[JURIST] Leading Monday's international brief, in one of the first public signs of division inside the Zimbabwean government of President Robert Mugabe [BBC profile], the Zimbabwean Attorney General and the Zimbabwean Registrar General have expressed sharp disagreement concerning the proposed draft of a parliamentary bill that would enable to government to seize the passports of individuals deemed likely to "harm the national interest" if allowed to travel abroad. The legislation is needed to enable one of the new powers granted to the office of the president in last August's controversial constitutional reforms [JURIST report]. Zimbabwean Attorney General Sobuza Gula-Ndebele has been outspoken in his criticism of the proposed bill, saying that the Zimbabwean Ministry of Justice would continue to "follow due process" and expressed his concern that the law would only reinforce international opinion that Zimbabwe is a dictatorship in all but name. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Zimbabwe [JURIST news archive]. ZimOnline has local coverage.
In other international legal news ...
- A discussion paper researching the interaction between Australian law and aboriginal law that has been released by the Law Reform Commission of Western Australia (LRCWA) [government website] calls on the government to make over 90 substantive changes to the Western Australia's state laws concerning its aboriginal population, including the reintroduction of traditional aboriginal punishments such as spearing and beating. The state of Western Australia [government website] has the largest proportion of aboriginal inmates and the report claims that incorporating traditional aboriginal criminal punishments will help deter crime among a populace unfamiliar with western concepts of criminal punishment. Read the official LRCWA press release. The Australian has local coverage.
- South African President Thabo Mbeki [official profile] has announced that, despite a larger-than-needed majority in the South African Parliament [government website], he had no plans to pursue constitutional changes to allow for a third presidential term. Mbeki said that his ten years as president, beginning in 1999, will have been more than enough and that South Africa had no need for any attempt at significant constitutional amendment concerning presidential powers. Some political elements have been calling on Mbeki to seek a third term after he very publicly fired [JURIST report] his Vice-President, and heir apparent, Jacob Zuma for his ties to a corruption scandal. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of South Africa [JURIST news archive]. South Africa's Mail & Guardian Online has local coverage.
- Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] has called on the UN Security Council [official website] to create an international peacekeeping force for not only the Darfur region [JURIST news archive] of Sudan [government website], but also for the neighboring region in Chad, just across the Sudanese border. HRW released information Sunday documenting the death of several dozen Chadian civilians at the hands of both Sudanese government and rebel military forces. Sudan has yet to agree to the proposed UN peacekeeping force [JURIST report] in Darfur, although it has allowed 7,000 African Union [official website] peacekeepers access to the troubled region. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Sudan [JURIST news archive]. Read the official HRW press release. The Sudan Tribune has local coverage.