August 24, 2019

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 […]

It Takes a Village to Make a Monster

The world loves to hate a villain, and Sudan’s recently ousted president, Omar al-Bashir, is a villain worthy of despise. During his 30 years of autocratic rule, he presided over the deaths of millions of Sudanese citizens, oversaw the establishment of proxy militia that have devastated communities across the country, and fostered a ruthless security […]

Sudan’s new ruler is no democrat – and he has Darfur to answer for

After 30 years, President Omar al Bashir is no longer the ruler of Sudan. Following months of protests, the Sudanese military has taken charge of the country. This marks the fifth military coup in Sudan’s post-independence history. And while Bashir’s downfall is an extraordinary development, there is a long way to go before the protesters’ […]

Sudan’s Unlawful State of Emergency

– With Nasredeen Abdulbari.  On February 22, Sudan’s embattled president, Omar al-Bashir declared a one-year, nation-wide state of emergency. He subsequently issued five decrees to implement the declaration that collectively curtail fundamental rights to a degree that is unprecedented in the post-independence history of Sudan. The state of emergency came during peaceful protests— started by […]

The Hidden Danger of User-Generated Evidence

In the summer of 2017, judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) took a remarkable step. For the first time, they issued an arrest warrant based primarily on video footage that a user posted to Facebook. It was a harbinger of the 21st Century forms of evidence that will soon flow into international courtrooms. The […]

She’s Credible, So Long As Her Attacker Is Not Our Guy

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford threw her life into turmoil yesterday to testify before the nation. Asked by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), with what degree of certainty she believed that Judge Brett Kavanaugh assaulted her, she responded: “One hundred percent.” Every senator voting to confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court should be pushed to answer one […]

Time to Dust Off the War Crimes Act?

With Sarah Knuckey Former members of the U.S. military are present in armed conflicts across the globe. Working for private military contractors, they are typically tasked with training and advising foreign armies. But a Buzzfeed article published this week profiles a former U.S. Army lieutenant colonel who has reportedly taken on a commanding role within the United […]

Paying attention to land rights in Syria negotiations

Deyaa Alrwishdi & Rebecca Hamilton – As President Donald Trump ponders his response to yet another chemical weapons attack in Syria, advisers and commentators alike are mired in short-term calculations. But one day the Syrian conflict will come to an end. Whether this will involve the kind of negotiated settlement being sought in Geneva, or a much […]

#metoo

You can read the full article, explaining my relationship to this topic, over at The Washington Post. Here I’d like to draw attention to the challenges for the #metoo movement going forward: ….I study large-scale advocacy movements. I’ve led them, observed them, written about them. Each is a product of its time and place, so […]

Hundreds of foreigners are fighting for UAE in Yemen—How war crimes trials may deter them

The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen continues to eye a takeover of the Port of Hodeida, which has been under the control of the Houthi rebels since they forced President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi to flee Yemen back in 2014. Experts have warned about the risk of war crimes should the Saudi- and Emirates-led coalition seize […]