World Day Against the Death Penalty: Discussion with Kylie Moore-Gilbert

13 October 2022: Please join us for a special event to mark the 20th World Day Against the Death Penalty. 

Hosted by the Capital Punishment Justice Project and MinterEllison, we are excited to present Kylie Moore-Gilbert, academic and author of “The Uncaged Sky: My 804 Days in an Iranian prison”.

Join us at 5:30pm at MinterEllison, Collins Arch, Level 20/447 Collins St, Melbourne.

Canapes will be served from 5:30pm. The speakers will start at 6pm. The event will finish at 7pm.

You are also welcome to join us by Zoom (6pm – 7pm; Zoom link will be emailed to those registered the day before the event).

Statement on executions in Singapore

Capital Punishment Justice Project calls on Singapore to cease its current spate of executions, which has seen 10 people executed since 30 March this year. The individuals who have been executed are not drug ‘kingpins’. To read more, click here.

Anti-Death Penalty and Human Rights organisations outraged by the execution of human rights defenders by the Myanmar Military Junta

26 July 2022: The Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network (ADPAN)Capital Punishment Justice Project, (CPJP), Eleos Justice, Monash University, LBH Masyarakat,  Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture (MADPET), Odhikhar, Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty, ECPM (Together Against the Death Penalty) and Transformative Justice Collective condemn the executions in Myanmar of TMP Phyo Zeya Thaw, Kyaw Min Yu, Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zaw, and assail the violations to the rights to due process and the rule of law in these cases.

 You can read the joint statement here.

Bangladesh: stop punishing human rights work

9 June 2022: Bangladeshi authorities should immediately reverse their decision to deregister prominent human rights organization, Odhikar, eleven organizations said. You can read the joint statement here.

Malaysia's Government announces its decision to abolish the mandatory death penalty

The Malaysian Government announced its decision to abolish the mandatory death penalty on 10 June 2022. You can read CPJP’s statement here.



We mourn the death of Nagaenthran, and send wishes of strength to Nagaen’s family, and the lawyers and activists who fought for Nagaen. Singapore cut an intellectually disabled person off from the world but we heard your voice Nagaen.


Click here to read CPJP’s full statement.

#SaveNagaenthran: Stop Nagen from Being Executed

Rights groups and business leaders join together to challenge Singapore's plans to execute man with intellectual disability

After the recent dismissal of Nagaenthran Dharmalingam’s appeal to Singapore’s Court of Appeal, his family has received notice of his execution scheduled for 27 April 2022. Nagaenthran has an intellectual disability and has deteriorating mental health. He should not be executed.


Please click here to read Richard Branson’s interview with Chris Barrett at The Age.  You can read what Capital Punishment Justice Project (CPJP) said about the impending execution here.

    Bangladesh: Stop Reprisals Against Victims, Activists

    Instead Prioritize Accountability for Human Rights Abuses

    Bangladesh should immediately cease harassment and reprisals against victims of human rights violations, human rights defenders, and their families, twelve organisations including Capital Punishment Justice Project (CPJP) said. Instead, the government should focus its efforts on ensuring full accountability for the serious human rights abuses that persist in the country.

    Our organisations oppose the death penalty in all circumstances for all people, and support the imposition of sanctions by various governments in response to credible and widespread allegations of serious human rights abuses including extrajudicial killings, torture,and enforced disappearances.


    Please click here to read the  joint statement.

      Joint statement opposing executions in Singapore

      Ensemble contre la peine de mort (ECPM), Responsible Business Initiative for Justice, Eleos Justice, Capital Punishment Justice Project (CPJP) and Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network (ADPAN) are dismayed that Singapore has scheduled two executions for Wednesday, 16th February.

      Our organisations oppose the death penalty in all circumstances for all people, and note that there is a global trend towards ending the practice for the intellectually disabled and mentally ill. Our organisations also stand in solidarity with the local legal team defending the lives of those at risk of execution. 

      Please click here to read the  joint statement.

