[JURIST] Leading Friday's international brief, ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official profile] has said the the Khartoum government in Sudan has no choice but cooperate with the recently opened investigation [JURIST report] by the International Criminal Court [official website] into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Darfur region. Speaking to reporters earlier this week, Moreno said that the decision by the UN Security Council to initiate the ICC investigation was binding on Sudan, since it was decided under the mandatory powers of Chapter VII of the UN Charter [official text]. Moreno acknowledged that Khartoum's lack of support would greatly increase the difficulty of his job, but said the ICC Office of the Prosecutor [official website] was committed to gathering as much evidence as possible "on Darfur" and would see later about gathering evidence "in Darfur." Moreno also said that the list of 51 names [JURIST report] gathered by the official UN Commission of Inquiry into Darfur was merely a beginning point for the Office of the Prosecutor, and that further names and charges would be added as necessary. Moreno's statement leaves open the possibility that the crime of genocide, not found by the UN Commission, could still be charged [JURIST Forum op-ed] in the ICC prosecution. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Sudan [JURIST news archive]. The Sudan Tribune has local coverage.
In other international legal news …
- Recently appointed Chief Justice Pius Langa [official profile] and Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke [official profile] have been formally accredited to serve on the South African Constitutional Court [official website] by a joint session of the South African Parliament [government website]. Their appointements were accompanied by the publication of a written report by South African President Thabo Mbecki [official profile] on the ruling African National Congress official website. In his report, Mbecki praised the past performance of judges on the Consitutional Court and pledged to maintain the complete independence of the judiciary in South Africa [government website]. Mbecki dismissed as irrelevant concerns that have been raised by international aids groups that over three-quarters of the members on the Constitutional Court are also members of the ruling ANC party [official website]. Langa is the first black South African chief justice. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of South Africa [JURIST news archive]. Read Mbecki's report [official text]. South Africa's News 24 has local coverage.
- The Burundi National Independent Electoral Commission released provisional results Thursday that gave the leading opposition and former rebel militia party CNDD-FDD an absolute majority of the councillors elected 3 June [JURIST report] in the first of four national elections to return Burundi [government website in French] to a democratic government. CNDD-FDD garnered 55.3% of the seats in the council, with FRODEBU, the party of Burundi President Domitien Ndayizeye [Wikipedia profile], securing only 25% of the vote. The final results of the election are expected on 19 June, and parties have four days to lodge any official complaints or protests of the vote. The next vote will be by the councillors just elected and will select Senators for the nation's new upper house. The third vote will be for lower house representatives, and those two bodies will then elect the nation's new president on 19 August. The UN Mission in Burundi [official website] has deployed peacekeepers [JURIST report] to guard polling locations, as well as election observers to monitor the fairness and impartiality of the voting process. IRIN has more.
- In response to continued use of residential areas as hiding places by terrorists, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono [Wikipedia profile] has ordered all Indonesian govenors to reinstitute the infamous Regional Intelligence Coordinating Agency (TNI), used by General Soeharto [Wikipedia profile] in his decades-long dictatorial rule of Indonesia [government website in Bahasa Indonesian]. The TNI will allow regional govenors access to military and governmental intelligence on terrorism threats and will also serve to inform the government of any "suspicious activity" that occurs in the regional areas. Susilo, who used to work as a section chief in the TNI, has assured the Indonesian public that the intelligence agency would not be used to repress civil liberties, and would be put under the direct supervision of the Indonesian House of Representatives to ensure that abuses did not occur. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Indonesia [JURIST news archive]. The Jakarta Post has local coverage.