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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

Caribbean Court of Justice strikes down mandatory death penalty in Barbados
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Moving away from the death penalty in Zimbabwe - has the time come for change?
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New opinion study shows Zimbabwean public ready to accept death penalty abolition
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All prisoners serving life sentence in Belize to be re-sentenced following major decision of the Caribbean Court of Justice
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Split Decision (Private Eye on the JCPC's judgment in Jay Chandler)
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UK judges uphold death sentence of Trinidad prisoner despite him “more likely than not” having serious mental illness
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Singapore public opinion survey reveals low support for the mandatory death penalty
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Legal reform must be accompanied by legislative action if the death penalty is to be wiped out
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The Slow Death of the Death Penalty in the U.S.A
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Caribbean Court of Justice Considers Constitutionality of the Mandatory Death Penalty in Barbados
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Trinidad Waits on British Judges' Death Row Ruling as Murders Soar
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New Professional Resources Published on Mental Health in Capital Cases
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Kenyan Supreme Court Declares Mandatory Death Penalty Unconstitutional
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New Death Penalty Report Reveals Widespread Concern Among Former Supreme Court Judges About A Crisis in India's Criminal Justice System
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Preaching to the Converted: Reflections on a Week in Australia
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Why We Need To Do Away With The Death Penalty
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Australia Must Continue to Campaign Against the Death Penalty in Our Region
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Trinidad Court of Appeal Rehears Case of 10 Former Death Row Prisoners After Key Witness Testimony Retracted
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Oral Statement to the 36th Session of the Human Rights Council
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