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Life imprisonment in a constitutional democracy

On 4 June 2020, Professor Dirk van Zyl Smit gave the ‘Roger Hood’ Lecture at the University of Oxford.Titled ‘The People Strike Back? Life imprisonment and other ultimate penalties in a constitutional democracy’ the lecture looked into the fight of penal reformers to make ultimate penalties more humane. Penal reformers ‘sought, with some success, not only to abolish the death penalty but also to limit the imposition of life sentences and to ensure that those serving life imprisonment have realistic prospects of release’.

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UN Human Rights Council takes action to tackle racism and police brutality

The Council condemned systemic racism, excessive use of force and other human rights violations by law enforcement against Africans and people of African descent. Significantly, it mandated the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to provide oral reports on this issue and requested a written report in one year.

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Justice – in all senses of the word – will only come through hearing and learning

PRI's statement regarding the killing of George Floyd in the US. Justice will not come through silencing those chanting Black Lives Matter, but through hearing them, learning from failure and building fair and effective criminal justice systems where criminal justice actors, including law enforcement, are held fully accountable.