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International brief ~ AU summit opens with controversy over Sudan chairmanship

[JURIST] Leading Monday's international brief, the 2006 African Union [official website] summit opened Monday in Khartoum, Sudan, with a sharp controversy over the potential chairmanship of the organization by a regime accused of directly contributing to over 300,000 deaths and nearly two million Internally Displaced Persons in Darfur [JURIST news archive] over the past several years. Traditionally the chairmanship of the AU is held by the nation hosting the annual summit, but rebel leaders from Darfur have announced that they will cut off all peace negotiations with Sudan if Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir [BBC profile] is allowed to chair the regional group. Five African nations have formally requested al-Beshir to withdraw his nomination for the post and several more western and southern African nations have expressed concern over the position going to the head of a country likely to be the subject of AU action over the next year. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Sudan [JURIST news archive]. The Sudan Tribune has local coverage.

In other international legal news ...

  • A representative of the opposition political parties in Nepal [government website] has filed a formal Public Interest Litigation (PIL) with the Nepal Supreme Court [judicial website] against a Nepalese Home Ministry Order imposed on January 18 that denies political parties the right to hold assemblies, conduct peace protests, and stage sit-ins within the capital city of Kathmandu. The order was invoked under Section 6(3)(a) of the Nepal Local Administration Act 2028 BS which allows the government to deny these rights on the basis of suspicion of Maoist infiltration of political parties. The PIL alleges that the order is illegal under Article 112 of the 1990 Nepal Constitution [official text], which holds that any law prohibiting free assembly of recognized political parties is void, and has asked the Supreme Court to overturn the order. On Saturday, Nepalese police used tear gas to disperse protestors defying the ban [JURIST report] in Kathmandu, arresting 300. The Court has set Tuesday as the preliminary hearing date. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Nepal [JURIST news archive]. NepalNews.com has local coverage.

  • The political cabinet in Kuwait [official information website], led by Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, has requested that the Kuwaiti Parliament hold hearings on the medical fitness of Emir Sheikh Saad al-Abdulla al-Sabah, who is set to take the oath of office on Tuesday. Sheikh Saad, 76, took over the leadership of Kuwait on January 15, following the death of his cousin Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah, but his ability to rule the tiny Arabian nation has been questioned in light of his documented health difficulties. A member of the Kuwaiti cabinet confirmed that a letter had been sent to the Kuwaiti Parliament asking them to conduct a special review of Sheikh Saad under the laws of succession. According to the Kuwait Constitution [text], the cabinet can have a medical report on the state of the Emir presented to the Parliament, which can then remove the Emir by a two-thirds vote in the 50 person legislature. If Sheik Saad is removed, Prime Minister Sabah is his most likely replacement. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Kuwait [JURIST news archive]. Reuters has more.

About Paper Chase

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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