Thursday, August 9, 2007

On August 9, ...

...1971, a new law was adopted, permitting authorities in Northern Ireland "to indefinitely detain suspected terrorists without trial." The BBC reported at the time that "[t]he decision to reactivate the powers goes against the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights of the Council of Europe to which Great Britain signed up in November 1950, although a let-out clause states the measures can be used if a state of war exists." Issued, according to later reports, over the objection of military officials, the order did not reduce political violence; to the contrary, Britain's National Archives writes that the year that followed
was the worst year of the Troubles. Nearly 500 people died and 5,000 were injured. There were almost 2,000 explosions and over 10,000 shootings. 1972 was also the year when Stormont, Northern Ireland's own Parliament and Government, was suspended and direct rule from Westminster began.
The internment order was not rescinded until December 1975.
(above 1971 photo of the internment camp at Long Kesh, outside Belfast, courtesy of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London)
...2007 (today), International Day of the World's Indigenous People is celebrated. Established by the U.N. General Assembly in 1994, the goal in this 2d decade of commemoration is the "strengthening of international cooperation for the solution of problems faced by indigenous people in such areas as culture, education, health, human rights, the environment, and social and economic development, by means of action-oriented programs and specific projects, increase technical assistance, and relevant standard-setting activities." For law in this area, check out Historical Indigenous Peoples' Land Claims: A Comparative and International Approach to the Common Law Doctrine on Indigenous Title, a hot-off-the-presses article by our colleague, Jérémie Gilbert.

No comments: