[JURIST] In Wednesday's international legal news, Viktor Yushchenko [BBC profile; presidential campaign website in Ukrainian], the pro-western reformer who led a popular charge to see the original November Ukranian presidential election results reversed on grounds of fraud, will most likely be inaugurated as the new president of Ukraine [official presidency website] on Friday or Saturday of this week. The key break in the face-off between Yushchenko and Viktor Yanukovych [BBC profile], former Ukranian Prime Minister and initial winner of the November election, came Tuesday when the Ukranian Supreme Court ruled that results from the December re-vote, which heavily favored Yuschenko, could be published in the press [JURIST report]. Lawyers for both sides have acknowledged that once the results are published, the Supreme Court cannot rescind them. As the results are expected to be published Thursday, officials said that the inauguration could occur as early as Friday. UPI has more.
In other international legal news...
- Pending his inauguration as Ukranian president, officials for Yushchenko have announced that he will pursue plans to change Ukraine's policy towards the European Union [official website] from one of 'neighborhood' to one of 'membership'. An EU-Kiev meeting scheduled for next week will likely include a preliminary discussion of the eventual inclusion of the Ukraine into the EU bloc. If Ukraine [official governmental website] were to pursue membership, the country would have to endure many years of review by the EU, the European Ministers of Parliament, and possibly even votes by current member-nations. EU Observer has more.
- The UK Home Office [official website] announced plans Wednesday to seek agreements with a series of countries to allow the deportation of suspects held in the UK on terrorism charges without the suspects facing torture upon their return. The decision comes after a December ruling [JURIST report] by the UK House of Lords that the indefinite detention of 12 men in Belmarsh and Woodhill prisons under the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act [official text] was unlawful. The UK has faced a legal dilemma concerning the men - they did have not had enough evidence to prosecute them but were unable to deport them back to their home countries as they might face human rights violations. The UK's obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights [official text, PDF] prevents the return of individuals to a country where their human rights might be violated. Home Secretary Charles Clarke [official profile] said that the Home Office is pursuing individual assurances from each country involved concerning the treatment of the detained men. The Times has Clarke's interview here.
- Jan Pronk, head UN envoy to Sudan, postponed talks Wednesday with John Garang, chairman of the Sudan People's Liberation Army [faction website], and instead met with African Union [official website] officials to discuss the deployment of peacekeepers to the area. Garang was supposed to arrive in Rumbek, the new southern capital, but was delayed, prompting Pronk to fly to Ethiopia to meet with AU officials. The peace deal signed just weeks ago, allows for the deployment of peacekeepers in Southern Sudan, in order to assist in the creation of the autonomous southern region. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan will address the Security Council later this week and will present his report on the situation in Sudan. The report is expected to request somewhere between 9,000 and 10,000 peacekeepers to be deployed to the area. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage [JURIST country archive] of Sudan. The Sudan Tribune has local coverage.