Rule of Law

Lessons on transparency

Lessons on transparency

Transparency has become central in the new agenda of democracy and the anti-corruption fight. However, by itself, transparency can be useless and become an empty discourse. This is why civil society groups and citizens should promote not only access to information, but also the active use of it. 

The Judiciary Branch: Investigated and Accused in Latin America

The Judiciary Branch: Investigated and Accused in Latin America

National attorney generals and Latin American high court magistrates are being investigated and accused of having committed crimes. The cases vary and the region must ask: how to ensure that these processes are not used in retaliation for their actions? And at the same time, how to ensure that when it is necessary to investigate and prosecute, procedures function properly?

Victims and press after the war: said and unsaid lessons

Victims and press after the war: said and unsaid lessons

In countries transitioning from war to peace, the search and exhumation of bodies create a tension between the victims' right to privacy and the public interest of reconstructing the collective memory. Given this, how can events related to armed conflict and the transition to peace be narrated without violating the right to privacy of victims?

Access to ICTs: Is it just about giving “power to the people”?

Access to ICTs: Is it just about giving “power to the people”?

Citizens’ enfranchisement is not the only empowerment that will come alongside universalized access to information technology. Indeed, total connectivity will also empower data collectors. But as the digital divide has not yet been closed, there is still time to look for tools to cope with the informatics power that governments and Internet platforms will be able to acquire.

Populism and imprisonment in the Americas

Populism and imprisonment in the Americas

A harmful trend has been embedded in the region for years. It consists in believing that jail is the only way to combat crime and in stigmatizing certain populations as “criminals.” As a result, politicians increase sentences and crimes, society demands more jail time, the media say that insecurity is high, prison overcrowding grows and xenophobia spreads. All this without showing that jail is effective and efficient.

Trampling on rights by judicial order: the risks of presidential appointments of judges in a personalist era

Trampling on rights by judicial order: the risks of presidential appointments of judges in a personalist era

“Millions of voters had asked for it,” claimed President Trump when nominating Neil Gorsuch as his candidate to succeed the late Judge Scalia in the United States Supreme Court. In the end, Gorsuch, as Scalia during his time, represents the most conservative tendency of U.S. justice with which Trump identifies his voters.

Violence Against Prisoners

Violence Against Prisoners

The murder of 56 prisoners in the Anísio Jobim Prison Complex (Manaus) and the massacre of 33 prisoners in the Monte Cristo Agricultural Penitentiary (Boa Vista) was an announced tragedy. Since mid-June 2016, the two-decade truce that the main criminal organizations in Brazil had agreed on was broken: the First Capital Command (PCC) from Sao Paulo and the Red Command from Rio de Janeiro.

How to move forward in the Access to Information Movement

How to move forward in the Access to Information Movement

The Right of Access to Information Movement is a global civil society movement which campaigns for greater openness of the information, documents and databases held by the public bodies. It consists of civil society organizations, academics, lawyers, journalists, information commissioners and other activists working on access to information from a human rights perspective.