-handed in what was supposed to be its most recent legitimating exercise: i.e. intervening against the regime of Muammar Gaddafi. The Kenya cases – the first investigations opened by the Prosecutor’s office itself (rather than by referral from the UN Security Council or an ICC member-state) – are hanging by the thinnest of threads. Some of the Court’s biggest fish – like Joseph Kony and Omar al-Bashir, and the targets many expect should be in the Court – like Bashar al-Assad, seem more than comfortable evading justice. For adherents of the ICC, it isn’t a pretty picture.

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  • October 8, 2014

    Poverty and Human Rights: Can Courts, Lawyers, and Activists Make a Difference?

    We have long known that poverty is rooted in power, yet traditional power-blind approaches to poverty remain predominant.  Can a human rights lens and the traditional tools of the movement—rights, courts, lawyers and activists—address underlying issues of power and make a real difference on poverty?

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  • October 8, 2014

    Out of Balance – Disproportionality in Sentencing

    Courts have started to consider whole life sentences without the possibility of parole to be in breach of the prohibition on inhuman and degrading punishment. But what about ordinary prison sentences? Dr Mary Rogan, Head of Law at Dublin Institute of Technology and Chair of the Irish Penal Reform Trust, explores some significant recent court decisions and the potential of the concept of gross disproportionality to be a powerful tool to challenge the overuse of imprisonment and penal excess carried out by states all over the world.

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  • October 7, 2014

    Transconflict BLOG: On Peacekeeping

    An effective law is required to regulate peacekeeping missions; one that provides a standardized basis for the behaviour of peacekeepers, including issues such as the potential use of force and questions of impunity.

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  • October 7, 2014

    Prosecutions of Massive Violations Key for Post-Conflict States, says New Report

    In the wake of armed conflict or widespread violence, States should employ criminal accountability to hold perpetrators of serious crimes accountable for their actions, says a new report from the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence. In his presentation before the Human Rights Council earlier this month, UN Special Rapporteur Pablo de Greiff warned that “despite clear international obligations, only a fraction of perpetrators of massive violations are ever investigated and prosecuted”, and called on post-conflict States to pursue accountability for serious crimes by adopting comprehensive prosecutorial strategies in as part of larger transitional justice process.

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  • October 7, 2014

    IN BRIEF: Rule of Law News from Around the World

    Afghanistan: There are precedents in modern Afghan history for the collapse of the security sector when external security assistance dries up. While a political catastrophe has been headed off for now, a stubborn security crisis is worsening by the day.

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  • October 3, 2014

    Open Security BLOG: Alternatives to Military Intervention: A Commando Team of Mediators

    Non-military intervention options are insufficiently considered and there is little place in the relevant systems for serious, well-resourced early intervention and mediation to attempt to prevent the outbreak of violence. In the weary debate on intervention of recent years, more nuanced and subtle voices questioning the consequences of using force as a means of intervention have often been dismissed as naïve left-wingers. People of all shades of opinion get caught up in debate about “doing the right thing” but insufficient thought is given to how we do this and whether we can get serious about well-resourced, non-military intervention.

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  • October 3, 2014

    The Peace Bridge to Nowhere

    Changing how peacebuilding organizations measure success could save aid projects that are stuck trying to meet rigid, dated, and increasingly arbitrary goals in conflict zones.

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  • October 2, 2014

    IN BRIEF: Rule of Law News from Around the World

    Australia: The Australian Senate passed a sweeping new ‘anti-terror’ law that will allow the Australian government to conduct mass surveillance on all of its citizens, will make whistleblowing on intelligence issues a crime, and threatens to criminalize basic reporting.

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