In a week which began with the Health Secretary's resignation reigniting the row about Dominic Cummings's apparently selective approach to Covid rules, and which also saw the former President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, sentenced to prison by the South African Constitutional Court for defying a court order, we have seen some powerful reminders that there is a simple and widely understood idea at the heart of the Rule of Law:
This week saw an example with the UN General Assembly considering the 7th review of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism strategy. Growing concerns over the impact of UN counter-terrorism measures on the Rule of Law and human rights, raised in the course of the review, culminated in a call on the UN Secretary General to 'assess the need to further enhance the integration of the rule of law' in the United Nations system's counter-terrorism efforts and consideration of ways of monitoring and evaluating the impact of counter-terrorism measures on the Rule of Law and human rights. Concerns about the Rule of Law also featured in discussions during events that were part of the week-long UN Second High Level Conference on Counter-Terrorism.
Tufyal Choudhury, Bingham Centre Senior Research Fellow on National Security and the Rule of Law, having contributed to UN expert workshops on counter-terrorism and artificial intelligence earlier this year, took part in the Side Event "Building knowledge on counter-terrorism in the age of artificial intelligence: threats, opportunities and safeguarding human rights" in which some preliminary findings from the research were presented. This emphasised the need for an effective and independent oversight regime and practices on the use of secret surveillance systems, and effective remedies for victims of human rights violations.
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