[JURIST] Leading Monday's international brief, debate begins today in the UN General Assembly [official website] on the draft resolution [official PDF text] proposal to expand the UN Security Council [official website] by six new permanent member seats, among them the proposing G4 nations [JURIST report], and four new non-permanent member seats. The draft proposal, released last Wednesday [JURIST report], and formally submitted to the General Assembly Monday, will require approval from both the General Assembly and the permanent members of the Council. While General Assembly approval of the resolution, requiring 127 of the current 191 member-states, is non-binding, it would politically limit the ability of any of the five permanent members of the current Council to veto the reform package. The G4 nations are pushing for a vote on the resolution before the end of July. India recently expressed "cautious optimism" [Hindustan Times report] about the chances for success of the reform proposal, while South Korea, a key opponent of expansion, expressed concern [Chosun Ilbo report] about Japan's possible inclusion. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of the United Nations [JURIST news archive]. Voice of America has more.
In other international legal news …
- In Zimbabwe, the Bulawayo High Court has ducked a case that would have forced it to rule on the legality of the current police actions against informal traders in "Operation Restore Order", despite the soundness of the legal issues presented for adjudication. Justice Maphios Cheda cited a "heavy case load" as the reason for recusing himself from consideration of the application by the Bulawayo Upcoming Traders' Association [JURIST report] on the issue of whether the police acted illegally when they seized property belonging to allegedly unlicensed traders without first obtaining a court order. Cheda's recusal forces the BUTA to refile their application and wait for a new hearing date to be appointed by the Bulawayo High Court. The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights Association, as well as numerous other rights groups, have accused the Zimbabwean judicial system of being complicit in the mass evictions ordered by Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe [Wikipedia profile], alleging that judges have refused to oppose the government because of the system of political favoritism that Mugabe uses to appoint judges. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Zimbabwe [JURIST news archive]. ZimOnline has local coverage.
- The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) [official website] released its report on Sunday's presidential elections in Kyrgyzstan [OSCE mission website], giving the process a provisional grade of "good" or "very good". The national elections were originally scheduled for October, but were moved forward following the resignation [JURIST report] of former Kyrgyzstan President Askar Akayev [Wikipedia profile]. Acting Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev [Wikipedia profile; official website in Kyrgyz] won a permanent spot in his current job with an 89% landslide victory. OSCE representatives reported no incidents of intimidation or fraud, and said that most of the problems in the process were inexperience in having actual free elections rather than attempts at government influence. Read the OSCE preliminary report [PDF text]. Read the OSCE press release. BBC News has more.