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International brief ~ ICC holds first-ever hearing

[JURIST] Leading the international brief, the International Criminal Court [official website] held its first-ever hearing Tuesday, a status conference focusing on the need for witness protection and evidence preservation in the investigation of Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo [official profile] into alleged war crimes [official ICC press release] committed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo [government website in French]. The investigation into possible crimes in the DRC was initiated at the request of Congolese President Denis Sassou-Nguesso [official profile in French]. BBC News has more.

In other international legal news ...

  • The drafting committee for Sudan's new constitution has announced that they have finished work on the document and have completed its translation into Arabic. The drafting committee will be presenting the new constitution, which was developed by members from both the Khartoum government [official website] and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement [government website] from the autonomous south, will be presented to the Pan-Sudanese Constitutional Convention sometime next week. The draft constitution is based on the current Sudanese Constitution [official text], the Nairobi Peace Agreements [official PDF text], and the SPLM Constitution [official text]. The draft committee has required that the English version of the constitution be used to settle any future interpretational disputes. JUIRST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Sudan [JURIST Country news archive]. The Sudan Tribune has local coverage.

  • The UN Security Council passed Resolution 1586 [official PDF text; embargoed at press time] Tuesday, expanding the mandate of the UN Mission to Ethiopia and Eritrea [official website] until mid-September. The region has been under the supervision of the UN since July 2000, when the UN was called in to help mediate an ongoing border dispute. The UN-created Boundary Commission [official website] is still working to resolve the dispute, but has been able to keep the peace in the Temporary Security Zone established and patrolled by UN Peacekeepers. Read the UN Security Council press release. The UN News Centre has more.

  • The Permanent Council [official website] of the Organization of American States [official website] will Wednesday consider a request from the governments of Chile, El Salvador, and Mexico that elections for Secretary-General of the OAS be held March 30. The post has been filled by Acting Secretary-General Luigi R. Einaudi since October 2004, when Secretary General Miguel Angel Rodríguez resigned. The request was accompanied by a draft resolution urging the election to take place as soon as possible in order to allow the OAS to move on with its urgent business in the Americas. Chile, El Salvador, and Mexico have all nominated individuals for the position of Secretary-General. Read the official OAS press release. Watch the webcast Wednesday, March 16 at 10 AM ET.

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