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.

  • September 25, 2014

    IN BRIEF: Rule of Law News from Around the World

    Cambodia: On 7 August 2014, the Trial Chamber of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) delivered its second trial judgment. The judgment is significant for its detailed consideration of one of the most vivid images of the Khmer Rouge era – the evacuation of Phnom Penh and other cities, and whether this population movement was contrary to international law.

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  • September 25, 2014

    iLawyer BLOG: The Future of International Criminal Justice is Domestic

    Linked to the principle of complementarity is the practice of universal jurisdiction.  The International Criminal Court does not exercise universal jurisdiction.  But states do, and it is here that the real potential lies for states to act as impunity gap fillers – acting where the ICC is unable or unwilling to do so.

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  • September 25, 2014

    Europe: National Courts Extend Reach of Justice

    Governments wanting to limit impunity for the most serious international crimes should look to the examples of three European countries showing leadership in this area, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Specialized war crimes units composed of police, prosecutors, and immigration officials have the means to bring those responsible for atrocity crimes worldwide to justice and to ensure that war criminals don’t find safe haven when they flee their own country.

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  • September 25, 2014

    Terrorism Craves an Audience and We Are Playing into Islamic State’s Hands by Watching

    The well-known US security expert, Brian Jenkins, famously declared in 1974, that “terrorism is theatre”. And over the last few weeks, the brutal videotaped beheadings of British and American hostages by Islamic State militants have proved the prescience of his statement with horrifying clarity. We are now accustomed to images in our papers and on our screens of IS murders but we should consider the role we play when we look at the pictures or watch the videos. Every time we engage with the spectacle, we are contributing to the problem.

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  • September 24, 2014

    Security Sector Reform BLOG: Policing the Past and Present in Ireland

    The Northern Irish peace process appears to be in turmoil. Local politicians have made an appeal for the US as well as the British and Irish governments to step in and help “kick-start” the “faltering” peace process. The current political impasse in the polity stems from the inability of local parties to agree on several issues including welfare reform, parades, flags, and notably dealing with the past. The lack of consensus on how to deal with the past, from addressing victims’ needs to investigating unsolved crimes, remains a significant obstacle for peacebuilding as well as policing an ethno-politically divided post-conflict society. Crucially, the disputes over contested parades, the illegal flying of flags, and the legacy of the past conflict have continued to test the strength of the reformed police service.

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  • September 24, 2014

    Crows Who Come in Search of Dollars': Non-Governmental Organisation Legitimacy in Conflict Zones

    Aid workers are increasingly seen as legitimate targets by combatants. The 2014 Aid Worker Security Report, published to mark World Humanitarian Day, reveals that the number of aid workers injured or killed in the space of 12 months rose by 66% between the end of 2012 and the end of 2013.   The latest figures show that the overwhelming majority of victims are local staff. Of the 460 aid workers who were victims of violent attacks in 2013, 59 were international workers and 401 were nationals.   This imbalance between international and local staff is not new. Of the 143 aid worker victims in 2003, 116 were national and 27 were international. But the figures also show clearly that two things have changed for the worse; the number of victims is three times higher than it was a decade ago, and the relative proportion of local aid worker victims has also increased significantly. In 2003, they were four times more likely than their international colleagues to come under attack. By last year, this ratio had risen to 6:1.

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  • September 24, 2014

    Security and Justice - the Mismatch Between Policy and Practice

    Donors are keen to improve the safety, security and access to justice of the people they are trying to help. But the British and Australian governments, the World Bank and the European Commission all admit that their programmes have not come close to achieving the ambitious security and justice agenda set out in policy statements and donor guidance documents, such as Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee’s Handbook on Security System Reform.   Why? Because donor approaches remain overly technical and insufficiently political.

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  • September 23, 2014

    Governance for Development BLOG: New Directions in Governance

    Despite relatively modest resources over the past five years the Governance Partnership Facility (GPF) has played a major role in helping to build the Bank’s Governance and Anti-Corruption strategy.  The model of the trust fund is structured around four different “windows” in which competitive grant proposals are submitted by World Bank task team leaders across the different Practice Groups; these are then carefully vetted and submitted to a Steering Committee for approval. By working strategically in partnerships, the GPF is just one example of how the Bank leverages its governance work and supports activities that are starting to yield exciting results in many countries. The success of the GPF model, which was based on a partnership between like-minded stakeholders, shows the benefits of a continued and regular dialogue between the World Bank, donors and civil society.

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  • September 23, 2014

    The Long Arm of Justice: Lessons from Specialized War Crimes Units in France, Germany, and the Netherlands

    This 109-page report examines the inner workings of war crimes units in the three countries and highlights key lessons learned. Since justice is often elusive where the crimes occurred, national courts in these three states and elsewhere are more frequently applying the longstanding principle of “universal jurisdiction” to prosecute suspects accused of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and torture, regardless of where the crimes were committed and the victim’s and accused’s nationality.

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  • September 23, 2014

    Presumption of Guilt: The Global Overuse of Pretrial Detention

    The arbitrary and excessive use of pretrial detention is a massive and widely ignored pattern of human rights abuse that affects—by a conservative estimate—15 million people a year. The right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty is universal, but at this moment some 3.3 million people are behind bars, waiting for a trial that may be months or even years away. No right is so broadly accepted in theory, but so commonly violated in practice. It is fair to say that the global overuse of pretrial detention is the most overlooked human rights crisis of our time.

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