Topic: Criminal Justice
Fined for Being Roma while Cycling
In a small northern Hungarian village, the local police were singling out local Roma for riding bikes without bells and reflectors. The Hungarian Helsinki Committee responded.
UN General Assembly Enacts Global Standards on Access to Legal Aid
The UN General Assembly has adopted the world's first international instrument for the provision of legal aid, setting out guidelines and principles for ensuring fair trial rights for all, regardless of economic status.
Azimjan Askarov Takes His Torture and Unfair Trial in Kyrgyzstan to Human Rights Committee
The case of Azimjan Askarov, a 61-year old human rights defender, is a litmus test for the administration of justice in Kyrgyzstan.
Fact Sheet: Improving Pretrial Justice in Africa
Organizations across the region are working to combat excessive pretrial detention. Find out where and how.
Fact Sheet: The Global Campaign for Pretrial Justice
We seek to document what happens when pretrial justice systems fail, and to develop and share cost-effective ways to get them working.
A Move Towards New Standards for Pretrial Justice in Africa
The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights has taken a significant decision to address policing and pretrial detention issues.
Magnitsky v. Russia
Sergei Magnitsky died in pretrial detention in Russia after being denied essential medical care, in retaliation for exposing a $230m fraud involving senior Interior Ministry officials.
Eight Groups Urge French Leaders to Honor Promise on Police Ethnic Profiling
The French government should respect President François Hollande’s election campaign commitment to fight against ethnic profiling and abusive practices during identity checks.
Case Watch: Challenging Police Abuse in Spain
A ruling from the European Court of Human Rights has recognized the particular vulnerability of black women in Spain to racial discrimination and abuse.
Pardons are Not a Solution to Prison Overcrowding
The first half of 2012 brought a bumper crop of prison pardons. But they are not an effective way of managing prison populations.
UN Faults Kazakhstan for Police Torture and Intimidation
A decision from the UN Committee against Torture underlines widespread concerns about the use of torture by police in Kazakhstan.
Living in a Shadow of Perpetual Suspicion
Rizwaan Sabir was treated as a terrorism suspect for downloading a document for his academic research in 2008. His story highlights concerns about how anti-terrorism powers are being used by UK police.
European Parliament Supports New Arrest Rights
In a breakthrough this week, the European Parliament’s civil liberties committee agreed on a strong proposal for a directive that will guarantee the right to lawyer for all people accused or suspected of crimes.
Legal Empowerment: An Integrated Approach to Justice and Development
This working paper sets out Open Society Foundations’ vision of how legal empowerment can support development and justice by ensuring that the law is not confined to books or courtrooms, but is available to everyone.
An Open Letter to the European Commission on Pretrial Detention
The Open Society Justice Initiative has joined 12 other groups in urging the European Commission to come forward with promised proposals to set common minimum standards for pretrial detention across the EU’s member states.
Law Talks: Rupert Skilbeck on Torture
Rupert Skilbeck, head of litigation at the Open Society Justice Initiative, looks at the evolution of international law on torture and ill-treatment.
Law Talks: Marion Isobel on Arrest Rights
Marion Isobel of the Open Society Justice Initiative looks at how international legal standards are being used to combat torture, abuse and excessive detention of suspects in police custody.
Law Talks: Julia Harrington Reddy on Discrimination
Julia Harrington Reddy, a lawyer at the Open Society Justice Initiative, considers the challenges and effectiveness of using strategic litigation in the battle to end discrimination.
Case Watch: UN Human Rights Committee Falls Short on Arrest Rights
Europe’s top human rights court has affirmed the importance of early access to legal counsel. But the UN Human Rights Committee has passed up an opportunity to affirm the same high standards globally.
Why Police Profiling Is Not Just a New York Problem
In cities across Western Europe, young men of color are subjected to discriminatory police stops, contributing to a profound sense of alienation—not just from the police, but from society at large.