        Joint written statement to the 49th session of the UN Human Rights Council

        Bangladesh: Stop reprisals against human rights defenders and their families

        In Bangladesh, human rights defenders have faced increased criminalization. Many have been charged with documenting cases of enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, and other human rights violations. Coercion, intimidation, and harassment committed by members of the state security and intelligence agencies on those working to document and speak out against human rights violations only further affirm the government’s active role in stifling and criminalizing dissent. To read the joint written statement to 49th Session of the UN Human Rights Council click here. To read the written submission please click here, and to read the  joint public statement please click here.

          Papua New Guinea repeals the death penalty

          Capital Punishment Justice Project (CPJP), Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network (ADPAN) and Eleos Justice commend the decision on 21 January 2022 by the Parliament of Papua New Guinea (PNG) to repeal the death penalty. This is a moment of historical importance for the global anti-death penalty movement, and it is also a significant victory for human rights in the Asia Pacific region. Click here to read our statement.

            Joint statement on sentencing of Sri Lankan prison superintendent to the death penalty

            On 12 January 2022, the Colombo High Court Special Trial-at-Bar sentenced former Welikada Magazine Prison Superintendent Emil Ranjan Lamahewage to death. Mr. Lamahewage was sentenced in relation to the 2012 Welikada Prison incident in which 27 prisoners were killed and approximately 50 were injured. In 2015, a Committee of Inquiry recommended charging a number of senior officials. Ultimately only two prison officials were charged and only Mr. Lamaherwage was convicted.
            The undersigned strongly condemn the ongoing use of the death penalty in Sri Lanka. Whilst Sri Lanka has observed a de facto moratorium on executions since 1976, 1,284 people remained on death row as of September 2020. Despite the long-standing moratorium, the courts continue to impose the death sentence in relation to 22 capital offences.  To see the statement and learn more, click here.

              CPJP Virtual Experience Program in partnership with Forage

              CPJP has launched a free virtual experience program, in partnership with Forage, that enables participants to learn more about CPJP’s mission for a world without the death penalty and start building skills and experience directly relevant to volunteering with CPJP. 

              The program consists of a series of tasks that closely mirror the type of work you could expect to do while volunteering at CPJP. It is recommended for participants who have studied or are interested in law, international relations, diplomacy, human rights, policy, advocacy and communications, and those who are interested in the promotion and protection of human rights around the world. 

              The program is free and open to anyone around the world. The program takes approximately 6 hours to complete and is entirely self-paced. 

              Get started here: CPJP Virtual Experience Program

                Bangladesh: Immediate Moratorium on Executions Must Be Imposed

                Capital Punishment Justice Project joins Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network (ADPAN) and International Federation of Human Rights in urging Bangladesh to immediately halt the impending execution of Shukur Ali, in violation of his right to a fair trial and in total disregard of due process.

                See our joint statement here: Joint Statement – Bangladesh Executions


                  Singapore: Halt Impending Execution of Intellectually Disabled Person

                  Solidarity with Nagaenthran

                  Capital Punishment Justice Project joins 27 organisations and networks and counsel M. Ravi in urging the Singaporean Government to immediately halt the impending execution of Nagaenthran K Dharmalingam; and in calling on UN entities, the European Union, and all relevant stakeholders to take urgent action. Click here for the joint statement. 

                  Click here to hear from Nagaenthran’s mother about why urgent action is needed.

                    World Day Against the Death Penalty:

                    Virtual fireside conversation with guest speaker Sunny Jacobs

                    In support of World Day Against the Death Penalty, CPJP and Clifford Chance held a virtual fireside conversation with guest speaker Sunny Jacobs.
                    A recording of the event will be available for viewing online soon.

                      Risks to life posed by information sharing

                      Media release

                      Although Australia abolished the death penalty in 1973, committed to protecting the inherent right to life enshrined in Article 6(1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and committed to abolition by ratifying the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR in 1990, the risk is live of misuse of Australian-sourced information and unintended complicity in the use of the death penalty abroad. Read about the implications of the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (International Production Orders) Bill 2020 here, which passed into law in June 2021.  

