Less Lethal than Firearms, But Only if Used Appropriately

Original post: www.justsecurity.org

The excessive use of force by U.S. police forces in responding to the wave of demonstrations that have taken place throughout the country in the wake of the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Rayshard Brooks has rightly been widely condemned. In particular, events in the United States in recent weeks have highlighted the reality that far too often police use of force has a distinct racial bias. In the words of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, speaking during an urgent debate in the Human Rights Council on racism and excessive use of force in policing on June 17, “Too little has changed over too many years.”

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Invitation: Webinar on the New Use of Force Law for South Africa

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This webinar will discuss use of force legislation in South Africa and whether the time has come to consider a comprehensive new Use of Force Law.

  • Louise Edwards – Programmes and Research Director, APCOF
  • Adv. Tseliso Thipanyane – Chief Executive Officer, SA Human Rights Commission
  • Prof. Christof Heyns – Director of the Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa, University of Pretoria, and member of the UN Human Rights Committee
  • Themba Masuku – Independent Policing Researcher
  • Hon. J Jeffery – Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development South Africa
  • pdfDownload Invitation

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COVID-19 Jurisprudence on the right of peaceful assembly and police use of force

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ICLA is preparing summaries of COVID-19-related jurisprudence around the world on the right of peaceful assembly and police use of force. 

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Call for Papers: Assessing the implications of COVID-19 pandemic regulations on human rights and the rule of law in Africa

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The Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa and Centre for Human Rights of the University of Pretoria, in partnership with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung’s Rule of Law Program for SubSaharan Africa - Nairobi, Kenya, is planning a webinar on the theme “Assessing the implications of Covid-19 pandemic regulations on human rights and the rule of law in Africa,” for 11-12 August 2020.

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Overview of Global and Regional Human Rights Standards on the Police Use of Force

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 In response to the recent Khoza judgement in the Pretoria High Court on the use of force by law enforcement officials during the Covid-19 pandemic,  the Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa together with the Centre for Human Rights have made available an overview of the main international legal documents and standards on the use of force.

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Pretoria professor to join study of police brutality

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By Lisa Isaacs

Cape Town – The Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights has appointed the University of Pretoria’s Professor Christof Heyns and some of his colleagues in the Faculty of Law to assist with a continent-wide comparative study on the use of force by law enforcement officials.

They are tasked with collecting all the applicable laws and collaborating with the commission to study how the use of force by law enforcement is dealt with in Africa in the context of the protection of the right to life and UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16.

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Use of force by police in African countries: UP Faculty of Law researchers to assist African Union in study of relevant laws

PRETORIA – The human rights body of the African Union, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, has appointed Professor Christof Heyns and some of his colleagues in the Faculty of Law at the University of Pretoria to assist with a continent-wide comparative study on the laws related to the use of force by law enforcement officials in all African countries.

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University of Pretoria: Opportunity for doctoral studies on aspects of ‘Freedom from violence in Africa’

The University of Pretoria, working with a global network of research partners (including in Cambridge, Geneva and well-established collaboration with more than a dozen other African universities), recently established a research programme that focuses on violence reduction and securing the right to life in Africa. This is a multi-disciplinary programme that engages in the African context with the aspiration of UN Sustainable Development Goal 16 to establish ‘peaceful societies’.

 

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University of Pretoria ranks within the top 100 universities in the world in terms of their impact regarding SDG 16

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Last week Times Higher Education, one of the most well-regarded global analysts of comparative university performance, announced their global University Impact Rankings, which seek to capture universities’ impact on society based on their success in delivering the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The University of Pretoria is proud to have been ranked within the top 100 universities in the world in terms of their impact regarding SDG 16, the goal aimed at reducing violence, pursuing access to justice and building effective institutions.

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Call for submissions: University Law Press Thesis Prize

Students who have completed, or will complete, their doctoral studies in law at an African University in 2020 are encouraged to submit their doctoral theses for consideration for the new Pretoria University Law Press Thesis Prize, which will be awarded on an annual basis.

The winning thesis will be published in book form by the Pretoria University Law Press (PULP).

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A Critique of the Canberra Guiding Principles on Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems

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By Thomson Chengeta

This article is part of a series.

The challenges that are raised by lethal autonomous weapon systems [LAWS] – also known as killer robots – remain pertinent today, even amidst the deadly corona virus pandemic that has taken the world by a storm. Realising that even in times of crisis, it is critical for nations to continue addressing this urgent issue, from 1-2 April 2020, the German Government hosted a Berlin virtual forum on the regulation of LAWS within which 450 people participated from 63 countries. During the forum, the German Government – through its Foreign Minister – reiterated that “letting machines decide over life and death of human beings runs against all of our ethical standards”.

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Press release: University of Pretoria law academic appointed on international pandemic commission

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The Faculty of Law of the University of Pretoria is proud to announce that Professor Dire Tladi was appointed to serve on the Commission dealing with Pandemics and International Law of the Institut de Droit International, based in Geneva, Switzerland.

 

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Alumna of UP's Faculty of Law wins prestigious International Prize for best book in the law of armed conflict

The Faculty of Law is proud to announce that UP Faculty of Law alumna Aniel de Beer's book on 'Peremptory Norms of General International Law (Jus Cogens) and the Prohibition of Terrorism' has been selected as the winner of the American Society of International Law Francis Lieber Prize for best book in the law of armed conflict.  The book is based on De Beer’s doctoral thesis completed in 2018 and prepared under supervision of Professor Dire Tladi in the Department of Public Law and the Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa, and a member of the International Law Commission.

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The Draft General Comment on Freedom of Assembly: Might Less Be More?

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Editor’s note from Ryan Goodman: Just Security is publishing a mini-forum on a significant document being drafted by the United Nations Human Rights Committee concerning the right of peaceful assembly. We were honored to launch the series with an initial article by Christof Heyns, member of the Committee and its rapporteur on the draft General Comment. As Heyns noted in his article, the Committee is currently accepting public views on the draft document, and we hope this series at Just Security will contribute to the important work of the Committee.

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What difference does the UN human rights treaty system make, and why?

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By: Christof Heyns & Frans Viljoen

February 11, 2020

A new, global academic study to answer this question is launched in collaboration with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The UN treaty bodies system has operated for the last more than half a century on the premise that it makes a difference where it matters: on the ground, in all countries around the world. Yet there is very little evidence available of the extent to which it actually makes such a difference, and why. It is hard to see how the system can survive—or for that matter be reformed, or even understood—without a much clearer picture of its impact and the forces that drive it.

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The Right of Peaceful Assembly: UN Committee Weighs in on the ‘Age of Protest’

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Editor’s note from Ryan Goodman: Just Security is publishing a mini-forum on a significant document being drafted by the United Nations Human Rights Committee concerning the right of peaceful assembly. We were honored to launch the series with an initial article by Christof Heyns, member of the Committee and its rapporteur on the draft General Comment. As Heyns noted in his article, the Committee is currently accepting public views on the draft document, and we hope this series at Just Security will contribute to the important work of the Committee.

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United Nations Sets Standards on Peaceful Assemblies and the Use of Less Lethal Weapons

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Original Post: Just Securtiy 

Editor’s note from Ryan Goodman: Just Security is publishing a mini-forum on a significant document being drafted by the United Nations Human Rights Committee concerning the right of peaceful assembly. We are honored to launch the series with this article by Christof Heyns, member of the Committee and its rapporteur on the draft General Comment. As Heyns notes in his article, the Committee is currently accepting public views on the draft document, and we hope this series at Just Security will contribute to the important work of the Committee.

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