The ABA Rule of Law Initiative’s (ABA ROLI’s) Philippines office will sponsor its second and third regional conferences on extrajudicial killings and confronting impunity. These conferences are part of a program funded by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor to help reduce the politically-motivated assassinations of opposition leaders, labor organizers, farmers’ advocates, journalists and others who are deemed a threat to local and national officials. Earlier this summer, ABA ROLI initiated this project by sponsoring a forensics training class for high-level prosecutors. The purpose of the class was to strengthen extrajudicial cases based on physical evidence, as opposed to relying solely on eyewitness testimony. (You can read more about this program in the August 2008 Update.) The conferences, which are being held in extrajudicial “hotzones” marked by spikes in politically-motivated violence, are co-hosted by ABA ROLI and the University of the Philippines. Speakers include international and national prosecutors, academicians and human rights commissioners.