Post by Dr Daniel Pascoe, Assistant Professor at the School of Law at City University of Hong Kong. Daniel and Dr Michelle Miao, British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham, two DPhil alumni of the Centre for Criminology, are the new editors of the Asia Death Penalty blog. Follow Daniel on Twitter @DC_Pascoe.

Asia Death Penalty is a blog founded in 2006, by Tim Goodwin, a former Amnesty International staff member.  The original purpose of the blog was to provide information to support people in Asia―and around the world―in the struggle to end the death penalty, noting that several of the countries with the highest per capita execution rates in the world are located in Asia. The blog focuses on countries in the Asian region (broadly defined), but it also reports on issues of interest in the worldwide campaign for a world without executions. This blog draws on the work of Asian media and international human rights organisations, but it’s an independent site. The blog has recorded an annual total of 10,000 unique visitors per year for several years.

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The original author of the Asia Death Penalty Blog, Tim Goodwin, decided not to continue posting in 2012 for various personal reasons. Tim invited myself and Michelle to take over as new editors to revive the blog after several years of dormancy. After leaving Oxford, we have remained in the academy, at City University of Hong Kong and the University of Nottingham, respectively. Our research is focused on capital punishment in Asia, and we shared the same external examiner for our DPhils: Professor David Johnson from the University of Hawaii. Michelle’s focus at Oxford was on China whereas mine was on Southeast Asia, and we both worked as research assistants for Professor Carolyn Hoyle on the 5th edition of The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective.

During our time as editors we plan to post the following information on the blog:

  • NGO press releases and reports, including online petitions;
  • government press releases and UN documents;
  • academic articles, book reviews and notes on relevant international conferences; and
  • relevant legal decisions.

Some of the material will be reposted from other sites (with proper attribution), whereas some of the material will comprise original contributions.

Here, we define Asia broadly, as including East and Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. As of April 2015, the countries and territories within these regions that retain the death penalty as a criminal punishment in law consist of the following: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, China (PRC), China (Taiwan), India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Korea (DPRK), Korea (ROK), Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, and Yemen.

Initially, our first few posts will document the most important developments in death penalty practice in Asia from 2011 to 2015 (the period during which the blog has been dormant). Thereafter, we will keep readers informed of regular developments.

We welcome contributions and comments on the articles. If you have material to contribute to to the blog, please contact myself or Michelle via email.

We hope you find the blog helpful and we look forward to hearing from interested staff, students, and supporters of the Oxford Centre for Criminology.