Blog: South Sudan
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October 29, 2014
October 30, 2014
“The International Rule of Law Movement: A Crisis of Legitimacy and the Way Forward”
6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Please join us for a book talk by David Marshall, LLM ’02, editor of “The International Rule of Law Movement: A Crisis of Legitimacy and The Way Forward,” along with Michael Woolcock and Louis-Alexandre Berg, contributors to the volume. Marshall is a former Visiting Fellow with the Human Rights Program, and currently the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Focal Point for Rule of Law, Peacebuilding and South Sudan. Woolcock is Lead Social Development Specialist with the World Bank’s Development Research Group in Washington, D.C. and a Lecturer at the Harvard Kennedy School. Berg is a Research Fellow, International Security Program at the Belfer center for Science and International Affairs Harvard Kennedy School.
This event is being co-sponsored by the Harvard Law and International Development Society and the Harvard Human Rights Journal
September 3, 2014
Posted by Cara Solomon
This afternoon, the International Human Rights Clinic released a joint report with Human Rights Watch urging countries to enact strong laws to implement the treaty banning cluster munitions. The report, “Staying Strong: Key Components and Positive Precedent for Convention on Cluster Munitions Legislation,” was researched and written primarily by Senior Clinical Instructor Bonnie Docherty, as well as clinical students Amy Tan, Fletcher ’14, and Nick Sansone, JD ’15.
Bonnie presented the report in Costa Rica today at the annual meeting of countries that have joined the Convention on Cluster Munitions. For more information, see below for the press release from Human Rights Watch.
Cluster Munitions Ban: National Laws Needed
Annual Treaty Meeting Opens in Costa Rica
(San Jose, Costa Rica, September 3, 2014) – Countries around the world should enact strong laws to implement the treaty banning cluster munitions, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today at an international meeting of nations party to the treaty.
The 81-page report, “Staying Strong: Key Components and Positive Precedent for Convention on Cluster Munitions Legislation,” urges countries to pass robust national legislation as soon as possible to carry out the provisions of the treaty. The report describes the elements of a comprehensive law and highlights exemplary provisions in existing laws. The report was jointly published by Human Rights Watch and Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic.
“To maximize the global cluster munition treaty’s impact, all countries should adopt national laws that apply its high standards at home,” said Bonnie Docherty, senior researcher in the arms division at Human Rights Watch and lead author of the report. “Prohibitions that can be enforced in domestic courts can help ensure that these deadly weapons don’t harm civilians.”
Cluster munitions are large weapons that disperse dozens or hundreds of submunitions. They cause civilian casualties during attacks, especially in populated areas, because they blanket a broad area with submunitions. In addition, many of the submunitions do not explode on impact and thus linger, like de facto landmines, killing or injuring civilians long after the initial attack.
Representatives from governments, UN agencies, and the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) are convening in San Jose, Costa Rica, from September 2 through 5, 2014, for the Fifth Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. They will discuss a range of matters relating to the status of the convention, including national legislation.
The 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions obliges states parties to enact national laws that penalize violations of its absolute prohibition on cluster munitions with imprisonment or fines. The treaty also requires destruction of stocks, clearance of remnants, and victim assistance. As of August 2014, 84 countries were full parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, and another 29 countries had signed it.
According to “Cluster Munition Monitor 2014,” an annual report on the status of the treaty, 22 states parties have enacted national legislation dedicated to implementing the convention, while another 19 are in the process of drafting, considering, or adopting national legislation. Twenty-six states parties view other, more general national laws as sufficient to enforce the convention’s provisions.
While no single law represents best practice, Human Rights Watch and the Harvard Clinic highlighted provisions of existing implementation statutes that offer support for each essential element of legislation. National legislation should incorporate both the prohibitions and the positive obligations to minimize the humanitarian harm caused by cluster munitions, the groups said. Continue Reading…
January 25, 2011
“The World’s Newest Nation: What Follows South Sudan’s Independence?”
February 3, 2011
5:30- 7:00 pm
Pound Hall 203
Join us Thursday for a talk with Rebecca Hamilton, JD ’08, human rights lawyer, journalist and author of “Fighting for Darfur: Public Action and the Struggle to Stop Genocide.” A graduate of both Harvard Law School and Harvard’s JFK School of Government, Hamilton is a fellow at the New America Foundation and a Special Correspondent on Sudan for The Washington Post.
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