Auteursarchief: Brianne McGonigle Leyh

Brianne McGonigle Leyh

Over Brianne McGonigle Leyh

Dr. McGonigle Leyh is als universitair hoofddocent verbonden aan het Studie- en Informatiecentrum voor Mensenrecht van de UU evenals het Montaigne Centrum. Ook is ze redacteur van Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights en co-directeur van het Utrecht Centre for International Studies.

Using Guarantees of Non-Repetition to (Re)Frame Police Reforms

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Brianne McGonigle Leyh

(The below blog is based on a draft article presented at the conference ‘Guarantees of Non-Recurrence: Transformative Police Reform’ on 5 November 2018 in Utrecht, the Netherlands)

Countries around the world grapple with how to address excessive police violence that violates human rights. For decades, scholars and practitioners have stressed the importance of establishing better relationships between police and the communities they serve and have adopted various ways to bring about real police reform that fosters relationships of trust. Community policingdemocratic policing, and problem-oriented policing are some of the ways in which police have sought to make this change. At the international level, Security Sector Reform (SSR) is the umbrella term used to describe reform programmes adopted in States where the security sector (namely the military, police, gendarmes, and militias) has become a source of insecurity. The current view of SSR is that it must be a transformative process built upon human security and democratic governance. Human security demands that the interests of the individual, rather than the State, should dictate security policy (Ball 2010). Democratic governance requires respect for human rights, rule of law and adherence to principles such as inclusiveness, transparency and accountability (OECD DAC 2005). The transformation of the security system requires all of relevant actors (police, politicians and civil society) to work together. Yet, whether in Ferguson, USA, Paris, France or Nairobi, Kenya, the gaps between the idealistic rhetoric and harsh realities of police/security practice are significant. As noted by Ball and Hendrickson, much of the work concerning police reform is ‘misleadingly optimistic about the prospects for change’ (p. 104). The consensus among scholars and practitioners is that SSR, and police reform in particular, has been extremely difficult to implement in large part because of mistrust, lack of accountability, and susceptibility to corruption. Given the slow progress on police reform initiatives, it may be useful to look to distinct but relevant fields to (re)frame police reforms. Guarantees of non-repetition (or non-recurrence as it is also referred to) from the post-conflict peacebuilding field offer a normative institutional policy framework built around human rights standards and State responsibility that could potentially shift the rhetoric to focus on State obligations that are context-driven. The language of and programming falling under guarantees of non-repetition could prove useful when addressing police reform; noting, however, that the success of any reform policy is ‘directly proportional’ to the State and communities’ enthusiasm for it (p. 35). Lees verder

International Studies Association Conference in Trump Country: Discussing civil society documentation of serious human rights abuses

conference-room-768441_960_720Brianne McGonigle Leyh

From 22 – 25 February, I travelled to the US to attend the 58th annual International Studies Association (ISA) conference entitled ‘Understanding Change in World Politics’. The theme could not be more relevant as we witness significant changes to the world political scene, most notably under the new Trump administration in the USA. A willingness by political leaders such as Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Rodrigo Duterte, and others to violate or be dismissive of human rights norms, underscores the important role played by civil society actors in holding leaders to account.
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When It Rains, It Pours: Recente ontwikkelingen in het internationaal strafrecht

ictyBrianne McGonigle Leyh

Internationaal strafrecht heeft de reputatie dat het traag is en dat zo snel vordert als een slak. Zo duurde het bijvoorbeeld tien jaar voordat het Internationaal Strafgerechtshof (ICC) tot zijn eerste uitspraak kwam in de Lubanga zaak, nadat de werkzaamheden in 2002 waren aangevangen. Ook het Internationaal Tribunaal voor het voormalige Joegoslavië (ICTY) staat bekend om haar traagheid; met name omdat een aantal processen zes jaar of langer duurden. Toeschouwers van de tribunalen zijn maar al te bewust van de trage, sporadische ontwikkelingen en ze kijken vaak reikhalzend uit naar de beslissingen. Daarom werd er ook uitgekeken naar maart en april 2016, omdat toen een hoop ontwikkelingen in het internationaal strafrecht plaatsvonden. De Engelse uitdrukking klopt: when it rains, it pours! Lees verder