3155 Penal system and violence

WG Human Rights

Room: C5.08


Chair:  Sozaburo Mitamayama

Sozaburo Mitamayama | Osaka University of Tourism

A Case Study of the Misconduct of Police Officer in Law Enforcement in Japan : When the action of a citizen is physically impossible to be recognised, can the state punish the citizen? The answer is “Yes” in Japan.


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One day, a citizen drove a car. He had a record of no violation of traffic law and no traffic accident for more than 24 years and got award for that record. He had no reason to drive in a hurry on that day as well.
However, what happens when the police is determined to get him even though the police officer physically impossible to recognise the driving?
The Japanese Prosecutor has turned down the case file from the police because of the lack of evidence of violation of law.
But the Local Public Security Commission (An Inspection Body for Police Misconduct) has affirmed the conduct of the police officer without evidence and punished the driver administratively therefore.
How the Japanese Judicial system provide a solution to this contradiction between the Prosecutor and the Administrative Branch? Do you think you can rely on the Japanese Judicial Court?
This session provides an overview of the situation of Administrative Litigation of Japan and analyses this case to reveal the reality that cannot be imagined from the statistics.

Jessica Carvalho Morris | Center for Social Studies, University of Coimbra

How Law Has Been Used to Curtail Democratic Spaces and Criminalize Social Movements and Protesters




Democracy was one of the defining pillars of the twentieth century. However, at the same time that we have seen the expansion of the democratic discourse, we have witnessed in the last decades democratic spaces being closed in various regions of the world from South, Central and North America, to Europe, Africa and Asia.
In this “new wave” of constraints on democratic spaces, the legal framework has been used to curtail freedoms. States are using their legislative and executive powers to enact laws to (a) regulate civil society organizations and activities; (b) restrict and/or criminalize public assembly or protest; and/or (c) empower states to dramatically increase the digital surveillance of their citizens.
Two countries in the Americas have undertaken steps to legally curtail the democratic space in the recent years: Brazil and the United States.  Even though, these are very different countries, with different genealogies and “positions” in the world, they are the two most influential countries in the American continent.
In Brazil, after a rushed process and despite the several attempts to block the passage of the antiterrorism law, the law was approved and went into effect months before the Olympic Games. The law gave the state power to monitor citizens and to limit protest, among others. With its very vague language it has been used to monitor over 500,000 people and to arrest several social movement leaders that are now facing terrorist charges.
In the U.S., between November 2016 and November 2017, more than 49 legislative proposals were presented in 27 states aiming to criminalize or impede the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression. Further, the protesters have been harshly prosecuted further evidencing the restrictions being placed by legislation and the legal professionals on the democratic space in the U.S. 
This paper seeks to analyze emblematic cases in each country where protesters and/or members of social movements were arrested and prosecuted under these laws/policies. Further, this paper will study the different forms of partnerships created between national and international non-governmental organizations and social movements as well as tools used by these groups to advocate against these restrictive measures. In conclusion, this paper intends to identify new strategies for the construction of democratic spaces by sharing lessons learned and exploring ways to radicalize democracy.

Julie Ringelheim | F.R.S.-FNRS / UCLouvain

Adjudicating Identity. International Judges and the Redefinition of Race and Ethnicity in the Human Rights Era




In the course of modern history, states have developed different conceptions of the relation between citizenship and ethnic or racial identities. Likewise, they have adopted diverging legal approaches to the concepts of race and ethnicity.
The rise of international human rights law challenges these national differences. As a result of the development of measures aimed at protecting people against persecution or disadvantage based on race or ethnicity, human rights law now requires, in some contexts, making an assessment as to whether a certain person belongs to a certain race or ethnic group. This may occur in particular in the context of adjudicating disputes relating to allegations of discrimination, affirmative action programmes, minority rights or indigenous peoples’ rights.
This paper proposes to analyze how international judges, in such situations, ‘adjudicate’ racial or ethnic belonging. These situations confront international human rights law with a paradox. On the one hand, the notions of human dignity and personal autonomy, which are paramount in the human rights cannon, seem to require that individuals are free to, subjectively, define their racial or ethnic identity as they feel. On the other hand, the formal recognition of minority or indigenous peoples’ rights or the establishment of affirmative action programmes seem to call for ‘objective’ definitions that crosscut individual discretion. How does international human rights law deal with these conflicting concerns? The problem is compounded by the fact that the concepts of race and ethnicity are widely contested in social and natural sciences. Theories of race and ethnicity have, moreover, changed over time. And as stated above, national traditions diverge regarding the meaning of these concepts and their relation to law. Thus, what conception of race or ethnicity is reflected in judicial reasoning? Do judges still rely on an essentialized, biological, conception of race? To what extent has the notion that race is a social construct permeated judicial reasoning? And how does this case-law relate to national conceptions? In order to answer these questions, I will explore the case-law of different international bodies, including the UN Human Rights Committee, the European Court of Human Rights, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Vanessa Ribeiro Rodrigues | Universidade Lusófona do Porto

Luís Miguel Loureiro | Universidade Lusófona do Porto

Journalism and Human Development: how media in Portugal is covering development issues


Full Paper




The media and specifically the audiovisual narratives can give visibility to development issues. With the emergence of video's technology, journalistic production has apparently become more cinematic, resulting in a certain hybridization of genres (Fontcubert, 1993), both in television (Avilés del Campo & Arias 2013) and online media (Noci, 2004), and allowing the appearance of formats such as videojournalism and webdocumentary. In them emerge narratives in the first person joining Cinema and Journalism that can empower the voices of the margins. In 2015, the United Nations redefined 17 Objectives for Sustainable Development until 2030, where audiovisual media appear as a catalyst for social change and human rights. However, in Portugal, considered a developed country and in Brazil, an emerging country, according to the human development index (Amartya Sen & Mahbub ul Haq, 1990) - a comparative measure used by the UN - this kinematic hybridization, and the taxonomy of Journalism for Development [Human] are still areas to be analyzed, cross-referenced and systematized in the literature, although we have reason to suspect that they are the object of practice. But how? These scientific fields are part of the proponent's doctoral project, which attempts to fill a gap in Journalism Studies, at a seemingly labyrinthine crossroads, to understand the reconciliation or not of the audiovisual genres of journalism and film, with human development for visibility in the public sphere (Arendt). We intend, then, to summon subsidies for a definition and / or characteristics of what is Journalism for Development [Human] and to detail how the concept is or is not to being translated into practice in these two countries. For this, we start with a content analysis for the characterization of the oldest journalism awards that deal with Human Development issues, such as the AMI - Journalism Against Indifference (1998) in Portugal, and Vladimir Herzog of Amnesty and Human Rights (1979), in Brazil. In this phase, we present the first results of the preliminary analysis of both awards to perceive and critically analyse how the media are covering the human development's issues.



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