News and information useful to Cleveland-Marshall College of Law students, faculty and staff.

Secrecy in Executions Could be Ohio Law Today

deathpenaltyGov. Kasich today is expected to sign a bill today to legislation allowing lethal-injection secrecy, “compounding pharmacies” will acquire special status under Ohio law. The Bill is House Bill 663. To read the text of the bill, visit the Ohio General Assembly’s Legislation Search.

Today’s Columbus Dispatch has an article about this bill.

Legal Extrajudicial Killings of US Citizens Memo Released

Can the US government kill you without legal due process.  The September 2011 killing of a U.S. citizen in Yemen in a targeted drone strike shows the answer to be maybe under certain circumstances.  As part of the US government’s decision to kill Anwar al-Awlaki, the Department of Justice (DOJ) wrote a memo supporting the assassination.  Interestingly, the author of the memo is David Barron who was recently confirmed as a federal appeals court judge in Boston.

The memo was ordered released (with redactions) by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in Freedom of Information Act litigation brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and the New York Times. Specific facts underlying Barron’s analysis are in the redacted portion of the 2010 memo.

To view the memo that was not redacted click [here].

Sourcebook for International Human Rights Law

Last month we posted about how to discover over fifty international human rights issues that you can mine for seminar paper and note topics. If you decide to research an international human rights issue further, you may want to check out the International Human Rights Law Sourcebook [Find it] as a handy resource for key documents. According to the editors:

“This collection is meant to provide an overview of the international rules established by treaties and customs, on the basis of which individuals and groups can make claims upon governments. Many nontreaty-based principles also belong to the body of international human rights standards.”

The Sourcebook includes major human rights instruments and foundational documents, organizational documents, and additional regional documents.

Want to Write on a Human Rights Issue? Choose from Over Fifty

International human rights law is governed by nine core multilateral treaties and their associated administrative and monitoring bodies. These nine treaties cover: civil and political rights, economic, social, and cultural rights, race discrimination, discrimination against women, torture, the rights of the child, migrant workers, persons with disabilities, and enforced disappearances.

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is the principal United Nations office mandated to promote and protect human rights. The Office of High Commissioner has identified over fifty human rights issues, encompassing such broad topics as business and human rights, climate change, detention, good governance and debt, education, environment, HIV/AIDS, poverty, rule of law, and transnational corporations.

Human rights issues intersect with almost every legal topic. So if you are interested, you can probably work a human rights angle into almost any seminar paper or note. If you’re just getting started, you might want to consider a research guide, like this one from Georgetown Law.

Human Rights Resolution on People with Albinism

This month the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights adopted the first-ever resolution on people with albinism. Albinism is a rare congenital disorder characterized by the lack of pigmentation in the skin. People with albinism also frequently suffer from vision disorders. Albinism affects people of all ethnic backgrounds, although the prevalence is highest overall among people of sub-Saharan African descent.

People with albinism have faced discrimination and violence in Africa. A news story from WorldNews on NBC describes how in rural parts of Tanzania, some people believe that using the body parts of people with albinism in spells will ensure wealth.  This superstition has led to attacks on children and adults with albinism. In addition to threats of physical violence, people with albinism face discrimination in education and employment.

Read more about the African Commission resolution on, which is an excellent resource for news, blogs, and data about Africa.