World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Laws on use of force by police require urgent global reform

Laws on the use of force by the police require urgent global reform, UN human rights expert says

GENEVA (13 June 2014) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Christof Heyns, stressed that laws regulating the use of force –especially lethal force- by the police are in urgent need of global reform. Mr. Heyns called on the UN and Governments around the world to launch a campaign to bring all States’ laws into line with international standards.

“I have examined the laws of 146 States, and many do not meet international standards,” the expert told the UN Human Rights Council during the presentation of his report* on the use of lethal force by law enforcement officials worldwide.

The Special Rapporteur noted that, in some cases, “the discrepancies are glaring,” and stressed that “the laws in question often come from the pre-human right era, and in some cases were adopted more than one hundred years ago.”

“The police are allowed to use deadly force intentionally only when it is necessary to protect life against an immediate threat, and as a last resort,” Mr. Heyns said. “Yet in many cases laws merely require the police to give a warning before they may shoot, or instruct them to shoot at the legs.”

“This is not nearly enough,’ he underscored.

The expert’s call for a global reform of the laws on the use of force by the police is particularly relevant to the contemporary world, where people are taking to the streets in many countries to express themselves through public demonstrations, and clashes with the police ensue.

However, Mr. Heyns made clear that changing the laws will in itself not solve the problem, but it is an important component of the solution. “Many States realize they need to change their laws, and I will help to facilitate technical assistance to those States.”

The laws used for the study are accessible to the public on a website that will be kept updated: www.use-of-force.info.

Drones and Autonomous weapons systems

Special Rapporteur Heyns also addressed the issue of armed drones, and proposed minimum standards to be met by States using such technology. He also encouraged the Council to remain seized of the subject of the increasing use of autonomous weapons systems, colloquially called ‘killer robots’.

“Death by algorithm threatens the enjoyment of the right to life and the right to dignity,” Mr. Heyns said. “The international community cannot ignore the fact that these technologies are not going to go away, they are certain to increase.’

In his report to the UN Human Rights Council, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions also stressed that these new weapons systems pose real and far reaching risks to human rights standards.

(*) Check the Special Rapporteur’s report: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/RegularSessions/Session26/Pages/ListReports.aspx

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Release Of 200 Nigerian Girls Held Captive By Boko Haram

UN envoy Gordon Brown welcomes release of 200 Nigerian girls held captive by Boko Haram More>>

Ban Calls For Immediate End To Hostilities In Northern Mali

Chadian UN peacekeepers heading to their base in Tessalit, northern Mali. Photo MINUSMA/Marco Dormino More>>

New UN Special Envoy On Ebola Response Visit To Sierra Leone

29 April 2015 – The United Nations World Health Organization ( WHO ) today said that surveillance and community engagement still require improvement in some areas of Guinea and Sierra Leone where new cases continued to surface, a day after the ... More>>

Somalia Registers Record Export Of Livestock In 2014

Somalia registers record export of livestock in 2014 due to trade boost with Gulf States More>>


United States: Riots In Baltimore – National Guard Sent In [graphic Images]

Riots have broken out in Baltimore following the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25 year old black man who died from injuries sustained while in police custody. More>>

West Papua: “Lest We Forget”

AS Anzac approaches and Australians and New Zealanders remember those who fought and lost their lives on Anzac Day, it is hoped we will also remember the unfree people of the Pacific region and in particular those who are still suffering from human ... More>>

Iran: 81 Executions In One Week

Coincident with mass executions in the prisons of Ghezel-Hessar, Karaj and other cities, the anti-human regime of mullahs sent 16 other prisoners to the gallows in Mashhad and Birjand (northeastern Iran). Twelve of them were hanged collectively ... More>>

Al-Shabaab: Four Unicef Staff Killed In Somalia

Four UNICEF staff members have been killed in an attack on their vehicle in Garowe, Somalia. Four other UNICEF colleagues are in a serious condition. The IED (improvised explosive device) attack occurred when the staff were travelling from their guest ... More>>

UN: Suicide Attack In Jalalabad Condemned

NEW YORK/KABUL/GENEVA (18April 2015) – “I strongly condemn the brutal suicide attack that coincided with my visit to Jalalabad today,” said United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonović during his visit to Afghanistan. ... More>>

Save The Children: STC Urges EU Leaders To Act To Prevent More Mass Drownings

Save the Children Urges EU Leaders to Act to Prevent More Mass Drownings at Sea. More>>

ALSO:

Japan: Independent Experts Slam Japan’s New Whaling Plan

Independent experts slam Japan’s new whaling plan and declare no more whales need to be killed for Antarctic research More>>

Gaza Strip: Attacks In The Border Areas

Following disengagement from the Gaza Strip in September 2005, Israel unilaterally and illegally established a so-called “buffer zone”, an area prohibited to Palestinians along the land and sea borders of the Gaza Strip. The precise area designated by ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news