Death Penalty Politics: The Fragility of Abolition in Asia and the Pacific
This special collection of articles on the death penalty and the politics of abolition in Asia and the Pacific is published to coincide with the centenary of one of the world’s earliest statutory abolitions, in the Australian state of Queensland, in August 1922. Scholars of the death penalty, its practice and its abolition were invited to participate in a symposium in May 2021 hosted in Melbourne by Eleos Justice at Monash University and the Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research at Griffith University. They were joined by lawyers and abolition advocates, including some who had worked on death row cases.
This collection seeks to bring perspectives from a variety of disciplines and methods—historical, legal, sociological, comparative—to bear on the questions of retention and abolition in a variety of jurisdictions and time periods. If there is one conclusion to these collective studies, it is the fragility of abolition. Abolition may now be widely embraced as a norm of international human rights law, but its establishment as a comprehensive and irrevocable fact remains elusive. The task of a research collection such as this is to understand why that may be as a guide to what might be pursued in the future regarding abolition.
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