human rights
human rights

AustralianSuper, Hostplus, REST Super, UniSuper and other super funds targeted

On Wednesday the law firm wrote to 20 funds, which manage a combined $1.7 trillion and include AustralianSuper, REST Super, Hostplus, UniSuper, Aware Super and the Australian Retirement Trust, demanding that they hand over whatever information they have justifying the investment and proving they are meeting their legal duties.

The letter accused the funds of “deficiencies in accordance with international human rights principles and fiduciary obligations to act in the best financial interests of members and with the requisite degree of care, skill and diligence”.

It said Santos’ growth strategy was “financially questionable” and that the Barossa drilling breached local Indigenous communities’ economic, social and cultural rights over the Sea Country it would occur in.

The super funds were obliged under international human rights principles to “exercise [their] leverage [over Santos] to prevent or mitigate these adverse human rights impacts”. But there was “no evidence of the fund acting in accordance” with these principles, it alleged, as they continued to invest in Santos.

The members demanded the that funds explain how they planned to meet these duties.

Seven traditional owners from the Tiwi Islands and the Larrakia people, including Dennis Murphy Tipakalippa, the Munupi clan leader who last year successfully challenged Santos’ regulatory approval for the project, are also part of the super fund members’ complaint.

Santos says the Barossa project is needed to maintain exports critical to energy security for Japan and the rest of Asia and said last week that production could still start as planned in the first half of 2025, despite the regulator still not giving new approvals.

Equity Generation Lawyers associate Vidhya Karnamadakala said there had been “a wholesale failure” by these funds to listen to Indigenous people’s concerns about the project, posing a financial and legal risk for their members.

“Since 2011, institutional investors

Read the rest

Liberia: Center for Legal Aid Support Services Ends Two Days Human Rights Dialogue Aimed At Enhancing School-Based Human Rights Clubs

The Center for Legal Aid Support Services (CLASS) has ended a two-day dialogue forum in Paynesville.

The dialogue forum was meant to cement the knowledge of school base human rights clubs to speak of human rights ills and violations in various schools and the society at large.

According to the Chief Executive Officer of CLASS Atty. George King said the training was triggered as a result of the too many human rights transgression by who-be nationals and such an act is in total violation of the Human Rights Code that Liberia is a signatory to and that it is furthermore among those laws within Liberia Constitution.

Atty. Kings furthered that if those students are knowledgeable about that violation of human rights something he said will remedy the situation.

“If we will want to put an extinction to human rights offenses, we must begin with various schools because there were such violations start”. Atty. George King added.

The Chief Executive Officer of CLASS maintained that, despite the judiciary system of our country finding it difficult in combating human rights cases, they as lawyers representing such sector will continue to knock on the doors of the international community to probe into any human rights cases and will ensure said perpetrator be borough to book.

Meanwhile, the Center for Legal Aid Support Services is a Liberian-based human rights advocacy group that is fully registered with the Liberian Justice System and has all the legal luminary to persuade any human rights lawsuits across the country.

At the same time, the Chief Executive Officer has admonished trainees of upholding the code of human rights and being an agent of change in society ensuring that schools are free of human rights breaches.

The training was held over the weekend under the theme: “Human Rights in

Read the rest

Egypt frees lawyer who backed French protest group, after 4 years in jail

CAIRO, Egypt — An Egyptian judge Monday ordered the release of a human rights lawyer held in preventive detention for nearly four years for backing a French protest movement, a rights group said.

Mohamed Ramadan, 47, was arrested in September 2018 after posting on Facebook a picture of himself wearing a yellow vest in support of the “yellow vest” protest movement that was rocking France at the time, the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE ) said in a statement.

He was accused of “terrorism” and placed in preventive detention — a punishment that can last two years in Egypt and during which suspects are held without trial.

But when that term ended in 2020, Ramadan was accused of “spreading fake news” and again placed in a two-year preventive detention, the rights group said.

His announced release Monday comes just days after French President Emmanuel Macron received his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Paris.

During Friday’s meeting focusing on security and defense ties, the two leaders also “addressed the issue of human rights,” Macron’s office said in a statement.

Meanwhile, rights watchdog Amnesty International said on Monday that it was “alarmed” by reports that a prominent jailed activist, Ahmed Douma, had been “tortured” last week for having requested that a fellow inmate receive medical care.

Douma reportedly demanded that the authorities provide health services to Ahmed Samir, a researcher sentenced to four years in prison in June 2021 for “spreading false news on social media” — an accusation frequently

Read the rest

Local lawyer aims to make human rights law more accessible

By working virtually, marketing himself on TikTok, and offering a range of legal services, Michael DeRosenroll is trying to make human rights law more accessible.

Michael DeRosenroll is trying to re-imagin what’s possible as a human rights lawyer.

A past Alberta Human Rights Commission officer and former counsel to three separate directors of the Commission itself, DeRosenroll opened his own firm, Human Law, this past April from the comfort of his St. Albert home.

“Going through the pandemic, I really learned how a virtual law practice could really work, because we were forced into doing it and building the plane as we flew it,” DeRosenroll said.

“[The pandemic] caused the Human Rights Commission and the whole legal system in Alberta to really heavily adopt a lot of really efficient new technologies that allowed me to be much more efficient than I used to be in pre-pandemic days.”

With new-found efficiency, DeRosenroll said he realized it was time to help people navigate the human rights legal system.

“The thing that I noticed while working there was that it’s quite common for people with complaints before the Alberta Human Rights Commission to not have lawyers,” he said. “I just saw time and again that when one side had a lawyer and the other didn’t, it never went well for the side that didn’t have a lawyer.

“There’s a complicated process that a complaint has to go through before it gets to a tribunal, and what I kept seeing was complaints that might have gotten to the tribunal step often didn’t when the complainant didn’t have a lawyer and couldn’ t navigate the complaint process to get to a hearing.”

In his experience, DeRosenroll said, people making human rights complaints often make them without the guidance of a lawyer due to the cost

Read the rest