Debates: Law

29 Apr 2016

Bullying has always been a problem for young people but it is only recently that bullying could be done over a long distance and potentially without knowing who the bully is. Bullying through the internet or phones, cyberbullying, has however with the spread of first the internet and then...

11 Dec 2015

The proliferation of Nuclear Weapons has been a concern from almost before the first atomic bomb was developed, when a number of scientists on the Manhattan Project suggested that the weapons be placed under the control of the United Nations. Since that time there has been a constant fear that...

11 Dec 2015

The ‘New START’ Treaty (for Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) is a bilateral nuclear arms reduction treaty between the United States and the Russian Federation that was signed in Prague on April 8, 2010. It is a follow-up to the 1991 START I treaty, which expired in December 2009, and...

30 Nov 2015

On November 23rd, 2011, the United Nations Human Rights Committee passed a resolution condemning President Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian government for the ongoing deadly crackdown on anti-government demonstrators in Syria[1]. Passing with a large...

7 Sep 2015

The issue of sovereignty over the Falkland Islands (with apologies to Argentinian readers, the English name is used for consistency on this page) is a dense and hotly contested one.  This debate rather asks whether the UK should pass control to Argentina.  While this naturally...

7 Sep 2015

In The Death of Punishment, Robert Blecker, New York University law professor and pro-death penalty activist, argues that capital punishment is a moral imperative in certain cases, which he refers to as “the worst of the worst” – if a majority of a “death-qualified...

2 Sep 2015

Gambling is the betting of money on an outcome that is wholly or largely random. It includes things like bingo, roulette, raffles, lotteries, scratch-cards and slot machines. Some definitions of gambling would not include activities like betting on horse racing – as this arguably involves a...

2 Sep 2015

In little more than a decade, mobile phones have become widespread in developed countries, changing the way people communicate and interact. Concerns over their use have tended to centre upon the effects of radio emissions upon the brain, but more recently mobile phones have been blamed for...

26 Aug 2015

The International Criminal Court (ICC) began in 2002, formed under the Rome Statute  to try the most serious of war crimes when sovereign nations are not in a position to do so themselves. The ICC is an independent international organisation, outside of the United Nations system, and runs...

24 Aug 2015

The right of asylum is a juridical concept, under which a person, in this case a woman, persecuted by her own government may be protected by another sovereign authority, a foreign country, or a union of countries.

Legislation is a law that has been enacted by a governing body and is...

24 Aug 2015

In many Western countries, the topic of illegal immigrants sits high on the political agenda. This is the result of an increase in illegal immigrants residing in these countries, and the internal tensions that arise from these movements.As a response, countries such as the US, Canada and the EU...

28 Aug 2014

The US Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba is operated by the Joint Task Force Guantanamo of the American Armed Force with the primary purpose of acting as a detention facility for "terrorist suspects" captured in the US War on Terror, particularly in Afghanistan and Iraq. It holds...

28 Aug 2014

Habeas Corpus is a centuries old legal mechanism that prevents the government from arbitrarily detaining its citizens. It originated in medieval England and operates in many countries influenced by the English common law tradition. In the US, Habeas Corpus is a petition to a state or federal...

28 Aug 2014

On 9 December 1948, the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide1. This is heralded as the first distinct milestone on the road to international protection of human rights. The CPPG outlines the international definition of genocide, re-affirms...

28 Aug 2014

The War in Darfur refers to the civil war taking place in Darfur, Sudan. Unlike the Second Sudanese Civil War, this is believed to be an ethnic, rather than a religious war, though it has racial overtones and grew out of the existing Sudanese Civil War.

The people of Darfur occupied an...

26 Aug 2014

The case: Punishing users of extremist websites

On 15th March 2012, Mohammed Merah killed two soldiers of the French army and left a third in a coma. A few days later, on 19th March, Merah attacked a Jewish school in Toulouse shooting at point blank range a teacher and three children. It...

31 Mar 2014

Cluster bombs are weapons that were first developed by the Germans for use in World War 2 and are weapons that have seen continued use in subsequent conflicts such as Vietnam and the first Gulf War. Cluster bombs are usually dropped from planes, when they hit the ground the impact causes the...

31 Mar 2014

Everyone talks about 'rights', 'human rights' and 'fundamental rights', but do they even exist? Can we ever really know what they are? Are they objective facts, or are they just products of our time and culture? What about competing ideas and definitions of human rights?...

26 Mar 2014

Capital punishment is always controversial: for that reason, it is commonly used as a training debate. However, on the international level, its use in Africa is not a matter of debate as much as it is in the USA (the last Western highly developed democracy to maintain capital punishment), or...

20 Mar 2014

Uganda hit the international headlines in late 2013 and early 2014 due to controversy over an anti-gay law proposed by parliament and passed by the president.

The initial bill commonly known as “kill the gays bill” was proposed by MP David Bahati in 2009 and approved by...

11 Mar 2014

A hate crime is a crime, usually violent, motivated by prejudice or intolerance toward a member of a gender, racial, religious, or social group. In this resolution, hate crime "enhancements" refer to a court’s power to impose a heavier sentence on an offender if it is shown that his crime was...

6 Mar 2014

The age of consent refers to the age at which a person’s assent to have sex is recognised as valid in the eyes of the law. Men (and sometimes women, depending upon local law) who engage in sexual activity with young men or women below this age are therefore guilty of a criminal offence. This is...

6 Mar 2014

On the 26th February 2014 the Ukrainian Parliament voted to send the country’s president Viktor Yanukovych to the ICC in The Hague.  And he is not the only one; at the same time they have also voted that the former interior minister Vitali Zakharchenko and the prosecutor...

25 Feb 2014

One of the leading disputes surrounding modern International Criminal Law is how best to deal with the crimes of repressive regimes that have been overthrown. Some advocate for the prosecutions of the offenders. With the establishment of stronger international bodies such as the International...

17 Feb 2014

On the first of July 2002 the Rome Statute that formed the International Criminal Court (ICC) came into force. The ICC was needed to try the most serious war crimes and crimes against humanity when sovereign nations are not in a position to do so themselves but this inevitably means there will...

14 Feb 2014

In its preamble, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court explicitly stated that its objectives were not limited to investigating and punishing those responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and other crimes of aggression. “Determined to put an end to...

10 Feb 2014

In his book The Death of Punishment, Robert Blecker proposes that prison conditions should vary, based on the offences that a person is convicted of; those who have committed more heinous crimes should have harsher prison conditions. Currently prison sentences are calibrated to fit the...

31 Jan 2014

Guinea-Bissau is the fifth poorest nation state in the world. While farming and fishing are the most prominent legal trades, the illicit drugs business is the most profitable1. Having gained independence from Portugal in 1974, Guinea-Bissau has witnessed almost constant instability....

23 Jan 2014

Gambling is risking money on a chance outcome. If you are lucky you get back more money than you wagered. If you are unlucky you lose your stake. There are many different forms of gambling. Some are games of pure chance, such as lotteries, roulette or slot machines. Some involve some expertise...

16 Jan 2014

Ariel Sharon, who was prime minister of Israel from 2001 to 2006, died on the 11th of January 2014, after eight years in a persistent vegetative state due to a massive stroke. Sharon, who held positions in Israeli governance since 1981, was a highly important figure – but also a...