November 26, 2020

Sudan has made amends. Let’s take it off the terrorism list.

The U.S. government is poised to remove Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, based on an agreement that requires Khartoum to pay $335 million to American victims of terrorist attacks. The deal recognizes that Sudan has met the delisting requirement of a “fundamental change” in leadership following courageous work by the Sudanese […]

New Zealand Responds to Covid-19

OKIATO, New Zealand — Since the start of the novel coronavirus pandemic, New Zealand has drawn global attention for the effectiveness of its response. But in recent weeks it has experienced an uptick in infections — even prompting President Trump to sneer at what he called its “big surge.” Perhaps he’s just jealous. In fact, […]

Bashir and the ICC

Most of the media got ahead of this story in initial reporting. I spoke with Jen Kirby at Vox about what the Sudanese transitional government’s statement on the ICC means. “Cautious optimism is the name of the game,” Hamilton said. “It’s nowhere near a done deal, but I think the fact that the conversation is happening […]

Sudan’s New Minister of Justice

Nasredeen Abdulbari was in the Georgetown University Library, working on his doctoral dissertation, when he received a call on his phone. “You’ve been nominated to be the Minister of Justice,” the man on the other end told him. Fifteen years ago his community was decimated by a genocide that catalyzed thousands of ordinary Americans to […]

Beyond Takedown: Expanding the toolkit for responding to online hate

Rebecca J. Hamilton (with Molly K. Land), Beyond Takedown: Expanding the Toolkit for Responding to Online Hate, in Propaganda and International Criminal Law (Predrag Dojčinović, ed.)(2019). The current preoccupation with ‘fake news’ has spurred a renewed emphasis in popular discourse on the potential harms of speech. In the world of international law, however, ‘fake news’ […]

After Dictatorship

KHARTOUM, Sudan—During the morning shift at Omdurman Teaching Hospital, sick people group under trees in the courtyard, awaiting admission. There are 645 beds and upwards of 1,500 patients each day. Inside, Mohammed Elhag Hamed brought a manila folder over to me. The documents inside formed a paper trail of corruption. They showed how the political […]

Bringing the Rule of Law to Sudan

Last week, as Americans grappled with potential impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, and lawyers on the other side of the Atlantic digested the British Supreme Court’s prorogation decision, Nasredeen Abdulbari, Sudan’s new minister of justice, appeared before the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva to recount the seismic shifts afoot in his country, too: “As […]

Seize this Moment in Sudan

Sudan is in the midst of a once-in-a-generation moment. Courageous and persistent pro-democracy protesters, who broke the grip on power that president Omar Hassan al-Bashir had held for three decades, have now succeeded in bringing civilian reformers into leadership positions. The significance of this moment might be overlooked by anyone who expects a democratic transition to be […]

Atrocity Prevention in the New Media Landscape

Journalists have traditionally played a crucial role in building public pressure on government officials to uphold their legal obligations under the 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide. But over the past twenty years there has been radical change in the media landscape: foreign bureaus have been shuttered, young freelance journalists have taken […]

Commission on Unalienable Rights

On May 30, without fanfare, a notice of intent to establish a State Department Commission on Unalienable Rights was published in the Federal Register. The stated purpose of the Commission is to provide “fresh thinking about human rights” and propose “reforms of human rights discourse where it has departed from our nation’s founding principles of natural law […]