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Human rights, capital punishment and the Commonwealth: still behind the curve

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Human rights, capital punishment and the Commonwealth: still behind the curve


In this Opinion, Professor Schabas argues that the Commonwealth is behind the curve of the international trend towards the abolition of the death penalty. He analyses the status and use of capital punishment in Commonwealth countries, as compared to all UN member states more broadly. He argues that there is a great irony that a justice system, said by Winston Churchill to be imbued with ‘the great principles of freedom and the rights of man which are the joint inheritance of the English-speaking world’ is also characterised by brutal forms of criminal sanction that are increasingly being abandoned across the globe. Notwithstanding this, he notes that if the international trend continues, the world could be globally abolitionist in a decade or so. Professor Schabas calls on the Commonwealth to show leadership among its members and also externally, and to use the collective embarrassment of a lingering remnant of colonial barbarism to make it so.

Schabas, Professor William (2012) Human rights, capital punishment and the Commonwealth: still behind the curve. Commonwealth Opinion . pp. 1-16.


Item Type: Article
Subjects: Human Rights & Development Studies
Politics
Divisions: Institute of Commonwealth Studies
Collections: Commonwealth Opinion Series
Depositing User:
URI: http://sas-space.sas.ac.uk/id/eprint/4833
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