International brief ~ Thailand judges work to prevent election crisis at request of king
International brief ~ Thailand judges work to prevent election crisis at request of king

[JURIST] Leading Tuesday's international brief, members of Thailand's Supreme Court [government backgrounder] have agreed to a request by Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej [official profile] that they take an active role in resolving the country's ongoing election crisis [JURIST report]. The king is mainly a figurehead for the nation and told judges Tuesday that he lacked the power to appoint a neutral prime minister, as some of the opposition parties have been calling for. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court agreed that the judiciary must take a more active role and has called meetings of the three relevant courts in Thailand: the Supreme Court, the Supreme Administrative Court, and the Constitutional Court. Opposition parties have agreed to participate in the currently boycotted election process if the courts void the April 2 elections called by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra [official profile] in response to public unrest. Reuters has more.

In other international legal news …

  • Tehran has submitted a formal request to the International Atomic Energy Agency asking that the organization detail the benefits Iran supposedly gains by adhering to the UN-sponsored Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) [PDF text]. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told reporters that Iran receives very little of the NPT's supposed shared technology benefits and is questioning why they should remain party to the international legal document. Ahmadinejad has previously hinted [JURIST report] that Iran [JURIST news archive] might withdraw from the NPT if the UN Security Council were to impose sanctions [JURIST report] over its uranium enrichment policy. Reuters has more.
  • The UN confirmed on Tuesday that UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour [official profile] has been granted permission to visit Sudan for a week-long tour. Arbour will inspect the capital city of Khartoum, the war-torn Darfur region [JURIST news archive], and the newly peaceful southern Sudan city of Juba. Arbour's visit comes just weeks after Sudan [JURIST news archive] denied entry to the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator who was scheduled to conduct a five day inspection of Darfur. The Sudan Tribune has local coverage.
  • Indonesian State Secretary Yusril Ihza Mahendra told a special legislative committee that the proposed use of courts based on sharia law [CFR backgrounder] in the Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam province should apply to both Muslim and non-Muslim residents alike. The highly Islamic province is currently applying to have sharia law adopted as its governing criminal justice code and the Indonesian government has expressed concern that plans to allow non-Muslim residents to apply for trials under non-sharia law would create "legal uncertainty" in the province. The proposed bylaws are part of the Aceh Peace Accords [JURIST report] and are a government recognition of the highly Islamic nature of the Aceh province. The Jakarta Post has local coverage.