Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Japan: Prime Minister Resigns

Japan Yasuo Fukuda, the prime minister of Japan, resigned Monday after only a year in office.  He said he was clearing the way for a more popular successor.  He had been in a deadlock struggle with the Japanese parliament.  Read more here.

(mew)

September 2, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, September 1, 2008

ICTY: Update on Karadzic Trial (3)

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic refused to enter a guilty plea last Friday at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.  He faces genocide charges relating to the massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica in 1995, and other charges relating to crimes committed during the 1992-95 war in Bosnia. 

Karadzic said on Friday that the court was "representing itself falsely as a court of the international community."  Judge Iain Bonomy told Karadzic that the hearing last Friday was not about the court's jurisdiction but about his pleas to the 11 charges against him.  Judge Bonomy entered "not guilty" pleas for Karadzic. Chicago Tribune, Aug. 30, 2008, sec. 1, at 9.

The hearing showed that Karadzic will probably conduct himself at trial much in the way that Slobodan Milosevic did when he was on trial from 2002 until his death in 2006.

(mew)

September 1, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Georgia and Russia Sever Diplomatic Ties

GeorgiaRussia  In a perhaps unsurprising development, Georgia and Russia severed diplomatic relations last Friday. The countries will maintain consular offices in each other's territories to handle matters such as issuing passports and assisting citizens with legal problems.  (In the United States, Cuba officially has no embassy but there is a consular office in Washington DC to assist Cuban citizens here.)

Russia had not had its diplomatic ties severed with any of the other 14 republics that became independent states after the collapse of the former Soviet Union.   Shutting down a diplomatic channel of communication may inadvertently increase the difficulty in finding a solution to the current crisis in Georgia.

(mew)

September 1, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

This Should Help Book Sales

Hartmann_book Florence Hartmann, a former spokesperson for the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, was reported to have been summoned to answer charges of contempt of court for disclosing confidential information in a book she wrote about the court (after she left the court).  The New York Times said that she is accused of revealing confidential decisions by appeals judges in the case of Slobodan Milosevic.  Ms Hartmann's lawyer said that her book did not quote from the ruling but discussed its consequences.  N.Y. Times, Aug. 28, 2008, at A10.

The article I read did not identify the book title, but I believe it is Peace and Punishment: The Secret Wars of Politics and International Justice. 

(mew)

September 1, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Mexico: Supreme Court Upholds Mexico City's Abortion Law

Mexico The Supreme Court of Mexico had upheld Mexico City's abortion law by a vote of 8-3.  The law allows abortions during the first trimester of pregnancy.  It is the only place in Latin American (other than Cuba) that allows for unrestricted abortions in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.  In light of the Supreme Court's ruling, other states in Mexico may adopt new abortion laws.  The ruling was seen as a defeat for President Felipe Calderon, whose government had filed the constitutional challenge to the law that Mexico City had passed in April 2007.

(mew)

September 1, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

ICTY: Karadzic as a Witness?

U.S. law professor Alan Dershowitz said that he planned to call Radovan Karadzic as a defense witness in the appeal case of Momcilo Krajisnik, who was sentenced for persecution, extermination, and murder.  Chicago Trib., Aug. 22, 2008, sec. 1, at 15.

(mew)

September 1, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

India and ASEAN Conclude FTA

Previously Posted on Trade Lawyers Blog:

On August 28, 2008, India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) (Brunei Darussalem, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam)concluded six years of negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA). The formal FTA document covering trade in goods will be signed by leaders at the ASEAN-India Summit scheduled for December in Bangkok. It is anticipated that the ASEAN - India FTA will be effective from January 2009.

This FTA relates to trade in goods. Under the FTA, India and ASEAN will eliminate import duties on 71 per cent of products  by 31 December 2012 and another 9 per cent by 2015. Duties on 8 to 10 per cent of the products that have been kept in the sensitive list will also be brought down to five per cent.

It is anticipated that a trade in services agreement will be negotiates, as well as a dispute settlement agreement and an investment treaty.

Cyndee Todgham Cherniak

September 1, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Australia - New Zealand - Asean Conclude FTA

Previously Posted on Trade Lawyers Blog:

On August 28, 2008, Australia and New Zealand and the 10 ASEAN countries (Brunei Darussalem, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) concluded a comprehensive free trade agreement.  The ASEAN - Australia - New Zealand FTA (AANZFTA) in essence is an agreement between Australia and new Zealand (who signed the Australia - New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Agreement in 1983) and the ASEAN nations (which signed an agreement in 2004). It is expected that the AANZFTA will be signed in December.

The FTA is comprehensive and covers trade in goods, services, financial services, investment, telecommunications, electronic commerce, movement of natural persons, intellectual property, competition policy, and economic cooperation in a single agreement. Many of the ASEAN trade agreements divide these areas into more than one agreement.

The ASEAN nations have signed free trade agreements with China, Japan and India.  If the agreements combine, they would formulate the largest free trade area in the world.

The ten ASEAN countries have a population of 570 million people, third after China and India and a combined GDP of estimated at around US$1 trillion, second only to China in emerging Asia. As a group, ASEAN is a larger trading partner for Australia (16 per cent) than any single country, including Japan (13 per cent), China (12 per cent) or the United States (11 per cent). However ASEAN attracted only a modest 5% of Australia’s foreign direct investment as at December 2007.

Cyndee Todgham Cherniak

September 1, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)