Bad People – and How to Be Rid of Them: A Plan B for Human Rights by Geoffrey Robertson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
While this book provides a history of human rights dating right back to the 17th Century, the real background to Geoffrey Robertson’s treatise about how to stop human rights ‘baddies’ is the torture and death of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian tax expert murdered by his own government for exposing fraud and corruption. Magnitsky’s story – and it is well worth knowing – is told in detail by former client, supporter, and fellow target, Bill Browden, in his book ‘Red Notice’ (reviewed below).
Human rights lawyer, Geoffrey Robertson, became involved in Browden’s quest for justice. Since, several countries, including the US, the EU (in December 2020), and the UK have passed ‘Magnitsky laws’, which ‘name and shame’ tyrants who perpetrate these crimes against humanity when the usual forms of justice fail. Australia is currently considering the form its ‘Magnitsky law’ will take. Robertson’s book is not easy to fully absorb. Many of the names and events will not be well-known to the general public. However it is well worth a read. Its currency -Robertson covers human rights developments up to March 2021 – is noteworthy. While the subject matter is weighty, his droll humour sometimes raises a smile.
Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice by Bill Browder
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Reads like a Soviet-era spy thriller, only this story is true. Yes, there will be sceptics, but I have no doubt that the events leading up to the torture and murder of Russian tax expert, Sergei Magnitsky, and what happened as a result to author, Bill Browder, actually happened.
In a coincidental piece of triangulation, an article in ‘The Weekend Australian’ (1 May 2021) written by human rights lawyer, Geoffrey Robertson, reveals his role in bringing about international sanctions against the perpetrators. Shocking and compelling in equal proportions. Robertson’s book is reviewed above.