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What we do

We fight on behalf of those whose right to life, to a fair trial and to humane treatment is at stake.

Photo credits: James Guthrie
Gates of Belize Central Prison

We are prepared to work everywhere the death penalty is imposed - we will never turn a death penalty case down

Our Activities

We deliver practical and targeted training to judges, lawyers, medical professionals and those working within the criminal justice system on human rights law and issues relating to the death penalty.

For the criminal justice process to be fair, it must function effectively. Gaps in the implementation of human rights and inconsistencies in how the death penalty is applied can lead to miscarriages of justice.

We work with local partners to identify the most neglected and misunderstood issues within the criminal justice process to increase human rights protections. Following successful legal challenges, we provide training on the impact of the judgment, to ensure that the law is applied properly. We also engage members of the judiciary in dialogue around key issues and facilitate international exchange and knowledge-sharing. To accompany our training initiatives we produce practical professional resources to assist those involved in capital cases.

We commission and publish original research and resources to address knowledge gaps and deepen understanding on the death penalty.

In many countries there is a lack of publicly available information and data about the death penalty and how it is applied in practice. Myths about the death penalty often go unchallenged, leading to misinformed policymaking and public debate. For example, perceived public support for the death penalty is frequently claimed to be a barrier to abolition, but there is often little data to back this up.

We commission and publish academic research and targeted reports to increase knowledge and understanding on the death penalty. Covering thematic issues such as public opinion, conditions of detention and the implementation of human rights law, these resources are developed in close consultation with local partners to respond to specific needs. Our publications are used by NGOs, lawyers and policymakers around the world as tools to effect lasting change in policy and practice.

We engage governments and all key stakeholders in dialogue on the death penalty.

Abolition of the death penalty requires strong political leadership. However, a lack of information and polarised opinions on capital punishment can make constructive political debate hard to achieve.

We provide expert information and assistance to governments and advice to the diplomatic community. We bring together key stakeholders including members of the judiciary, legal professionals, the media and civil society organisations to facilitate dialogue on the death penalty. Through sustained engagement, we question entrenched positions and raise awareness of human rights issues to create an environment for criminal justice reform.

Where We Operate

We work in over 30 countries around the world, with a particular focus on the Commonwealth. We are prepared to work wherever the death penalty is imposed. Partnership working is at the heart of what we do. Wherever we operate, we always work with dedicated local partners and other stakeholders. We will never work in a country without an invitation.

Our latest news and events

Read the latest news on The Death Penalty Project and our work from around the world

UK’s Privy Council set to hear important challenge to constitutionality of the mandatory death penalty in Trinidad and Tobago
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Indonesians’ support for the death penalty declines with more rigorous survey methods
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The Kalisher Trust Legal Internship - Applications now open
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World Day Against the Death Penalty - Women and the Death Penalty
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People may change mind about death penalty, but government?
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Dismantle the gallows! Sierra Leone becomes the latest country to abolish the death penalty
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Sentenced to death for killing her abusive ex-boyfriend as he attacked her: Aminata's story shows the importance of considering mitigating circumstances
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New research revealing the attitudes of Indonesians towards the death penalty provides new data that could facilitate fresh discourse on the future of capital punishment in the country
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A punishment reserved for the poor and marginalised? New study shines light on the profiles and experiences of death row inmates in Bangladesh
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The Death Penalty Project at CogX Festival 2021
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Guyana’s Court of Appeal will today hear a landmark case that could see the death penalty abolished
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Lawyer: Popular support a flawed reason for death penalty in Japan
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[JOINT STATEMENT] UN Crime Congress: abolition of the death penalty must be an integral part of crime prevention programmes and criminal justice reforms
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Malaysian man has death sentence quashed as judgment in Singapore makes judicial history
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British national received 24 strokes of the cane for drug offences in Singapore
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