Friday, November 26, 2010
Fiji's Military Regime Extends "Emergency" Regulations Again to Prevent Public Meetings and Publications
The military regime in Fiji has again extended Public Emergency Regulations that prevent meetings of organizations such as the Fiji Law Society. The emergency regulations have been in place now for 19 months. They restrict various forms of public assembly and what information can be published or broadcast in the media, including blogs.
Persons detained and questioned under the Emergency Regulations include former Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry. He and five other men were charged with "unlawful assembly" and kept in custody for more than three days after allegedly meeting with sugar farmers in Rakiraki in Ra Province.
Fiji's interim Prime Minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, seized power in 2006 in Fiji's fourth military coup.
Hat tip to the East-West Center and Radio New Zealand.
Professor Julian Lonbay (University of Birmingham Law School) has authored a new piece called Assessing the European Market for Legal Services: Development in the Free Movement of Lawyers in the European Union. It will be published in an upcoming issue of the Fordham International Law Journal, but you can download the article now (for free) on SSRN. Here's the abstract:
The Article focuses on recent developments in European multi-jurisdictional practice rights that have major implications for the control of entry to the legal professions and some of the related deontological rules that govern access to professional legal life across the EU and the EEA. Additionally, it looks at their impact on rules regulating the competence of lawyers and admission to the legal professions, primarily in Europe, but with some reference to the position in the United States as well.
The article concludes that the issues confronting the European legal professions and legal service providers indicate that change is on the way and must be handled with care. More work is necessary to define the core elements and legal skills and knowledge that are necessary for successful practice of law; the development of more understanding of how to successfully assess the preparedness for legal practice of candidates; the probable acceptance of an increasingly specialized legal services work force; and related sets of specialist titles that themselves may permit limited specialist practice rights across borders. The evolving European legal market will itself need servicing, and the development of effective modes of continuing professional training, easily achieved and recognized across borders, should help in enabling cross-border practice and delivery of legal services.
The United Kingdom has donated more than $300,000 to the International Criminal Court for a fund to help relocate witnesses who may be at risk in Kenya, where the Court’s prosecutor is investigating the 2007-2008 post-election violence.
Welcoming the £200,000 ($311,945) donation, ICC Registrar Silvana Arbia said it constituted an important gesture towards the victims and witnesses of post-election violence in Kenya, and towards international justice and the common fight against impunity.
“The UK supports the Court’s work, with the Kenyan Government, to promote justice for the many victims of the post-election violence,” said Paul Arkwright, the UK ambassador to the Netherlands, as he handed the donation to Ms. Arbia at The Hague, where the ICC is based. “We welcome the Kenyan Government’s cooperation with the Court on this case. The UK agrees with the ICC Chief Prosecutor that Kenya, with the Court’s assistance, has an opportunity to restore its image and lead the way globally on approaches to the restoration of justice and challenging impunity,” Mr. Arkwright said.
The ICC Special Fund is intended to assist States parties that are willing to host witnesses at risk, but lack the capacity to finance such support. It is aimed at fostering regional solutions for the relocation of witnesses at risk, thereby reducing the impact of relocations on their lives.
The ICC Prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, is investigating the violence that erupted in Kenya in the wake of general elections in December 2007. An estimated 1,300 people were killed and hundreds of thousands displaced in the weeks after the results of the elections were disputed, sparking intra-communal unrest. The post-election violence in Kenya is one of five situations – along with Central African Republic (CAR), Darfur, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Uganda – currently under investigation by the Prosecutor.
(Adapted from a UN Press Release)
The United Nations Security Council this week renewed for another 12 months the authorizations granted to States and regional organizations cooperating with Somalia’s transitional government to fight piracy off the country’s coast. The resolution authorizes States and regional organizations to enter Somalia’s territorial waters and use “all necessary means” –- such as deploying naval vessels and military aircraft, as well as seizing and disposing of boats, vessels, arms and related equipment used for piracy. In the resolution adopted this week, the 15-member Security Council reiterated its condemnation of all acts of piracy and armed robbery against vessels in the waters off the Somali coast.
According to figures by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), over 438 seafarers and passengers and 20 ships are held by pirates as of 4 November – an increase of almost 100 kidnapped victims in less than a month.
(Adapted from a UN Press Release)
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Although Thanksgiving is an American holiday, it is always good to reflect on the things in our lives for which we are thankful. So I encourage all our readers to share in this holiday and take a moment to reflect on the people and other things in your lives for which you are grateful. Best wishes for a very happy Thanksgiving!
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
The federal district court in Oklahoma has extended until November 29, 2010 its order blocking an amendment to the Oklahoma State Constitution that would prohibit state court judges from considering international or Islamic law when deciding cases. The amendment contravenes the provisions of article VI of the U.S. Constitution, which makes treaties the supreme law of the land. The provisions on Islamic law were apparently included merely as an election year gimmick -- there had been not even a single reported case of any Oklahoma court considering any application of Islamic law.
Sunday, November 21, 2010