[JURIST] Leading Tuesday's international brief, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan [official profile] has flagged and implicitly condemned threats from several high-ranking Sudanese officials warning that international personnel in the country may be at greater risk if the International Criminal Court [official website] acts against any government officials included on a UN list Annan handed over to the ICC [JURIST report]. Annan presented his monthly report to the Security Council Monday on the situation in the Darfur region of Sudan [government website], saying generally that violence was continuing in the region at an unacceptable rate and pointing to a rise in attacks on international personnel in the area. Annan said that UN members must not let up pressure on Sudan simply because the Security Council had created a peacekeeping force for the region [JURIST report]. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Sudan [JURIST news archive]. The UN News Centre has more. The Sudan Tribune has local coverage.
In other international legal news ...
- A crowd of protestors gathered in Johannesburg, South Africa to celebrate 25 years of formal independence for Zimbabwe [government website] and at the same time call for reforms from Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. Led by Brian Kagoro of Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition [advocacy website], the crowd protested repressive laws, specifically challenging the need for land reform, the continued government oppression of women and organized labor, and the youth national service training programme which human rights agencies and religious organizations say turns teens and young adults into killers of opposition leaders. Kagoro compared Mugabe to a black Ian Smith [Wikipedia profile], who used the cloak of government legislation to repress his nation and dole out rewards to his supporters. Zimbabwe gained formal independence from Britain in 1980 following carefully monitored elections where Mugabe was elected president. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Zimbabwe [JURIST news archive]. ZimOnline has local coverage.
- The Royal Commission on Corruption Control in Nepal [government website] has called former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba to appear before its investigatory panel. Deuba headed the elected portion of the government that was removed from office by King Gyanendra [official profile] by the royal declaration of a state of emergency [JURIST report] on February 1. Deuba was incarcerated following that declaration until March 11, when he was released [JURIST report] for no apparent reason. The RCCC, created by the royal government [JURIST report], called Deuba to testify concerning financial decisions made while he was in office. The RCCC is currently facing a contempt of court hearing [JURIST report] for proceeding with the investigation when it is also currently before the Nepalese Supreme Court [official website]. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Nepal [JURIST news archive]. Kantipur Online has local coverage.
- The legislature of China [government website], the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress [backgrounder], announced Monday that it will accede to a request [JURIST report] to interpret Hong Kong's Basic Law [official text] in reference to the current constitutional dispute over the office of Leader of the Hong Kong province. Hong Kong [government website] has been in turmoil over whether Acting Chief Executive Donald Tsang [official profile] should serve the remainder the term of former executive Tung Chee-hwa [archived profile], who resigned in early March [JURIST report], or the full presidential term as spelled out in the Basic Law. Legal experts in Hong Kong warn that allowing the NPC to be the ultimate interpreter of Hong Kong's constitutional Basic Law would be ceding too much power to the mainland. China maintains that part of the 1997 integration of Hong Kong was the assumption of the role of constitutional interpretation of Hong Kong law. The NPC is expected to consider the issue during its 15th session of the 10th NPC Standing Committee, scheduled for April 24 - 27. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Hong Kong [JURIST news archive]. China Daily has local coverage.