Global Justice Center Blog

Differences ‘Getting Narrower’ on Proposed Crimes Against Humanity Treaty

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

States considering the International Law Commission’s draft articles for a proposed treaty on crimes against humanity sought to narrow their differences in a weeklong session last month that began an 18-month process of debate and discussion towards the goal — at long last — of negotiations to conclude a treaty on the prevention and punishment of crimes against humanity.

A diverse cross-section of States engaged substantively on a number of issues, and it was clear by the conclusion of the session that positive momentum continues to build. As State representatives and civil-society organizations meet in Ljubljana, Slovenia, to discuss a parallel process, negotiations for a multi-lateral mutual legal assistance treaty, we hope that it serves as a springboard to further support the momentum achieved on crimes against humanity.

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Organizational Letter Endorsing the Freedom to Learn Campaign

As organizations, groups and initiatives committed to the pursuit of human and civil rights, advocating for marginalized communities and defending racial and gender justice in the United States, we are proud to endorse the Freedom to Learn campaign and announce our participation in the Freedom To Learn National Day of Action on May 3, 2023. We join the growing, global network of more than 5,000 academics, authors and advocates who oppose the censoring of critical content in public and higher education.

The Freedom To Learn Movement has grown in response to the College Board’s February 2023 decision to water down its new Advanced Placement African American Studies course curriculum. We stand united in the call to restore the teaching of critical frameworks like intersectionality and contemporary movements for Black lives to the AP course. But more than that, we recognize that this one decision is not isolated. It is part of a long history of Black erasure and an alarming, current political moment in which right-wing politicians are seeking to undermine democracy by limiting public access to history and ideas.

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The Decision Heard Around the World: The Global Impact of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization

Excerpt of American Bar Association op-ed authored by GJC President Akila Radhakrishnan.

When the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was revealed—first the leak and then the nearly identical ruling—the reverberations were felt not only across the United States but also around the world.

The decision elicited responses from a range of international actors. For instance, United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet called the decision “a huge blow to women’s human rights and gender equality.” The World Health Organization, which had released comprehensive new abortion guidelines just months before, responded by emphasizing that “safe abortion is health care.” And UN human rights experts denounced the ruling as “shocking and dangerous.”

Countries allied with the United States were also vocally—and surprisingly—critical. French President Emmanuel Macron called abortion a fundamental right and said he stood in solidarity with women in the United States, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the news “horrific,” and Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo stated that he was very worried about the decision’s implications and “the signal it sends to the world.”

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Draft Articles on Crimes Against Humanity: Takeaways and Next Steps for Civil Society

On 18 November 2022, the U.N. General Assembly’s Sixth Committee adopted a draft resolution on the International Law Commission (ILC)’s 2019 Draft Articles on Crimes Against Humanity. Co-sponsored by 86 States, the resolution establishes a two-year time frame for the exchange of ‘substantive views’ on ‘all aspects’ of the draft articles, including two ‘intersessional’ resumed convenings of the Sixth Committee in ‘an interactive format’ in April 2023 and 2024.

The purpose of this webinar is to gather and share key takeaways from the Sixth Committee’s April 2023 resumed session on the ILC’s Draft Articles on Prevention and Punishment of Crimes Against Humanity. The webinar will convene civil society experts in international law who have closely tracked the development of the draft articles – and the trends at the resumed session – to highlight key developments and challenges during the session, strategize on how to advance to a convention, and share ideas to continue to improve the draft articles’ substance, including on sexual and gender-based crimes.

Catalyzing Change: Ongwen, Sexual and Gender-Based Crimes, and Intersection

A two-day conference discussing the ICC’s ONGWEN case, feminist approaches to norm-setting and redressing gender-based international crimes sponsored by Cardozo Law Institute in Holocaust and Human Rights, Cardozo International and Comparative Law Journal, the Emergent Justice Collective, the Global Justice Center, Tallawah Justice for Women, and UN Women.

Join us for a lively discussion of how the ground-breaking International Criminal Court’s Appeals Chamber ruling in Prosecutor v. Dominic Ongwen impacts intersectional feminist approaches to norm-setting and redressing sexual and gender-based crimes in international law. These discussions will center Ugandan-driven policy, legal, and advocacy work while uplifting the expertise gained through lived experiences.