Here’s the international legal news we covered this week:
A Vietnamese Court began issuing verdicts
[Vietnam Net report] and sentences Friday in an ongoing anti-corruption case for members of Ocean Bank, with former CEO Nguyen Xuan Son being sentenced to death for embezzlement.
[JURIST] China on Thursday announced
[press release, in Chinese] that it would be implementing the UN sanctions
[JURIST report] on North Korean companies by ordering them to close in China by January.
The Western Cape High Court in South Africa on Wednesday ruled
[order, PDF] that parliament must amend the Promotion of Access to Information Act
(PAIA) [text, PDF] to compel political parties in South Africa to disclose the sources of their private funding.
Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment John Knox
[official profile] called
[press release] on Mongolia Wednesday to protect the environment.
The Independent High Elections and Referendum Commission (IHERC) of Kurdistan announced
[Kurdistan report] the results of Monday’s independence referendum vote Wednesday.
Pakistan’s Finance Minister Ishaq Dar was indicted on Wednesday on graft charges after investigators found his assets did not match his reported income.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) [official website], Pakistan’s highest anti-corruption organization, filed the case against Dar for possessing assets beyond his known sources of income in light of the July 28 verdict [order, PDF] of the Supreme Court in the Panama Papers [JURIST report] case [BBC backgrounder].
Thailand’s Supreme Court unaminously convicted former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra
[BBC profile] in absentia on Wednesday, sentencing her to five years in prison for mismanaging a rice subsidy scheme resulting in billions lost.
According to the Court, “The accused knew that the government-to-government rice contract was unlawful but did not prevent it.
Ireland’s government on Tuesday announced plans to hold a referendum
[press release] next year regarding its strict abortion laws.
Citizens are urging the government to amend the Eighth Amendment [materials] of the Constitution, which dictates that an unborn child and mother have an equal right to life.
[JURIST] China’s Cyberspace Administration of China
(CAC) [official website] has imposed fines
[CAC statement, in Chinese] on some of the country’s top technology firms for failing to censor online content in accordance with China’s censorship laws.
UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov warned
[UN News Centre report] on Monday that continued illegal settlements in East Jerusalem are threatening the hopes for a two-state solution in the area and undermining Palestinian belief in peace prospects.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko
[official website] signed
[press release] a controversial education bill into law on Monday that makes Ukrainian the required language in state schols, among other things.
Specifically, the law declares that Ukrainian will be the medium of instruction in all schools, eliminating options for minority languages such as Russian and Hungarian.
The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights reported
[text, PDF] on Monday that human rights violations have significantly increased in Crimea since Russia began occupation over the territory in March 2014, with many violations committed by Russian state agents.
Switzerland took part in a national referendum on Sunday in which 53 percent of voters rejected a pension reform plan known as Pension Reform 2020
The Hong Kong High Court of Appeal
[official website] ruled
[judgment, PDF] Monday that a British lesbian should be granted a spousal visa to join her partner who works in the city.
The court effectively overturned the decision of the Hong Kong Immigration Department [official website], finding no justification on “indirect discrimination on account of sexual orientation” and ordering the Department to submit an agreement between it and the woman within 28 days.
According to the Department, the woman was refused a visa because she was not a “spouse,” which applies only to husband and wife in a heterosexual and monogamous marriage, the only marriage recognized under Article 37 of the Basic Law [text, PDF].