International Human Rights News: Weekly Roundup

By Luiza Drummond Veado and Cecilia Grillo

Each week students at the University of Essex Human Rights Centre prepare an overview of the past week’s human rights related news stories from around the world.

  • International

Protests around world show solidarity with Women’s March on Washington – The Guardian

Human Rights Watch World Report – Human Rights Watch

New UN manual aims to address management of violent extremists in prison settings – UN News Centre

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Supreme court rulings open door to future ‘war on terror’ litigation in Britain

By Daragh Murray

The UK Supreme Court has handed down three landmark judgements relating to the activities of UK authorities and officials in the fight against terrorism. The court ruled on January 17 that cases could now proceed against UK officials accused of involvement in detention and rendition operations – even if foreign states and their officials were the “prime actors” of alleged human rights violations. This means that cases can now proceed against, among others, the former foreign secretary Jack Straw.

Another key element of the rulings relates to the authority to detain people in armed conflict, and the interplay between the law of armed conflict and international human rights law.

The Supreme Court’s rulings will have a significant impact on future litigation in relation to the activity of UK authorities and officials abroad. As a number of the claims relate to the extraterritorial application of the Human Rights Act and its application to UK armed forces, these cases are particularly sensitive in the current political climate.

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Privacy: System Failure | An Interview with Gus Hosein


By Vivian Ng and Daniel Marciniak

Gus Hosein has worked at the intersection of technology and human rights for over fifteen years. He has acted as an external evaluator for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), advised the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, and has advised a number of other international organisations. He is the Executive Director of Privacy International. We interviewed Gus when he spoke at the University of Essex Talk Big Data seminar on ‘Big Data, Big Brother?’ on 17 November 2016.

Could you tell us a bit more about the work you are currently doing, projects you are currently focusing on, and Privacy International’s strategy?

The field is changing, the world is changing and we always have to deal with the change. Privacy as a right has always been contingent on and defined by the environment around it. A year and a half ago, we evaluated where we are involved in the fight for privacy and thought about where we need to be involved. We identified three programme areas where we can make the largest contributions: (1) surveillance and human rights; (2) the Global South; and (3) data exploitation.

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