Divorce and Exoneration Justice: How the UK and US are easing the pain

In Western Canada, advances in species preservation are the result of a kind of collaboration between authorities and local populations that we note more and more here in our progress reports. And Nepal marks a conservation first with a bird sanctuary achieved through collaboration at the provincial and local levels.

1. Canada

Two Indigenous groups have joined forces with scientists, government and corporations to triple the number of caribou in a British Columbia herd. Since efforts began in 2013, the herd has grown from 38 to 114, thanks to a strategy focused on protecting vulnerable caribou like pregnant mothers and calves. Consultancy firm Wildlife Infometrics has designed enclosures lined with electric fences for ungulates. First Nations people patrol safe spaces to repel wolves, and school children and local volunteers collect huge amounts of lichen from the forest to feed the animals. Once the calves are old enough, they are released into the wild and monitored.

Why we wrote this

Our roundup of progress includes a look at innocence. Unfortunately, not being at fault does not guarantee justice, but a national exoneration registry is a step to avoiding wrongful convictions in the United States. In the United Kingdom, not having to declare fault in petitions for divorce allows for a more harmonious procedure.

The process is time-consuming and expensive, and some conservationists oppose predator control as a conservation tool. But many see the successful population growth as proof that Indigenous strategies and modern science can work together effectively. “Western science has been widely used, but it has been driven by Indigenous goals and ways of knowing,” said Carmen Richter of Saulteau First Nations, who is working with West Moberly First Nations on the project. “Indigenous-led doesn’t mean it doesn’t involve other people.
Mongabay, CBC News

US Fish and Wildlife Service/File

Woodland caribou graze in the Selkirk Mountains of British Columbia. Native-led conservation efforts are restoring herd numbers.

2. United States

In the 10 years since its creation, the National Registry of Exonerations has registered more than 3,000 people who have been granted freedom since 1989. The 2021 annual report, released in April, reports 161 people exonerated in 2021, just under half of whom had been convicted of homicide. On average, exonerated defendants spent 11.5 years in prison for crimes they did not commit.

The registry was started by researchers at four universities in 2012, when there was virtually no reliable data on exemptions in the United States. While the data points to much bigger problems in the criminal justice system, it also helps researchers and policy makers make more informed and humane decisions. the decisions. “Our [policy] The team is, quite frankly, entirely dependent on the registry’s website and dataset to both demonstrate the magnitude of the problem and humanize the faces of those wrongfully convicted,” said Rebecca Brown, Director of policies of the New York-based nonprofit Innocence Project.
National Exemption Register, Reuters

Damian Dovarganes/AP/File

Andrew Leander Wilson (right) has been cleared of a murder conviction after spending 32 years in prison. His daughter, Catrina Burks, stands to his right as he leaves Lost Angeles Central Men’s Jail, March 16, 2017.

3. United Kingdom

Couples in England and Wales can divorce without pointing fingers, thanks to a new ‘no-fault’ law. Before the new separation procedure came into effect, a person had to accuse a spouse of desertion, adultery or unreasonable behavior in order to file for divorce. Otherwise, they would have to separate for two years if the two agreed to divorce, or five years if not, before legally separating. This requirement has added additional emotional and logistical challenges to financial and custody decisions, family law experts say.

Now, no-fault divorces allow couples to separate with a simple declaration that the marriage has ended, followed by a 20-week ‘cooling-off period’. Proponents say the changes allow for a more cooperative and harmonious parting of the ways. “The end of marriage doesn’t mean the end of being connected,” said Lydia, whose last name was not given. She and her 18-year-old partner waited for the law to come into effect before divorcing. “It was important for us to find a way forward [through] a sad situation in the kindest way possible and prioritize working together amicably rather than a win/lose approach.
BBC, Metro.co.uk

4. Somalia

The first all-female newsroom has opened in Somalia. Sexual harassment is rampant in Somalia’s media industry, and promotions – let alone basic respect – can be hard to come by for female journalists. Bilan, which means “bright and clear” in Somali, brings together a six-person team led by Nasrin Mohamed Ibrahim, one of the country’s few senior female news producers. “Never before have Somali women journalists had the freedom, opportunity and power to decide what stories they want to tell and how they want to tell them,” Ms Ibrahim wrote in a Guardian op-ed, adding that Somali women are more likely to share their stories with other women.

The media house, which launched in April, produces news and features for television, radio and online, with an eye on issues such as gender-based violence and women in politics and business. Bilan Media will provide its reporters with training and mentoring from established journalists and will offer internships to top female journalism students. The project is funded by the United Nations Development Program as a one-year pilot project, with the goals of expanding and expanding the program.
The Guardian

5. Nepal

The country’s first bird sanctuary has been inaugurated, protecting over 360 species of birds in western Nepal. The habitats of species like the great hornbill and the Indian spotted eagle – already in global decline – are increasingly threatened in the region due to road traffic, construction, logging, poaching and the hunt. The Ghodaghodi Sanctuary spans 2,563 hectares (6,333 acres) of lakes, swamps and forests in Sudurpashchim province, creating an essential wildlife corridor between plains and hills.

Nepal has no federal laws that would facilitate the establishment of a bird sanctuary, so the provincial government drafted separate legislation to authorize the first such site in the country.

“Just declaring the area a bird sanctuary is not enough,” said Sudurpashchim Chief Minister Trilochan Bhatta. “It is everyone’s duty to conserve the natural, religious and historical significance of this site. Conservationists hope the site, located near the border with India, will attract Indian tourists.

Elna M. Lemons