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Comparative Law in Africa (ICLA)

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Opinion: South Africa should lead effort to ban killer robots

South Africa should lead effort to ban killer robots

As nations convene at the United Nations in Geneva this week to continue deliberations on “lethal autonomous weapons systems” or “killer robots”, it is clear that the diplomatic process is moving too slowly.

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Video message by prof Christof Heyns to African Union High Level Panel on autonomous weapons, Geneva

On 27 March 2018, the African Union held a High-Level Seminar on Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems for African Union Missions to Geneva at the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva., Switzerland.

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Deputy President David Mabuza: Commemoration of Human Rights Day commenting on the National Schools Moot Court Competition

Address by Deputy President David Mabuza during the commemoration of Human Rights Day in Sharpeville, Gauteng.

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Thomas Probert

thomasprobert

MA M.Phil. Ph.D. (Cantab)

Home Department: Centre for Human Rights

Thomas Probert is the Head of Research of the new international collaboration “Freedom from Violence”, initially housed at ICLA, which is an initiative to establish a research network that brings together researchers from across the African continent focussing on evidence-based and human-rights based approaches to the problem of violence.

He acted as a Research Consultant to the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions from 2013 – 2016, based from 2015-6 in the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva. He still works closely with OHCHR, particularly in supporting its work under the Addis Ababa Roadmap, which guides collaboration with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

He is also a Research Associate of the Centre of Governance and Human Rights at the University of Cambridge.

Areas of interest: Politics of human rights (in global and regional settings), accountability, the death penalty, trends in interpersonal violence, evidence-based policy-making with respect to violence, the history of human rights

Publications

Forthcoming

  • ‘Implementation of the Guidelines for the Policing of Assemblies by Law Enforcement Officials in Africa: Practical challenges’ Police and Human Rights in Africa Newsletter No.11 (April 2018)
  • (Book chapter): ‘The right to life and the progressive abolition of the death penalty’ De Guzman, M et al (eds.) Arcs of Global Justice: Essays in Honour of William A. Schabas (OUP, 2017) (with Christof Heyns and Tess Borden)

Published during the last five years

Chapters in books
  • ‘The role of the UN Human Rights Council Special Procedures in protecting the right to life in armed conflicts’ in Dan Kuwali & Frans Viljoen (eds.) By all means necessary: Protecting civilians and preventing mass atrocities in Africa (PULP, 2017)
  • ‘Casting fresh light on the supreme right: The African Commission’s General Comment 3 on the right to life’ Dire Tladi et al. (eds) The Pursuit of a Brave New World in International Law: Essays in Honour of John Dugard (Brill, 2017) [with Christof Heyns]
  • ‘Special Procedures in the Digital Age’ in A. Nolan, R. Freedman and T. Murphy, The United Nations Special Procedures System (Brill, 2017) [with Ella McPherson]
  • ‘The right to life and the progressive abolition of the death penalty’ in Moving Away from the Death Penalty: Argument, Trends and Perspectives (New York: United Nations, 2015) [with Christof Heyns]
Policy Briefs/Research Reports
  • ‘Vehicles for accountability or cloaks of impunity? How can national commissions of inquiry achieve accountability for violations of the right to life?’ Institute for Justice & Reconciliation Policy Brief No.25 (May 2017)
  • Unlawful Killings in Africa (University of Cambridge: Centre of Governance and Human Rights, 2014) [editor]
Blogs/Journalism
  • ‘Securing the Right to Life: A cornerstone of the human rights system’ EJILTalk (11 May 2016) [with Christof Heyns]
  • ‘The New African Commission General Comment on the Right to Life is an Important Step Forward’ Just Security (17 December 2015)
  • ‘The power of information communication technologies for human rights’ Human Rights Monitor (7 July 2015) [with Christof Heyns]
  • ‘Violence: An issue for public health’ Vision (Autumn 2014) pp.15-18.
  • ‘How the death penalty is slowly weakening its grip on Africa’ African Arguments (9 October 2014)

 


[last updated 17 April 2018]

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