Friday, 21 December 2007
Boyce v. Barbados: Victory at Interamerican Court of Human Rights
I couldn't find the recent judgment of the InterAmerican Court of Human Rights in Boyce v. Barbados on the official website, but Saul Lehrfreund and Parvais Jabbar, the London-based solicitors of the Death Penalty Project who took the case, have sent it along: http://www.mediafire.com/?5fe7mww64mb. The Court found that the mandatory death sentence imposed on all those convicted of murder in Barbados violates the right to life as it is arbitrary and fails to limit the application of the death penalty to the most serious crimes. The Court also held that the prison conditions endured by the applicants constituted cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. Keir Starmer QC of Doughty Street Chambers, who argued the case earlier this year, said: 'This case has silenced the whispering of some states around the world which, in their attempt to cling onto the cruel punishment of the mandatory death sentence, suggest that their legal systems are different and fairer than others. Barbados has repeatedly emphasised its commitment to international law. Now is the time to demonstrate that commitment by abolishing the mandatory death penalty as required by this landmark judgment,'