                        Emergency assistance to evacuate Afghans at risk of death

                        Capital Punishment Justice Project is working to support specific individuals who are at risk of death or harm if they are not transported to the airport and evacuated from Kabul.

                        In July 2021, the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission said in areas controlled by Taliban, women, government officials, journalists, and human rights defenders (among others) were facing targeted killings.

                        Join us in assisting them and helping to shine a spotlight on their urgent situation here.

                          Statement on the passing of CHRP Chairperson Chito Gascon

                          CPJP is saddened to hear of the passing of Chairperson Jose Luis Martin “Chito” Gascon, who died on 9 October 2021 of complications arising from Covid-19. Chair Chito dedicated his life to advocating for human rights in the Philippines. As Chair of the Commission for Human Rights in the Philippines (CHRP) from 2015, he fought for justice for the victims of President Duterte’s War on Drugs, preserving evidence and collecting testimonies. He did this in the face of relentless personal attacks from President Duterte, resulting in ongoing harassment and threats. He will be remembered as a courageous and compassionate leader, preserving key democratic values in the face of shrinking civil society space. Capital Punishment Justice Project and Eleos Justice extend our deepest sympathies to Chair Chitos’ family and to his incredible team at the CHRP, whose dedication and commitment are a testament to the values held so dearly by Chair Chito. We will continue to support the critical work of the CHRP.
                          Photo from Chito Gascon Facebook

                            Urgent call to protect human rights defenders in Indonesia

                            CPJP has joined civil society organisations calling on the Indonesian authorities to put an end to any attempts to thwart freedom of speech and expression against Haris Azhar, the Executive Director of Lokataru and Fatia Maulidiyanti, the National Coordinator of The Commission for Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS), and all other human rights defenders in the country. 

                            KontraS is CPJP’s closest partner in work to abolish the death penalty and extra-judicial killings in Indonesia. Their role is fundamentally important for death penalty abolition in the region. The subpoena will have a chilling effect across all areas of human rights work, including for our mission. This is the fundamental reason for our intervention.

                            Please share our joint statement here.

                              Human Rights Day: open letter to the Australian government

                              The Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA) reached in principle by Japan and Australia provides a legal framework for the Australian Defence Force and the Japanese Self-Defence Force to operate in each other’s territories.

                              However, there has been no public guarantee to date that Australian military personnel would not be subject to the death penalty in Japan.

                              Click here to read and sign our open letter to the Australian government.

                              Capital Punishment Justice Project (CPJP) stands for a world without the death penalty.

                              We work with our volunteers, interns, and board to develop legal and policy solutions that will help save lives.

                              LEGAL REPRESENTATION
                              ADVOCACY AND POLICY WORK

                              WHO WE ARE

                              Capital Punishment Justice Project (CPJP) stands for a world without the death penalty. We work with our partner organisations, volunteers, interns, and board to develop legal and policy solutions that will help save lives.

                              CPJP (formerly Reprieve Australia) was founded in Melbourne, Australia, in 2001 by criminal barristers Richard Bourke and Nick Harrington to provide legal representation and humanitarian assistance to those at risk of execution. Initially, our task was to provide volunteer assistance to capital defence centres in the US and while we remain committed to this essential work, our focus is on challenging the death penalty in Asia. CPJP’s Australian base offers strategic advantages for the work, despite our regional outlook. Australia has identified abolition of the death penalty as one of its human rights priority areas, and there is much that can be done to ensure that Australia is a leading voice on abolition.

                              Our Board is led by Stephen Keim SC and comprises 7 voluntary Board members. We operate on a small budget comprised of donations and grants, which covers our casework, research, policy work, advocacy and educational work.

                              CPJP strives to be practical and effective.  We give our time for free, so we have no time to waste.  Our approach is to be flexible in the ways we assist.  Our strategies focus on providing sensible and sophisticated assistance and support to those working for change, with a particular focus on countries in our region.

                              Expressions of interest for volunteers