June 4, 2011
Ratko Mladic Refuses to Enter Plea at ICTY
Ratko Mladic, the leader of the Bosnian Serb forces during the conflict in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, made his first appearance before the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia (ICTY) yesterday. In a 37-page indictment, he is accused of genocide, extermination, murder and other war crimes and crimes against humanity. He refused to enter a plea. According to a UN Press Release, "When asked if he was ready to enter a plea, Mr. Mladic replied that he wanted more time to consider 'these obnoxious charges,' adding that he would need more than a month given 'these monstrous words' in the indictment." He is scheduled to appear before the ICTY again on July 4.
Mr. Mladic had evaded capture for 16 years and was finally arrested on May 26. He was transferred to the ICTY at the Hague in the Netherlands last Tuesday.
May 30, 2011
ECHR says pregnant mothers entitled to prenatal genetic tests
A chamber of seven judges of the European Court of Human Rights issued a decision last week in R.R. v. Poland, finding that a pregnant mother's rights under articles 3 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights had been violated when she was denied timely access to genetic tests during her pregnancy. Ultrasound tests done in the early stages of the pregnancy showed that the baby might be deformed. The mother requested amniocentesis to determine the extent of the problem, but the doctors denied her access to genetic testing because they were afraid she would terminate the pregnancy if she knew the extent of the deformity. The woman ultimately gave birth to a girl with Turner's syndrome. The Court held that she had suffered humilitating treatment in violation of Article 3 of the Convention, as well as suffering a violatio of her right to respect for privacy and family life under Article 8.