Historical

The ‘stolen babies’ trial in Spain finally shines a light on a scandal that cannot be forgotten

It is June 6 1969 and Spain is living through the final years of Franco’s dictatorship. At a clinic in Madrid, a woman gives birth to a baby girl she will never see again. Federico López-Terra The Conversation Little is known about what happened to that mother – but almost 50 years later, her daughter Inés Madrigal has just given evidence in… In the dock was Dr Eduardo Vela, an 85-year-old former gynaecologist accused of stealing Inés from her biological ... Read More »

UN Security Council imposes arms embargo on South Sudan

South Sudan has been at war since 2013, when President Salva Kiir accused then-deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup. AlJazeera The United Nations Security Council has imposed an arms embargo on South Sudan, almost five years after a ruinous civil war in the country started. A United States-drafted resolution won the minimum nine votes needed, while six member states abstained, wary of voting for the measure amid regional attempts to revitalise the South Sudan peace… US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said ... Read More »

Path of Blood: New documentary explores jihadi extremism, radicalisation and al-Qaeda’s target, Saudi Arabia

Aimen Dean was just 19 when he pledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden – until the brutal reality of mass murder led him to be flipped by the Qataris, and return to Afghanistan as a spy for MI6 Stephen Applebaum Independent In the years following 9/11, documentaries such as Restrepo and Armadillo gave us intimate and unflinching accounts of the daily lives of troops fighting the war in Afghanistan. Jonathan Hacker’s Path of Blood now offers a similar kind of insider’s eye ... Read More »

The Missing Peace: Colombia’s New Government and Last Guerrillas

Talks in Havana with the ELN, Colombia’s last insurgency, are advancing at a slow pace. ICG Backed by international actors, the current government and guerrilla negotiators should aim for rapid progress in negotiations to minimise the chance of a… What’s new? Peace talks with Colombia’s last guerrilla group, the National Liberation Army (ELN), could be under threat after the election of Iván Duque as the new president. Tangible short-term results are essential to ensure negotiations continue when Duque… Why does ... Read More »

International Criminal Court’s 20th Anniversary

New Video Highlights Tribunal’s Significance (The Hague) – Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch released a short video today in which students from universities around the world discuss the importance of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Supporters of international justice will mark the 20th anniversary of the Rome Statute, the… HRW The ICC is the first permanent international criminal court set up to provide justice for the victims of the world’s worst crimes, including genocide, war crimes, and crimes against ... Read More »

The Chart That Shows the Supreme Court Will Be Out of Step With the Country

Without a moderate like Kennedy, the middle will be missing on the Supreme Court — and the views of the American public left behind. By Stephen Jessee and Neil Malhotra The New York Times The Supreme Court is supposed to be insulated from most political pressures. In fact, one of its primary roles is to serve as a counterweight to the will of the majority in cases where policies might impinge on the… Yet it is common to hear criticism that the court ... Read More »

Reflections on how far ATSI women in law have come

With NAIDOC Week kicking off this week, Lawyers Weekly spoke with two trailblazing women lawyers about their experiences, what issues are still being faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in law, and… Jerome Doraisamy The theme for this year’s NAIDOC Week is “Because of her, we can”, and Kate George — who was the first Aboriginal person to study law at The University of Western Australia and was WA’s… “When I commenced my tertiary studies, there were very ... Read More »

Boris Johnson Has Ruined Britain

“He knows that the verdict of history is about to come down on him — and bury him.” Jenni Russell The New York Times LONDON — For the second time in three years, Boris Johnson, a politician whose ambition and superficial charm far outstrip his ability, judgment or principles, is destabilizing the British government and… On Monday, Mr. Johnson, in protest against Prime Minister Theresa May’s plans for Brexit, resigned from his post as foreign secretary. Now Mrs. May’s authority, longevity ... Read More »

