human rights news & views

Military aggression almost illegal

When a permanent International Criminal Court (ICC) was finally established in The Hague in 1998, its founding document contained four classes of major crimes that could be heard by the Court. Three of them are genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, each with legal precedent and a clear definition in the Rome Statute establishing […]

Uganda realises right to free secondary education

Last year, RightsBase hailed the introduction of free primary education in Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique and Uganda, resulting in huge increases in school attendance and great knock-on benefits to the kids and their society. Now Uganda is offering free secondary education, in accordance with its human rights obligations. The International Covenant on the Economic, Social and […]

Australia violating the right to liberty: UN

The highest international authority on civil and political rights has found Australia is violating the rights of a Bangladeshi asylum seeker detained for nearly seven-and-a-half years. Danyal Shafiq, 34, was raised in an orphanage in Bangladesh. Fearing torture, harsh imprisonment or death at the hands of either Bangladeshi police or the Sharbahara Party, he fled […]

US citizen indicted for torture committed abroad

Charles Taylor, former President of Liberia wanted on 17 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, made headlines last year when he was finally arrested in Nigeria and handed over to be tried by the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone. Now the law has caught up with his son, Charles ‘Chuckie’ Taylor, a […]

Ronald Ryan dead 40 years: A call to action

It’s 40 years since Australia executed anyone. Forty years ago today a flock of pigeons took flight from the roof of Pentridge Gaol in Melbourne when the gallows trap crashed open under Ronald Ryan’s feet. He was, and may he remain, the last person executed in Australia. On this bleak anniversary Lex Lasry QC reminds […]