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International brief ~ UK to release three terror suspects on bail
International brief ~ UK to release three terror suspects on bail

[JURIST] In Monday's international brief, the United Kingdom's Special Immigration Appeal Commission [text of empowering legislation] has granted bail to three terror suspects individuals being held without charge or trial in London's Belmarsh Prison [official website]. The only individual to be named, Abu Rideh, was recently moved to Broadmoor Mental Hospital for treatment for mental health problems. Rideh and the other two individuals are still being detained subject to a hearing at the Home Office's request into the granting of bail. The Home Office [official website] had announced that it would not oppose the granting of bail, but was requesting special measures for the conditions imposed on bail, including house arrest. Rideh is one of the 12 individuals whom the Law Lords held in December could not be held indefinitely [JURIST report] due to the UK's accession to the European Convention on Human Rights [official PDF text]. BBC News has local coverage.

In other international legal news …

  • An offer from Indonesian Aceh rebels for the suspension of independence demands in exchange for the promise of a referendum on Aceh's future was rejected Monday by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono [official profile in Bahasa Indonesian]. The offer came two days after the conclusion of the first peace talks [JURIST report] between the rebels and Susilo's government. Despite the rejection, observers view the offer as a sign of more flexibility on the part of the rebels, which traditionally were unwilling to compromise their goals. Susilo has publicly stated that he would be willing to accept almost any solution short of the granting of complete independence. BBC News has more.
  • A senior official of the Law Society of Kenya [official website] has called for the overhaul of the current system of presidential appointment of Kenyan justices. James Mwamu said in a speech Sunday that the Kenyan judiciary suffered from "the homeboys syndrome" of appointing judges based on family connection or political importance. Mwamu proposed a system similar to that used for other professional fields in government, where lawyers would interview applicants for the positions and submit succesful candidates to Parliament for approval. Mwamu also advocated the inclusion of efficiency evaluations that would require judges to demonstrate adequate performance of their duties. The judiciary in Kenya is currently appointed by President Mwai Kibaki [official profile], and has repeatedly faced allegations of being non-independent and biased towards the government. Mwamu also called for the hiring of at least 70 more magistrate-level judges, saying that part of the inefficiency of the judicial system was the heavy backlog of cases in high population areas, while rural or low population regions had more judges than needed. The Kenyan Daily Nation has local coverage.