Flawed justice – from the national to the international

Flawed justice – from the national to the international

Fortnightly Bulletin

9 – 24 January 2024

This week, as reported in the Guardian, we have published a ground-breaking research article in Race & Class, co-authored by APPEAL’s Nisha Waller and Naima Sakande, on Majority Jury Verdicts in England & Wales: A Vestige of White Supremacy? The article lays bare for the first time how anxieties around a potential detrimental impact of New Commonwealth immigrants on jury decisions, combined with fears of the influence of Black Power, fed into the 1967 law to allow for majority verdicts. Crucially, it highlights how majority verdicts in the UK were motivated by desires to weaken the influence of the new ‘coloured’ migrants and the new ‘labouring class’, who were perceived as intellectually inferior and ‘bad jurors’. Read the open-access article here.

The January 2024 issue of Race & Class is now available to order. This issue contains a crucial and timely intervention by Lena Obermaier on the disablement of Palestinians and the debilitation of health infrastructures in Gaza during the ‘Great March of Return’ in 2018-19. This week, we highlight here the relevance of this article to Israel’s current targeting of hospitals and health workers in Gaza and the South African case against Israel under the Genocide Convention. Other articles in the January issue include an analysis of the collective punishment of Alevi communities in Turkey and a critique of ‘county lines’ policing. Order a physical copy here.

‘British justice is broken. It needs a complete overhaul’, said APPEAL this week. And we return to the theme of flawed justice in our regular calendar of racism and resistance, though this time exposing breaches of international law. In relation to Palestine, legal experts have launched lawsuits and criminal complaints regarding British complicity in war crimes committed in Gaza. And as the minister for illegal migration indicates his intent to bypass Strasbourg injunctions through the Safety of Rwanda bill, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees has strengthened the arguments of asylum rights activists by warning that the legislation not only violates international law but also ‘runs counter to the fundamental principles of global solidarity’.

Rarely have the interventions of lawyers and criminal justice campaigners – frontline defenders of the rule of law on so many interconnecting issues – been more important than they are now.

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