Massive Turkey-funded mosque stirs unease in secular north Cyprus

Many local residents see imposing structure as part of Erdogan’s efforts to cement control over territory. ‘It symbolizes the Islamist mentality. It’s not an innocent thing’ Dylan Collins The Times of Israel NICOSIA, Cyprus (AFP) — In the flat sunbaked fields north of the Cypriot capital Nicosia, a huge Turkey-funded mosque opening this week has caused a stir in the largely secular Muslim society. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is to attend the opening ceremony, expected to take place on ... Read More »

Justice for Cyprus: The Goal should be Freedom from Occupation

Cyprus, a member state of the European Union, has been illegally occupied by Turkey since 1974. Turkey’s false excuse for its presence on the island is the “protection of Turkish Cypriots from Greek violence.” Uzay Bulut * H Fusion     However, in 2017, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Tuğrul Türkeş revealed the real reason behind Turkey’s control of Cyprus:  “There is this misinformation that Turkey is interested in Cyprus because there is a Turkish society there… Kyrenia Harbour Even if no Turks lived in Cyprus, ... Read More »

What is “originalism?” Why Trump wants an originalist on the Supreme Court

On Monday (July 9), US president Donald Trump will announce his pick to replace Anthony Kennedy on the nation’s highest court. Ephrat Livni Quartz The candidate for junior justice will no doubt be someone who claims to be an “originalist” or a “textualist,” which are just two ways of saying a judge guided by the US Constitution. The rhetoric about originalism can be a little confusing. Isn’t every judge in the country supposed to use the text of the constitution ... Read More »

‘We want peace’: A Rohingya family’s 40 years of suffering

Rohingya refugees tell of decades of persecution and horrors suffered at the hands of Myanmar security forces. Mohammed Jamjoom AlJazeera Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh – Gul Zahar is the head of four generations of family and and the bearer of 40 years of suffering. A Rohingya refugee in her 90s, she has fled persecution in Myanmar on three separate occasions in her life: first in 1978, then in 1991 and, finally, in 2017. Like many other Rohingya members of her generation, Gul isn’t exactly sure how old ... Read More »

The secret story of how America lost the drug war with the Taliban

A high-stakes plan to indict Afghan drug lords and insurgency leaders on criminal conspiracy charges ran afoul of the Obama team. Five years later, it remains buried under Trump. Josh Meyer Politico As Afghanistan edged ever closer to becoming a narco-state five years ago, a team of veteran U.S. officials in Kabul presented the Obama administration with a detailed plan to use U.S. courts to prosecute the… The plan, according to its authors, was both a way of halting the ... Read More »

Eritrea and Ethiopia to re-establish diplomatic ties

Eritrea and Ethiopia are to re-establish diplomatic and trade ties after long years of hostility. BBC Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaia Afwerki made the announcement during a landmark meeting in the latter’s capital Asmara. It is the first time the leaders from the two East African neighbours have met in almost 20 years. Relations were severed following a border dispute which killed tens of thousands of people in the late 1990s. A peace deal was signed ... Read More »

What the Stanford prison experiment really tells us about tyrants

Nearly half-a-century ago, 24 male students hoping to make some holiday money turned up at Stanford University, California, for what would become one of the most notorious experiments in the field of human… Alison Brown Brisbane Times The volunteers were recruited by Professor Philip Zimbardo and were randomly assigned to be either “prisoners” or “guards” in a mock prison that had been constructed in the basement of the Stanford psychology… Zimbardo’s experiment was supposed to last two weeks but was ... Read More »

Lessons in Chinese history as America shuts off from the world

Those who have studied history understand the importance of being engaged in the global economy. Walid Hejazi The Conversation Two thousand years ago, China represented nearly 25 per cent of the global economy. In 1600, it was 30 per cent, and a third in 1820. The country was a global powerhouse, to say the least. There is a famous story from 1792 when King George III’s ambassador led a trade mission to China with a cargo of the latest European ... Read More »