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Across the world, allegations of sexual assault have hinged on women’s credibility. Michael Reynolds/Pool Photo via AP

Kavanaugh sexual assault hearing evokes early Soviet mock trials

A century ago, Russian leaders staged mock trials on rape and abortion to educate citizens about new Soviet laws and values. Then, as now, victim-blaming and 'he said, she said' marred the verdict.
Judge Brett Kavanaugh is a polarizing figure — either partisan Republican or impartial jurist, depending on who you ask. AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Supreme Court polarization is not inevitable — just look at Europe

Controversial judicial appointments and divisive court rulings are not the norm everywhere. Here's what the US could learn from Europe about ensuring ideological balance on the Supreme Court.
Immigration proceedings look a lot like criminal trials, with immigrants often brought in handcuffed. Reuters/Reade Levinson

How immigration court works

The attorney general can decide immigration cases because immigration courts are part of the DOJ, not the judiciary. This congested system has 345,000 open cases. Most will likely end in deportation.
Multiple court sanctions against the powerful Pakistani politician Nawaz Sharif have spurred protests both for and against the ousted prime minister. Faisal Mahmood/Reuters

Pakistan’s activist Supreme Court endangers a fragile democracy

It's election season in Pakistan, and the Supreme Court is at war with the ruling party. Many Pakistanis wonder whether the nation's top judge is cleaning up government or staging a judicial coup.
An appeals court ruling against Lula may disqualify this popular former Brazilian president from running again in October 2018. Supporters vehemently maintain his innocence. Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters

Presidential corruption verdict shows just how flawed Brazil’s justice system is

An appeals court ruling against popular Brazilian ex-president Lula has hotly divided Brazil. A legal scholar argues that this is a case of activist judges taking their anti-graft crusade too far.
A prison officer stands guard outside the Chief Magistrate’s court in Nairobi. Safeguarding reforms is key mandate for the in-coming Chief Justice. Noor Khamis/Reuters

Kenya’s new Chief Justice must press on with cleaning up the judiciary

Despite some criticism, the screening of 50-odd judges and nearly 300 magistrates was a remarkable achievement. But Kenya's new Chief Justice has some cleaning up left to do.
Kenya’s Supreme Court judges file into the chamber during the opening of parliament. Reuters/Noor Khamis

How Commonwealth countries have forged a new way to appoint judges

The electorate and those involved in public governance should focus more on how judges are appointed. This is because they need to make sure that individuals of the highest quality get the job.
South African President Jacob Zuma, right, listens to Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng ahead of Zuma’s second inauguration in Pretoria. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Are judges in South Africa under threat or do they complain too much?

Tensions are probably inevitable in any constitutional democracy that empowers the courts to overrule the executive and legislature. But, judges are worried cabinet undermines the rule of law.
The standard of proof that applies in different types of judicial proceedings may result in quite different verdicts. Shutterstock/Andrey Popov

Judge suspects but must acquit man on child pornography charges

After saying he was 'deeply suspicious', a judge cleared a man of child pornography offences. We need to understand the standard of proof to make sense of verdicts, including AFL rulings on doping.
Should Australia’s High Court judges be representative of the community that their rulings affect? Should politics play a part? AAP/Lukas Coch

Appointing Australia’s highest judges deserves proper scrutiny

Late last week, the federal government appointed Geoffrey Nettle, a Victorian Court of Appeal judge, to the High Court to replace retiring justice Susan Crennan. Nettle is an excellent lawyer and his appointment…

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