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Abolition of the death penalty

The IBAHRI’s Resolution on the Abolition of the Death Penalty, adopted by the IBAHRI Council in 2008, commits IBAHRI to promoting the end of this practice.

The IBAHRI is committed to ensuring that the international legal limitations on the application of the death penalty are observed.We do this by supporting action on a ban and producing reports and reviews of the death penalty’s use, as well as advocating for total abolition.


IBAHRI Short film: Legal arguments for the Abolition of the Death Penalty, Morocco, 2012

This short film shows footage from an IBAHRI legal seminar, which was part of the Regional Congress on the death penalty in Morocco.

The seminar took place in 2012 and considered legal arguments for the abolition of the death penalty, and links between the death penalty and torture.

The film features interviews with former death-row prisoner Ahmed Haou, as well as Congress speakers and organisers. 


Forced to Kill: The Mandatory Death Penalty and its Incompatibility with Fair Trial Standards

In May 2016, the IBAHRI published a report on the illegality of the mandatory use of the death penalty under international law. Furthermore, it argues that under domestic law, any procedure that obliges a court to impose the death penalty is inherently flawed.

Forced to Kill: The Mandatory Death Penalty and its Incompatibility with Fair Trial Standards questions the justifiability of the mandatory death penalty – capital punishment that is demanded by law, whether or not the sentencing judge thinks it fair – and examines the ways in which it is a contravention of international law.


IBAHRI marks World Day against the Death Penalty with call for universal abolition

The IBAHRI opposes and condemns the death penalty without exception. We have actively called for its abolition since our 2008 Resolution on the Abolition of the Death Penalty. Capital punishment is a barbaric practice that does not serve justice in any manner. We call on states to abolish the death penalty without delay in line with the growing global trend towards abolition

IBAHRI welcomes the abolition of the death penalty in Colorado

The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) commends the State of Colorado, United States, on repealing the death penalty for crimes committed after 1 July 2020. It has become the 22nd state to abolish capital punishment. The decision was justified by the inefficiency of the punishment as a deterrent, its painful and violent execution, and its disproportionate implementation against people from non-white communities.

IBAHRI raises awareness of the rule of law and human rights among young lawyers in Zambia

The International Bar Association's Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) and the University of Lusaka hosted an all-day seminar on 20 September 2019 for young lawyers in Zambia on the rule of law and human rights. The aim of the event was to raise awareness about human rights principles and their importance, and to encourage the young professionals in attendance to participate in actively promoting human rights, regardless of legal discipline.

IBAHRI denounces death sentence delivered against three in Malawi

The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) is deeply concerned about the recent decision in Malawi to sentence three individuals to death for killing and dismembering a person with albinism in August 2015. The IBAHRI fully supports the enjoyment of all rights by persons with albinism and recognises the challenges Malawi is facing in curbing the heinous attacks against persons with albinism.

IBAHRI condemns US Attorney General Barr’s decision to reinstate the death penalty

The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) strongly condemns the recent decision by the United States government to schedule the execution of five inmates on death row.

IBAHRI welcomes Saudi Arabia’s move towards total abolition of the death penalty

The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) welcomes King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia’s order to abolish the practice of flogging and the application of the death penalty for crimes committed by minors

IBAHRI statement at the United Nations Human Rights Council high-level panel discussion on the question of the death penalty

The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) notes the high-level panel discussion on the question of the death penalty. We welcome positive steps taken by some states, including the executive moratorium on the death penalty in California, as well as measures in Colorado, Pennsylvania and Oregon. The decision of US Attorney General Barr to reinstate the death penalty is therefore an unacceptable retrogressive step, as is Sri Lanka’s intention to reinstate the death penalty and

Saudi Arabia: IBAHRI condemns potential execution of teenager arrested when 13 years old

The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) condemns the possible imposition of the death penalty by Saudi Arabian authorities against Murtaja Qureiris, who was just 13 years old at the time of his arrest in 2014.

IBAHRI supports ‘executive moratorium’ on the death penalty in California

The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) welcomes the recent executive order by the Honorable Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, effectively imposing a moratorium on the death penalty in the North American state through the command of ‘reprieve for all people sentenced to death in California’.

IBAHRI statement on death penalty to the 34th Session of the Human Rights Council

IBAHRI's statement to the 34th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, raising concerns with the continued use of the death penalty, in particular when the death penalty is made a mandatory punishment for certain crimes.