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

 


21 Egyptians Beheaded

Egyptian jets bombed Islamic State targets in Libya on Monday, a day after the group there released a video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians, drawing Cairo directly into the conflict across its border. More>>

Protests In Bil’in Honoring Slain US Citizens

Protesters at demonstration in Bil’in honoring slain US citizens face attacks and arrests by Israeli forces. More>>

Resolution Targeting Sources Of Financing For ISIL

Ambassadors representing two countries under attack from ISIL, Bashar Ja’afari (right) of Syria, and Mohamed Ali Alhakim of Iraq, speak to journalists following the adoption of a Security Council resolution targeting sources of financing for ... More>>

ALSO:

  • U.S. Department of State - Support for Authorization for Use of Military Force
  • "Pakistan Probably Harboured Osama Bin Laden"

    Former ISI head Lt. Gen. Asad Durrani tells Al Jazeera Pakistan probably harboured Osama Bin Laden More>>

    "Pakistan Probably Harboured Osama Bin Laden"

    Former ISI head Lt. Gen. Asad Durrani tells Al Jazeera Pakistan probably harboured Osama Bin Laden More>>

    ISM Honours Kayla Mueller

    Abdullah Abu Rahma, coordinator of the popular committee in the village of Bil’in where Kayla joined the protests, told ISM: “Kayla came to Palestine to stand in solidarity with us. She marched with us and faced the military that occupies our ... More>>


    US Measles Outbreak: UN Urges Parents Vaccinate Children

    3 February 2015 – Parents in the United States must vaccinate their children against measles in order to maintain the high levels of immunity necessary in keeping outbreaks of the aggressively contagious virus small and contained, the United Nations World ... More>>

    Ebola: Large-Scale Vaccine Trials Under Way In Liberia

    WHO welcomed the donation by the Public Health Agency of Canada of 800 vials of one of the leading candidate Ebola vaccines, rVSV-ZEBOV. Photo: WHO/M. Missioneiro (file) More>>

    Security Council Denounce Murder Of Jordanian Pilot

    3 February 2015 – For the second time in as many days, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the United Nations Security Council have jointly condemned the brutal killing of a civilian by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) – this time deploring ... More>>

    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news