LRSJ/RegNet Seminar: Litigating against the Death Penalty – The Justice Project, Pakistan

Presented by ANU College of Asia & the Pacific and ANU College of Law

Join Zainab Mahboob, Head of Legal at the Justice Project Pakistan, as she shares her experiences of litigating against the death penalty in Pakistan. Together with Professor Donald Rothwell, Professor of International Law at the ANU College of Law, Zainab will explore Pakistan's use of the death penalty, which is amongst the harshest in the world, accounting for 13% of global executions and 14% of worldwide death sentences.

In the wake of the tragic terrorist attacks on the Army Public School in Peshawar in 2014, Pakistan lifted a seven-year moratorium on the death penalty. It quickly went from a non-executing state to the "third most prolific executioner in the world." Since lifting the moratorium, Pakistan has executed 500 people in 4 years. Pakistan's death row population currently stands at 4,688.

Despite sporadic efforts at reform, the system remains incapable of reliably administering the irreversible sanction of death. Pakistan's criminal justice system fails to uphold key procedural and substantive safeguards.

Dr. Mai Sato will be chairing this event.

About the speakers

Zainab Mahboob is the Head of Legal at the Justice Project Pakistan. She has directed strategic litigation in relation to clients on death row with mental illness in Pakistan and is currently looking to conduct litigation in relation to women on death row in Pakistan, focussing on offending resulting from domestic violence.

Professor Donald Rothwell is one of Australia's leading experts in International Law with a specific focus on the law of the sea; law of the polar regions, use of force and implementation of international law within Australia. He is the author of 24 books and over 200 book chapters and articles including, with Tim Stephens, the influential and respected academic text, The International Law of the Sea (2nd ed, 2016). His most recent work is International Polar Law (Elgar: 2018) co-edited with Alan Hemmings.

Dr. Mai Sato is a Fellow at the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet). Mai's research topics include the death penalty, miscarriages of justice, trafficking of goods, policing, and international human rights law. Her research on the death penalty focuses on public attitudes to the death penalty around the world including Japan, India, Kenya and Zimbabwe. Her monograph 'The Death Penalty in Japan: Will the Public Tolerate Abolition?' (Springer, 2014) received the Young Criminologist Award 2014 from the Japanese Association of Sociological Criminology.