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International brief ~ Uganda military court defies constitutional court ruling

[JURIST] Leading Wednesday's international brief, Ugandan General Court Martial (GCM) Chairman Elly Tumwine has gone ahead with the trial of over 20 suspects accused of collaborating with Ugandan opposition leader Dr. Kizza Besigye [BBC profile] on charges of terrorism and illegal possession of firearms [JURIST report] despite a Ugandan Constitutional Court ruling [PDF text; JURIST report] that the proceedings are unconstitutional. The 20 men, allegedly members of the People's Redemption Army, were supposed to have been released to police custody to face civil criminal charges after the Ugandan Constitutional Court [official website] ruled that Besigye and his co-defendants could not be tried by the GCM for charges with no military connection and for which the defendants already faced civil charges. Tumwine has denied the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court over the GCM and has announced his intent to continue the trial to a conclusion. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Uganda [JURIST news archive]. Uganda's Monitor Online has local coverage.

In other international legal news ...

  • Thirteen UN staff members operating in Eritrea have been detained by the Eritrean government but have not been charged by officials with any crime. A significant number of the remainder of the civilian UN mission in Eritrea [official website], tasked with monitoring the border conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia, have reportedly gone into hiding, fearing detention or arrest. The UN has protested the detentions to the Eritrean government, but the only response has been a statement by the Eritrean Minister of Information saying that Eritrea would not allow the UN to harbor 'fugitives' from Eritrea. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of the United Nations [JURIST news archive]. BBC News has more.

  • The Nepali Congress, a government watchdog in Nepal, has called on King Gyanendra [official profile] to re-institute the Nepalese House of Representatives, which he dissolved [JURIST report] last February 1. The NC also called on the Nepal Supreme Court [official website] to continue its recent challenge of royal authority [JURIST report] by ruling that the February 1 declaration abolishing elected government in Nepal was unconstitutional. The NC defended its position encouraging protests against the monarchy as necessary to see the re-introduction of democracy to Nepal. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Nepal [JURIST news archive]. eKantipur.com 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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