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Global Justice Center Blog

Letter on LaSalle Nomination from Gender & Reproductive Justice Organizations and Leaders

Dear Governor Hochul, Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, and State Senators:

As organizations, advocates, and scholars who work and write on issues of reproductive and gender justice, we are deeply troubled by the nomination of Justice Hector LaSalle to serve as Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals. At a moment when the federal courts have gutted rights to reproductive autonomy, New York’s highest court should be a defender of New Yorkers’ reproductive and gender freedoms, not an ally in their diminution. Given his record, which includes curtailing a New York Attorney General investigation into predatory crisis pregnancy centers — a key weapon of the anti-abortion movement — we have grave concerns for a Court of Appeals headed by Justice LaSalle.

We urge the New York Senate to reject his nomination and the Governor to nominate a jurist who will safeguard the rights of New Yorkers.

Download the Full Letter

New Filing in Argentinian Genocide Case Against Myanmar Military Presents Recommendations for Treatment of Sexual Violence Victims

BUENOS AIRES/NEW YORK — The Global Justice Center and the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK (BROUK) today submitted recommendations to the Argentinian judiciary in a case brought against Myanmar military leaders for the genocide of the Rohingya.

The case was filed by BROUK and launched by the Second Chamber of the Federal Criminal Court in 2021 under the principle of universal jurisdiction, which allows any court to prosecute certain human rights abuses, regardless of where they were committed.

Today’s submission seeks to prepare the court for testimony from victims of sexual violence. It presents internationally-recognized principles for interviewing and engaging with victims. The submission also sets out standards for how the court should asses evidence of sexual violence.

Tun Khin, BROUK President, issued the following statement:

“More than five years after the genocide of the Rohingya, this case represents a crucial path to justice for crimes committed in Myanmar, particularly for victims of sexual violence. The Argentinian courts have an opportunity to be on the right side of history and provide justice that, until now, has seemed illusive.”

Angela Mudukuti, Senior Legal Advisor with the Global Justice Center, issued the following statement:

“Supporting victims of sexual violence, and our partners BROUK in their quest for justice, is of the utmost importance to the Global Justice Center. We submitted these recommendations because, historically, courts all over the world have failed to engage with victims and survivors of sexual violence in a way that avoids retraumatization and gives their testimony the weight it deserves. We remain hopeful that our submission will support the Argentinian judiciary in treating survivors and victims with dignity.”

Global Justice Center Submission to Argentinian Judiciary on Best Practice For Engaging With Victims and Witnesses of Sexual Violence

INTRODUCTION 

The Global Justice Center (GJC) hereby respectfully submits its recommendations to assist this Honorable Court in the interests of justice. GJC has not received any financial or economic support from any parties to the proceedings and will gain no patrimonial benefits no matter the outcome of the proceedings. 

OBJECTIVE 

Sexual violence “has been particularly egregious” in Myanmar and warrants this Honorable Court’s attention. The purpose of this submission is twofold to: present this Court with the international and regionally recognized principles and practices in relation to interviewing and engaging with victims and witnesses of sexual violence and; to set out international and regional standards applicable to assessing evidence of sexual violence.

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UN Security Council Passes First-Ever Resolution on Myanmar

NEW YORK  — The United Nations Security Council today passed a resolution urging an end to the crisis in Myanmar. Despite decades of human rights abuses by the military, including the 2017 genocide of the Rohingya and the 2021 military coup, today’s resolution is the first the Security Council has passed on the situation in Myanmar.

Passed without opposition and three abstentions, the resolution “expressed deep concern” at the ongoing state of emergency imposed by the military and its impact on civilians. It stressed the need for humanitarian access to the country and the release of political prisoners.

The resolution also set a timeframe for future Security Council attention, requesting a report from the UN Secretary General or the Secretary General’s Special Envoy on Myanmar by March 15, 2023. 

Akila Radhakrishnan, president of the Global Justice Center, issued the following statement:

“Today’s resolution is long overdue, but it’s still a critical step forward for a Security Council whose silence on Myanmar had long supported global inaction and continued a cycle of impunity in the face of staggering human rights abuses. We know the Security Council has a legal and moral responsibility to respond to the crisis in Myanmar. And this resolution offers some reassurance that Council members understand this fact.

“However, we can’t deny that Council members missed an opportunity for more robust action. Most important was their failure to create a mechanism for regular reporting on the situation in Myanmar. This is a crisis that is continuously evolving and deepening. So it is urgent that Council members treat this resolution as a first step by developing a comprehensive and ongoing plan of action.”

Coming Debates to Advance New Treaty on Crimes Against Humanity Will Require Skillful Leadership

Excerpt of Just Security op-ed co-authored by GJC President Akila Radhakrishnan.

The resolution adopted recently at the United Nations General Assembly’s legal committee on draft articles for a treaty on crimes against humanity creates a two-year process for debate and discussion of the proposal within the committee. This opens the door for the possible adoption of a new, critically needed, global treaty on crimes against humanity within the next three or four years. Such a treaty would close several gaps in the legal architecture of atrocity crimes — particularly the legal obligation to prevent crimes against humanity, a duty not imposed by complementary regimes, including the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and the proposed Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty.

As Just Security readers will recall from previous articles, the project had been stuck for the past three years. Each year, an overwhelming majority of States voiced their enthusiastic support in the Sixth Committee. This was then followed by weeks of debate and the adoption of a disappointing resolution “taking note” of the International Law Commission’s work to produce the draft articles and placing it on the agenda for the following year. The primary culprit was not the draft articles themselves or States’ unwillingness to debate this important potential treaty. Instead, it was a product of the working methods of the Sixth Committee, which insist upon “consensus” (meaning de facto unanimity) for any concrete action to occur with respect to ILC products. As we have already noted here and here, this not only prevented any action with respect to the draft articles, but imperiled the legitimacy of the International Law Commission and the Sixth Committee itself.

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