World Legal News Round Up for Saturday, 18 November 2017
World Legal News Round Up for Saturday, 18 November 2017

Here’s the international legal news we covered this week:

Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy site] on Friday released a report [press release] detailing humanitarian crisis incidents that may amount to war crimes in the Philippines.
The chief judge of the EU’s rule of law mission in Kosovo, Malcom Simmons, resigned Thursday over frustrations with corruption, he alleged in an interview [text, in French] with the French newspaper Le Monde.
The Cambodia Supreme Court dissolved the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) [party website, in Khmer], the nation’s primary opposition party, on Thursday, effectively opening the door for Prime Minister Hun Sen [BBC profile] to extend his 30-year reign as leader of the nation.

The ruling follows the arrest of CNRP’s leader Kem Sokha following accusations that the party was plotting to overthrow the current government with the help of the US government.

Russia’s State Duma [official website, in Russian], the lower house of parliament, voted unanimously [legislative materials, in Russian; legislative materials, in Russian; legislative materials, in Russian] Thursday to require foreign media organizations to label their materials as the work of foreign agents.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Thursday accused [report] the Myanmar military of committing sexual crimes against Rohingya women and girls.

HRW conducted interviews with 52 women and girls who fled from the Maungdaw and Buthidaung townships.

An Egypt court on Wednesday upheld the life sentence [JURIST report] of 74-year-old Mohamed Badie, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood [party website], convicted in 2015 for his role in the 2013 attack on a Port Said police station that resulted in the death of five individuals.

The court also upheld [Reuters report] life sentences against seven other individuals, while handing out 10-year sentences to 39 individuals and three-year sentences to 19 others.

Badie and 88 other Muslim Brotherhood members were convicted for their role in the violent clashes that broke out in the city of Ismailia following the political turmoil that led to the ouster of then president and member of Muslim Brotherhood Mohamed Morsi [BBC profile].

Colombia’s Constitutional Court [official website] on Tuesday ruled [judgment, PDF, in Spanish] that provisions for special justice tribunals outlined in the 2016 peace accord between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) were constitutional.

The Final Agreement to End the Armed Conflict and Build a Stable and Lasting Peace [text, English translation] is the second recent attempt to obtain peace between Colombia’s government and rebel forces.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein [official website] called [press release] Wednesday for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to deal with those protesting the general election time change in accordance with international human rights laws and standards.

The protests are in response to a publication of the electoral calendar that stated the general elections would again be pushed back to December 2018.

The Supreme Court of Kenya [official website] on Tuesday rejecte [text, PDF] the participation of the main opposition coalition in petitions challenging President Uhuru Kenyatta’s [official website] victory in last month’s repeat presidential election.
The UK Supreme Court [official website] ruled [judgment, PDF] Wednesday in favor of allowing minimum pricing in Scotland per unit of alcohol.

The Alcohol (Minimum Pricing)(Scotland) Act of 2012 [text, PDF] sought to institute minimum pricing for alcohol based on a formula factoring in the minimum price per unit, the strength of the alcohol, and the volume of the alcohol to address the societal consequences of cheap alcohol.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics [official website] on Wednesday announced the results [vote] of a national postal survey on Australia’s marriage law in which voters voted that Australia’s marriage law should be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry.
LGBT individuals in China are being subjected to abuses in the form of “conversion therapy,” according to a report [text] released Tuesday by Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website].

According to HRW, public hospitals and private clinics are utilizing so-called “conversion therapy,” regarding LGBT individuals’ identity as a disorder.

Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) [official website, in Arabic] officials pledged [statement] Tuesday to respect the Iraq Federal Supreme Court‘s [official website, in Arabic] interpretation of Article I of the Iraq Constitution [text, PDF], effectively agreeing not to secede.
The European Court of Justice ruled [judgment] Tuesday that an EU citizen who becomes a British citizen is allowed to have their non-EU spouse live with them in the UK.

The ruling came in a case brought by a Spanish national who had attained dual citizenship status with Spain and the UK and then the UK denied her Algerian husband residency.

The court considered the following question in interpretation of Directive 2004/38/EC [text] concerning the right of free movement of EU citizens to other Member States:

Where a Spanish national and Union citizen:

  • moves to the United Kingdom, in the exercise of her right to free movement under Directive [2004/38]; and
  • resides in the United Kingdom in the exercise of her right under Article 7 or Article 16 of Directive [2004/38]; and
  • subsequently acquires British citizenship, which she holds in addition to her Spanish nationality, as a dual national; and
  • several years after acquiring British citizenship, marries a third country national with whom she resides in the United Kingdom;

Are she and her spouse both beneficiaries of Directive [2004/38], within the meaning of Article 3(1), whilst she is residing in the United Kingdom, and holding both Spanish nationality and British citizenship?

The court held that a third country national does not have the right of residence under Directive [2004/38] but is eligible for the right of residence through his spouse under Article 21(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) [text].

Twenty-three EU member states on Monday signed [press release] a joint notification [text, PDF] for the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), a long sought after pact which will facilitate states working together more closely on defense security and defense policy matters.
The UK its outsourcing those who want assistance with dying to Switzerland, according to a study [text, PDF] released on Monday by the non-profit organization Dignity in Dying, but the price limits those who can afford to take such measures.

The study found that more than half of citizens would consider traveling to Switzerland for assistance dying, but only a quarter could actually afford the average cost of 10,000 euros.

In October the High Court of Justice rejected [JURIST report] a terminally ill individual’s petition for assistance to die, thereby upholding the Suicide Act 1961 [text], which makes it illegal to assist in suicide.

The British Employment Appeal Tribunal [official website] on Friday rejected [press release] Uber Technologies’ [corporate website] appeal [text, PDF] verifying the ruling that found Uber drivers should be classified as minimum-wage workers, entitling UK employees to minimum-wage rights, instead of self-contractors.

Judge Eady QC wrote:

The issue at the heart of the appeal can be simply put: when the drivers are working, who are they working for? The [Employment Tribunal]’s [(ET)] answer to this question was that there was a contract between [Uber London Ltd] [(ULL)] and the drivers whereby the drivers personally undertook work for ULL as part of its business of providing transportation services to passengers in the London area.