[JURIST] Leading Friday's international brief, the UN Security Council [official website] is considering sanctions against both rebel and government elements in Cote d'Ivoire that are accused of purposefully delaying and sabotaging fragile peace negotiations in the nation, which has been the scene of armed conflict since rebels seized the northern territories in 2002. Several hundred UN staffers have been evacuated from the country as fears of violence increase. The Council is expected to reach a decision on sanctions as early as Friday. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Cote d'Ivoire [JURIST news archive]. IRIN News has more.
In other international legal news …
- Over 150 protesters have been arrested in Nepal [government website] following their attempt to enforce the "Nepal bandh" – a nation-wide shutdown strike over government crackdowns on human rights violations and political party repression. The strike was held on the same day as municipal elections promised by King Gyanendra [JURIST report] in response to pressure from other nations over the current lack of democratic government in Nepal. Nepalese news services confirmed that police in several cities opened fire on protesters, in some cases injuring civilians, while trying to disburse crowds. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Nepal [JURIST news archive]. NepalNews.com has local coverage.
- The States Parties to the Rome Statute [official PDF text] of the International Criminal Court [official website] have elected six judges to serve on the bench of the ICC for nine years, beginning on March 11. The candidates all had substantial experience in either criminal or international law and were nominated based on merit, the "need for representation of the principal legal systems of the world; equitable geographical distribution; and fair representation of female and male judges." The ICC has yet to hear a case, but may soon be presented with proceedings out of Congo, Uganda, or Sudan. The elected judges were Mr. Hans-Peter Kaul (Germany), Mr. Erkki Kourula (Finland), Ms. Akua Kuenyehia (Ghana), Mr. Sang-hyun Song (Republic of Korea), Ms. Ekaterina Trendafilova (Bulgaria), and Ms. Anita Ušacka (Latvia). JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of the ICC. Read the official UN press release. The UN News Centre has more.
- Kenyan Chief Justice Evan Gicheru has announced a sweeping plan to raise the level of competence and professionalism in the Kenyan judiciary. Gicheru said that all new employees to the Kenyan judiciary would have to be approved by the Council of Legal Education and would have to demonstrate aptitude with certain basic skills before being hired. Additionally, a government-sponsored judicial training institute has been approved and only lacks logistical approval for its location and funding. The institute will be responsible for training current members of the judiciary and their support staff to minimum standards and upgrading of skills as the legal profession evolves. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Kenya [JURIST news archive]. Kenya's East African Standard has local coverage.