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State secrets privilege visà-vis protection of human rights : controversies in the case of Abu Zubaydah
Vesna Stefanovska, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Purpose: This paper analyses the dilemma regarding secret state privilege and the necessity to protect human rights. The purpose of the paper is to emphasize that in some occasion’s secret state privileges have been used to provide impunity and/or avoid further investigation which can point to acts of torture or acts that are contrary to international human rights law and international criminal law. Design/Methods/Approach: The descriptive method has been used for reviewing primary and secondary sources accompanied with the comparative method in order to make retrospective between different cases. Findings: The results show that human rights are often sacrificed by invoking secret state privilege. Extraordinary renditions have been used to transfer detainees from one state to another without any legal reason for purpose of interrogations which often end with torture. The main question is: should human rights be violated in the name of national security and fighting terrorism? The logical answer is no - the respect for human rights should be the top of the iceberg and no sacrifice can be done when the right to life and prohibition of torture are in question. Indeed, the Zubaydah case triggers the issue related to impunity for acts of torture and oversight on the government and security and intelligence agencies acts. Moreover, it raises questions about the very nature and purpose of secret state privilege by elaborating that even an information that has entered the public domain falls within the secret state privilege. Originality/Value: The content of the article deals with current topic and the controversies which surround the state secret privileges in several cases as well as comparison between different courts’ decisions which have in common the issue of invoking secret state privileges in the name of national security.
Keywords: state secrets privilege, human rights, extraordinary rendition, torture
Published in DKUM: 27.01.2023; Views: 389; Downloads: 7
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Victim-offender mediation and observance of procedural rights in the Macedonian juvenile justice system : competitive or balancing?
Stojanka Mirčeva, Vesna Stefanovska, Bogdancho Gogov, 2015, original scientific article

Abstract: Purpose: The paper examines the observance of procedural rights of the parties referred to Victim-Offender Mediation (VOM) in the Justice System for Children (JSC), and particularly pioneering practice associated with challenges pertaining to the multicultural character of the community. Design/Methods/Approach: Analysis is based on qualitative data collected by using in-depth interviews and document analysis. Sources of data were relevant stakeholders in the referral procedure, the Child and the Victim, as well as court/prosecutors files. In-depth interviews were carried out with 17 stakeholders to capture professional attitudes, attached meanings and experience of the respondents in relation to VOM. Document analysis as a data collection technique was applied to two prosecutor’s files and one court file which, at present, are the only cases of VOM in JSC. Findings: The main findings pertain to the indispensable recognition that meanings attributed to VOM in JSC, as well as expectations, vary extensively among respondents. In turn, this situation shapes the procedural rights of the parties in 3 VOM cases. In addition, basic principles of VOM are implemented in line with the perceived significance of procedural rights in VOM cases. Research Limitations / Implications: The findings relate only to respondents’ attitudes and views on VOM as well as data contained in court/prosecutor’s files. In-depth knowledge on the implementation of procedural rights during VOM process is missing due to the impossibility for participatory observation of the joint meetings. Originality/Value: While across Europe much research on balancing VOM principles and fair trial standards has been conducted, no research at all has been carried out in Macedonia in relation to VOM in JSC. This small scale survey is particularly valuable in filling up the existing empirical gap, and findings might be used as a basis for developing system prerequisites for VOM.
Keywords: victim-offender mediation, child offenders, victims, Macedonian Justice System for Children
Published in DKUM: 16.04.2020; Views: 843; Downloads: 46
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Diplomatic assurances and the stateʼs responsibility when considering extraditing a person whose human rights may be violated
Vesna Stefanovska, 2017, professional article

Abstract: Purpose: The potential tension between a state’s need to protect its citizens from national security risks and to respect fundamental human rights is illustrated by current controversies concerning the use of diplomatic assurances in the context of extradition. The need to respect inviolable human rights brings into play the use of assurances in extradition matters, especially if the right to life and prohibition of torture are concerned. Design/Methods/Approach: Inductive and deductive methods are used to systematise legal cases which contain human rights violations in extradition proceedings and hold a direct relationship with diplomatic assurances. The analytical method is applied to obtain a clearer picture about violations of human rights in the extradition process. Findings: Diplomatic assurances are given by the requesting states for the purpose of supporting the extradition request and assuring that criminal offenders will not be subjected to ill-treatment or violations of other human rights guaranteed by the European Convention of Human Rights. Research Limitations / Implications: In practice, it has been proven that diplomatic assurances are highly problematic because international law does not generally outlaw the use of such assurances, but establishes legal requirements concerning the use of such assurances in the extradition context. Originality/Value: The article reflects the use of diplomatic assurances in extradition cases, an area that has received greater attention in past years because many states have been found responsible for human rights violations, but at the same time many suspects have managed to avoid extradition because judicial authorities have denied extradition due to assurances not being given.
Keywords: diplomatic assurances, extradition, torture, right to life, violation of human rights
Published in DKUM: 15.04.2020; Views: 717; Downloads: 33
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