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International brief ~ UN genocide chief blasts Sudan war crimes court as sham

[JURIST] Leading Monday's international brief, UN Special Representative on the Prevention of Genocide Juan Mendez [UN appointment profile] has slammed the domestic war crimes court [JURIST report] set up in Sudan [government website] earlier this year, saying it has failed to deal with "the major crimes committed during the conflict." Mendez said that the reports about the court received by the UN pointed towards a continued attitude of impunity for upper level government officials that would otherwise be implicated in atrocities in the counrty's Darfur region. The domestic Sudanese court was set up as a response to UN Resolution 1593 [JURIST report], which authorized the International Criminal Court [official website] to conduct an investigation into the situation in Darfur. The Sudanese government has repeatedly stated that it will not allow judicial proceedings against any of its citizens by any foreign court. The US and many major NGOs have categorized the situation in Darfur as genocide, and have called on the UN to take steps to prevent any further violence in the region. The UN currently has a large peacekeeping force in the area as part of the peace accords between the now-autonomous Southern Sudan and the Khartoum government. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Darfur [JURIST news archive]. The Sudan Tribune has local coverage.

In other international legal news...

  • The Zimbabwe white farmers' advocacy group Justice for Agricultural Trust [advocacy profile] (JAG) announced Monday that it has finished work on documents necessary to bring Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe [Wikipedia profile] and his new policies under the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No 17) Act [JURIST report] before the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights [official website] (ACHPR). The recent amendment to the Zimbabwean Constitution [official text] allows the President to cancel private title to farm land deemed to be necessary for the maintenance of the state. The Act was used for the first time last week to deny over 4,000 white farmers title to their farm land; it also prohibits individuals from filing an appeal on the eviction notice in court, and prohibits courts from hearing the cases. JAG has declined to say when it will initiate proceedings, but has stressed that they view the case as an essential test of the relatively new Commission. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Zimbabwe [JURIST news archive]. ZimOnline has local coverage.

  • Nepalese human rights lawyer Nanda Raj Acharya filed a suit on Monday against senior Nepalese government [official website] officials for their involvement in the re-arrest of Maoist student activist Krishna KC. KC was arrested two years ago in Kahtmandu and has been continuously detained since then until last Thursday, when the Nepal Supreme Court [judicial website] ordered his release. Acharya's suit alleges government abuse of civil rights based on KC's re-arrest on the same day as his court-ordered release. The suit seeks to secure the release of KC and the prevention of any further re-arrests. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Nepal [JURIST news archive]. Kantipur Online has local coverage.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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