The Right to Life

Started in January 2015

The right to life is often described as the ‘supreme’ or ‘foundational’ right. What are the current challenges and opportunities related to the right to life? What are the cutting-edge developments in jurisprudence, monitoring tools and practices at the national, regional and international levels?

This initiative aims at creating a platform allowing leading academics, experts and practitioners who work on right to life issues on a daily basis in human rights and humanitarian institutions worldwide to exchange around these issues.

It also develops research identifying and discussing some of the cutting-edge development as far as this seminal right is concerned, in the human rights, humanitarian law and the violence reduction contexts.

PROJECT'S DOCUMENTS

TEAM

Picture of Christof Heyns

Christof Heyns

Professor of Human Rights Law at the University of Pretoria

Christof Heyns is recognized internationally as a leading expert in the field of international human rights law, including right to life issues and regional human rights mechanisms, and has published widely on these matters.

Picture of Kamelia Kemileva

Kamelia Kemileva

Executive Manager

Kamelia Kemileva is Executive Manager of the Geneva Academy and Co-Coordinator of the Geneva Academy research project Academic Platform on Treaty Body Review 2020. She is also a visiting programme director at Wilton Park.

OUTPUT

First Annual Expert Seminar on the Right to Life (Geneva, 11-13 May 2016)

On 11 to 13 May 2016, the Geneva Academy and the  Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa (University of Pretoria) hosted an expert seminar on the right to life, under the auspices of the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Professor Christof Heyns and the Geneva Academy’s Human Rights Chair, Dr. Nils Melzer. Participants included academics, governmental officials, members of international organizations and NGOs, as well as practioners.

High Level Panel Casting New Light on the Supreme Right: Emerging General Comments on the Right to Life (12 May 2016)

This panel of experts and diplomats explored current challenges and new developments concerning the right to life right, in normative instruments, jurisprudence, law and practice at national, regional and international levels. Panelists notably addressed the recent adoption by the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights of a General Comment on the Right to Life, as well as the development of a General Comment on the same topic by the UN Human Rights Committee.

Use of Force in Law Enforcement and the Right to Life: The Role of the UN Human Rights Council

This In-Brief, published in November 2016, examines how the right to life is affected by law enforcement agencies’ use of force and identifies how the Human Rights Council could further promote respect for international standards governing policing.

Publications

Cover of the In-Brief N.° 6: Enforcement and the Right to Life: The Role of the Human Rights Council

In-Brief N°. 6: Use of Force in Law Enforcement and the Right to Life: The Role of the Human Rights Council

November 2016

Stuart Casey-Maslen

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

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Cover of the Briefing No5: Facilitating Peaceful Protests

Briefing N°5: Facilitating Peaceful Protests

January 2014

Stuart Casey-Maslen, Milena Costas Trascasas

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

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MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Cover page of the In-Brief News

Use of Force in Law Enforcement and the Right to Life: The Role of the UN Human Rights Council

November 2016

Our new publication examines how the right to life is affected by law enforcement agencies’ use of force and identifies how the HRC could further promote respect for international standards governing policing.

Read more

Intervention by the police during a demonstration in Greece Event

High Level Panel on the Policing of Assemblies and Human Rights: Freedom of Assembly, Prohibition of Torture and Right to Life

May 2017, 18:00-20:00

Panelists will discuss the human rights that are at stake during the policing of assemblies, challenges posed by the use of specific weapons and other means by law enforcement agencies, and the role and potential of the revised Minnesota Protocol.

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A participant to a Geneva Academy event takes note on a computer Project

Human Rights in the Digital Age

Started in January 2014

The digital age offers unique opportunities to strengthen human rights implementation and monitoring and has transformed the means through which human rights are exercised. Equally, the digital age poses unique challenges in ensuring that states and businesses respect and protect our rights in the digital forum. The full extent of the human rights implications of the digital age remain unknown; we are undertaking research to explore these implications.

Read more

Peru, Lima. Training exercise on the use of force and human rights. Simulation of the arrest of a suspect in the street Project

Police Use of Force

Completed in January 2013

This project aimed to identify best practices in facilitating and enhancing states’ fulfilment of international rules and standards related to police use of force.

Read more