Capital Punishment Human Rights Hsc Legal Studies Assignment

2633 words - 11 pages

Capital Punishment
HSC Legal Studies
Part II Core: Human Rights
NESA Number: --
Question A: With reference to your chosen contemporary human rights issue, outline the roles of one domestic AND one international organisation in protecting human rights.
(200 words - 4 marks)
Reprieve Australia and Amnesty International are two organisations which strive to protect human rights and support the eradication of capital punishment, along with supporting those awaiting execution. Reprieve Australia is a domestic branch of not-for-profit organisation Reprieve. Reprieve Australia stands for a world without capital punishment, working with their volunteers, interns and board to develop legal solutions to save lives. Reprieve Australia arrange volunteer lawyers and interns to provide legal and humanitarian assistance to activists, lawyers and prisoners currently in the USA and South-East Asia. Domestically, Reprieve Australia campaign and conduct research to raise awareness of issues concerning capital punishment. Amnesty International is a global not-for-profit organisation. Amnesty has been in operation for 56 years, aiming to protect and empower people, speaking out for anyone whose freedom and dignity is under threat, campaigning for important human rights issues. Amnesty opposes the death penalty at all times - regardless of who is accused, the crime, guilt or innocence or method of execution. Amnesty is strong in thought that capital punishment breaches the right to life and the right to live free from torture, both which are rights protected under the UDHR, believing that the death penalty is cruel, inhuman, degrading and most importantly never the answer.
Question B: Discuss the role of state sovereignty in enforcing your chosen contemporary human rights issue. (300 words - 6 marks)
State sovereignty is the authority of an independent state to govern itself. State sovereignty can be argued to be beneficial and detrimental to the enforcement and protection of human rights. It can be seen to provide more protection for human rights as there is no external influence on what is enforced and therefore states have full control over their human rights enforcement and many have enacted legislation outlining the human rights of their citizens. State sovereignty allows nation states to deal with human rights infringements more efficiently through their domestic legislation than having interpretations over international law. State sovereignty in the enforcement of capital punishment protects a state from external control over their decision, reason, cause or methods for enforcing capital punishment on an individual. Without state sovereignty, the ability for a state to carry out what it deems a sufficient punishment for an offender would be restricted, however with the right of a state to govern itself, what is considered adequate punishment from the international community is irrelevant as the states legal system reserves the...

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