Abortion rights: the fall of Roe
30 Jun 2022
The United States Supreme Court has overturned the constitutional right to abortion. Ruling in the case Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Court went beyond Mississippi’s request to allow it to ban abortion after 15 weeks’ pregnancy and fully overturned the two previous Supreme Court rulings, Roe and Casey, that had for 49 years made it unconstitutional to outlaw abortions pre-viability – that is, before a foetus could survive outside the womb, at around 24 weeks. Now, states will be able to restrict and ban abortion at any point in pregnancy.
When the majority opinion was leaked to the press in May, I spoke to four experts about the impact of the decision, human rights law on abortion, the journey to this moment and wider repercussions:
Risa Kaufman, Director of US Human Right, Center for Reproductive Rights; Akila Radhakrishnan, President, Global Justice Center; Mark Stephens, CBE, Co-Chair, IBA Human Rights Institute; and Matt Kaiser, Vice Chair, IBA Criminal Law Committee, and partner, KaiserDillion
US democracy under threat
20 Jan 2022
The assault on the United States Capitol on 6 January 2021 represents perhaps the starkest manifestation of a US democracy in crisis. But the strains on democracy have been evident elsewhere - from a plethora of bills being put forward across state legislatures that critics warn undermine voting rights, to a series of controversies surrounding the make-up and even legitimacy of the US Supreme Court, itself a vital component of the US democratic apparatus.
Jennifer Venis speaks to Sarah Turberville, Director of the Constitution Project at the Project on Government Oversight; Sophia Lin Lakin, Deputy Director of the Voting Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union; Professor Paul Smith, Professor From Practice at Georgetown Law and Vice President for Litigation and Strategy at the Campaign Legal Center; and
Fred Davis, former Co-Chair of the IBA Business Crime Committee and a lecturer in Law at Columbia Law School.
China and the Uighurs - investigating genocide allegations
17 Mar 2021
The Chinese government stands accused of genocide against Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang province. Human rights groups have reported abuses intended to eradicate religion and culture including large-scale detention camps, sterilisation programmes and widespread surveillance. China rejects the allegations. This podcast considers what measures the international community should be taking.
I conducted interviews for and scripted this podcast with assistance from IBA Managing Editor Simon Fuller. Edited by IBA Managing Editor Tom Maguire.
Women and the justice system
1 Mar 2020
In the wake of the Weinstein trial and revelations of the widespread abuse of non-disclosure agreements, IBA Multimedia Journalist Ruth Green, Senior Content Editor Meg Lewis and Content Editor Jennifer Venis discuss how legal and judicial systems continue to let down victims of sexual harassment and violence.
The Ukraine refugee crisis
26 Apr 2022
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began on 24 February, has resulted in the displacement of millions of Ukrainians. The responses taken by governments around the world – such as the activation of the Temporary Protection Directive by the EU – and the challenges being faced have prompted questions around how best to assist displaced people, while the situation has also highlighted the continuing plight of refugees from Afghanistan and other crisis zones.
This podcast explores the unprecedented reaction to the plight of Ukrainian refugees and the need for a coordinated, compassionate international response, and assess the situation for displaced people from other conflict zones, such as Afghanistan. Discussing these issues are: Matt Saltmarsh, Head of News and Media for the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR; Greg Siskind, Vice-Chair of the IBA Immigration and Nationality Law Committee and a founding partner at Siskind Susser in Memphis; and Alex Stojicevic, Refugee Officer of the IBA Immigration and Nationality Law Committee and founding and managing partner of MKS Lawyers in Vancouver.
I conducted the interviews for and scripted this podcast.
Justice delayed: a system on the brink
20 Sept 2021
In early 2021, a joint report from four criminal justice watchdogs found significant delays plaguing access to justice in England and Wales – with 54,000 unheard cases as of the beginning of the year. Some of these cases may not be heard until 2023 or even 2024. As Dominic Raab becomes the eighth Justice Secretary in a decade, the challenge to address the record backlog and fix Britain’s broken justice system has never been more acute.
In this podcast, speakers interviewed by Jennifer Venis discuss the causes and impact of the backlog and the measures proposed to alleviate them, including reopening Crown courtrooms, expanding the Nightingale temporary court system until March 2022 and modifying 71 courtrooms to hold large, multi-hander trials.
'The rule of law is in dire straits' - Dr Margaret Ng on Hong Kong national security law
30 Jul 2020
In this podcast, Dr Margaret Ng, member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong between 1995 and 2012 and a founding member of the pro-democracy Basic Law Article 23 Concern Group, discusses the implications of the national security law recently enacted in Hong Kong by China, in conversation with IBA Multimedia Journalist Jennifer Venis.