Topic: Criminal Justice
Case Watch: European Court Ruling on Life Sentences Sets New Standard
In a new judgment, the European Court of Human Rights considered whether life in prison was acceptable if there was no possibility of a review or release—in other words, no hope.
African States Need to do More to Combat the Use of Torture
More African states need to take steps to make the use of torture a criminal offense, and to set up preventative monitoring and other measures to eradicate its use.
New Insights into Pretrial Detention in Three West African Countries
Three new reports from Sierra Leone, Ghana and Guinea Conakry paint a similar picture of the costs of excessive and unnecessary pretrial detention.
The Socioeconomic Impact of Pretrial Detention in Guinea Conakry
Three non-governmental organizations surveyed 105 adult pretrial detainees in two prisons to gather information on how their detention affected their socioeconomic position.
The Socioeconomic Impact of Pretrial Detention in Ghana
A report on the impact of pretrial detention in Ghana based on a survey of the experiences of 45 adults held in Kumasi prison.
The Socioeconomic Impact of Pretrial Detention in Sierra Leone
A report on the costs of pretrial detention in Sierra Leone, based on a random survey of 128 adults held in three prisons.
Case Watch: Politics, Justice, and Article 18
The European Court of Human Rights seldom rules on Article 18 of the European Convention. But several recent high profile cases have brought it into the spotlight.
Africa Moves Ahead on Pretrial Detention Guidelines
A new initiative recognizes the need to address the drivers of excessive and arbitrary pretrial detention that aggravate prison overcrowding.
Case Watch: Retention of Fingerprints Violates Right to Respect for Private Life
The European Court has ruled that French authorities violated the right to respect for private life when they retained fingerprints in a government database after a suspect was acquitted.
Legal Tools: An Arrest Rights Toolkit for Lawyers
The first hours after arrest are crucial. If suspects don’t have access to basic criminal defense, they’re left vulnerable. A new resource aims to assist lawyers, police, and judges to advocate for arrest rights in Europe.
Legal Tools: Early Access to Justice in Europe
Part of a toolkit on arrest rights in Europe, this “template brief” from the Open Society Justice Initiative provides lawyers with arguments and research to support litigation in domestic courts.
Legal Tools: Arrest Rights and the Right to Information
Part of a toolkit on arrest rights in Europe, this “template brief” from the Open Society Justice Initiative provides lawyers with research on the right of suspects to obtain information during criminal proceedings.
Legal Tools: Right to Legal Aid
Part of a toolkit on arrest rights in Europe, this “template brief” from the Open Society Justice Initiative provides lawyers with research on the right to legal aid for suspects and accused persons.
Legal Tools: International Standards on Criminal Defense Rights
This case digest sets out relevant extracts of the ICCPR and summaries of all of the key case law interpreting those standards by the Human Rights Committee.
Legal Tools: European Standards on Criminal Defense Rights
This case digest covers all of the core procedural rights that underpin access to justice and a fair trial. It summarizes all key case law from the European Court of Human Rights.
Viewed with Suspicion: Twenty Years after Stephen Lawrence
The Lawrence legacy of police reform isn’t complete. It requires action that recognises the human costs of stop and search—action that finally accounts for those on the receiving end.
Viewed with Suspicion: The Human Cost of Stop and Search in England and Wales
How does it feel to bear the brunt of police profiling? The Open Society Justice Initiative conducted interviews with nine people whose lives have been directly affected by stop and search.
Why a Piecemeal Approach to Criminal Justice Reform in Nigeria Won’t Work
On the surface, a proposal that could free people held in prolonged prerial detention in Nigeria looks good, but it won’t deliver genuine reform of a dysfunctional system.
Case Watch: Hungary Now Requires Real Opportunity to Access a Lawyer
Most countries have legislation stating that all people arrested by the police have the right to see a lawyer before they are interrogated. But law and practice are often very different things. Consider the case of Hungary.
Case Watch: European Court Recognizes a Mother’s Suffering as Inhuman Treatment
In a recent decision, the court took an unprecedented step in recognizing how excessive pretrial detention carries repercussions beyond the holding cells.