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World Legal News Round Up for Saturday, 11 November 2017

[JURIST] Here's the international legal news we covered this week:

The legal world is a busy place.
The Philippines Office of the Ombudsman (OTO) [official website] has anti-graft and corruption charges [document images] Tuesday against former Philippines president Benigno Aquino III [Britannica backgrounder] in connection to the Mamasapano battle [Rappler backgrounder], which left 44 elite cops dead following a firefight with Islamic rebel groups.
Following an Associated Press (AP) article published [AP report] Wednesday, Sri Lanka wrote [text] Thursday in a letter to the New York Times that it will investigate allegations of torture and rape of 50 Tamil individuals by police offices and military officials.

The AP report contains interviews and photographs with 20 Tamil men who claim they were raped, tortured and branded while in custody of Sri Lankan law enforcement.

International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on Wednesday reported to the statement to the UN Security Council (UNSC) [official websites] on the efforts to arrest Libyan special forces commander Mahmoud Mustafa Busayf Al-Werfalli.
Saudi authorities have detained more than 200 individuals in connection with an investigation into corruption that has cost more than USD $100 billion over the past several decades, Attorney General Sheikh Saud Al Mojeb said [press release] Thursday.

Of these 208 individuals called in for questioning, seven have been released without charge.

Texas officials on Wednesday executed Rubén Cárdenas Ramírez, a Mexican national who was convicted in 1998 for the kidnap, rape and murder of his 16-year-old cousin, despite international pressure.

The US Supreme Court [official website] had denied a writ of certiorari [text, PDF] as well as an appeal to stay [text, PDF] the execution on Wednesday.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto condemned the execution [Debate report, in Spanish] for violating a 2004 decision [text] by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) [official website] holding that the US violated Article 36 of the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations [text, PDF].

The International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] on Thursday authorized [order] prosecutor Fatou Bensouda [official profile] to investigate potential crimes against humanity and war crimes in Burundi.
The Indonesian Constitutional Court on Tuesday found [judgment, PDF] that a 2013 law requiring people who adopted indigenous native faiths to not disclose that religion on their ID cards was discriminatory and unconstitutional.
The Instanbul 14th High Criminal Court on Tuesday upheld Enis Berberoğlu's 25-year prison sentence, finding the appeals court did not have grounds to order a retrial [Reuters report].

Berberoğlu, deputy of the main opposition party, Republican People's Party (CHP), was convicted of military espionage in June after he allegedly reported video of Turkey's National Intelligence Organization (MİT) transporting weapons to rebels in Syria.

Syria announced on Tuesday during UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) [official website] in Bonn, Germany, that the nation is poised to send its ratification of the Paris Climate Accord [text, PDF] to the UN.
Spain's Constitutional Court [official website, in Spanish] on Wednesday declared [press release, PDF, in Spanish] the Catalan independence declaration to be unconstitutional.

The court initially nullified [JURIST report] the October 27 declaration of independence while it studied its legality.

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) [official website] reported [text, PDF] Wednesday that attacks against places of worship and religious leaders have seen a "disturbing" increase in Afghanistan since January 1, 2016.

The attacks typically target Shi'a Muslim congregations, and almost all attacks are carried out by anti-government elements.

Germany's highest constitutional court ruled [press release, in German] in an order [judgment, in German] published Wednesday that a third gender designation for intersex people must be made available at birth.

This ruling comes from a case brought by an intersex individual who was required to be registered at birth as male or female or leave the gender blank, resulting in a designation on their record as "missing information." A chromosomal analysis found that this individual was not distinctly male or female.

The Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea (PNG) [official website] refused [judgment] Tuesday to restore power and provide water and medical services to the Manus Island detention center [BBC backgrounder].
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) [official website] held [webcast] simultaneous hearings [press release] Tuesday regarding the UK's practice of intercepting private communications in large amounts, which was leaked by Edward Snowden [CNN backgrounder].

The cases, brought by civil rights groups, were heard by a panel of seven judges, over violations of privacy, expression and right to a fair trial.

UN Security Council (UNSC) [official website] President Sebastiano Cardi on Monday condemned [statement] violence in Myanmar's state of Rakhine and urged the Myanmar government to stop using excessive military force and "work with Bangladesh and the United Nations to allow the voluntary return of refugees in conditions of safety and dignity to their homes, on the basis of a 24 October Memorandum of Understanding [JURIST report] between the two countries."

According to the UN, Myanmar has engaged in a campaign of ethnic cleaning [JURIST report] against Rohingya Muslims that has caused the displacement of more than 600,000 people.

Saudi Arabia officials on Sunday arrested [TIME report] dozens of individuals, including princes, military officers, influential businessmen and government ministers, as part of a wide ranging anti-corruption probe.
Liberia's Supreme Court on Monday suspended [opinion] the presidential run-off vote that had been scheduled for November 7 until the National Elections Commission (NEC) can investigate allegations of fraud from the initial October 10 vote.
Iraq's Supreme Federal Court [official website, in Arabic] ruled [decision, PDF, in Arabic] Monday that no region within the country may secede from the state.
A Pentagon official on Friday ordered [POLITICO report] the release of a Marine Corps general, who was sentenced last week to 21-days confinement [JURIST report] to his quarters by Guantánamo Bay military commissions judge Air Force Col.
Former Kenya lawmaker Harun Mwau filed a petition [text, PDF] on Monday at the Supreme Court of Kenya [official website] challenging last month's presidential election win for President Uhuru Kenyatta claiming the election was not free and fair.

On October 26 Kenyatta won the right to another five-year term by 98 percent of the vote.

In September the Supreme Court invalidated [JURIST report] the initial presidential election held in August finding that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission "failed to conduct the election in the manner set in the Constitution."

The Supreme Court must provide a final ruling on the challenge within 14 days.

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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