Here’s the international legal news we covered this week:
UN Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein
[official website] urged
[press release] the government of Papua New Guinea on Friday to provide greater enforcement of their laws and to combat corruption.
The high commissioner stated that Papua New Guinea has “exemplary laws and policies in place to protect human rights, but they are reportedly often not enforced.” Human rights defenders have claimed that “the laws were often not translated into practice, and law enforcement officials and communities were often unaware of them.”
The high commissioner claims major corporations in the country have violated the laws with impunity.
The governor of Bermuda on Wednesday signed
[press release] a bill into law that repeals same-sex marriage, reversing a Supreme Court ruling.
A court in Amsterdam on Thursday referred
[judgment, PDF] to the European Court of Justice
(ECJ) [official website] the question of whether British nationals lose their EU citizenship after UK’s departure from the EU becomes official in March 2019, and if not, under what conditions these individuals will retain their EU citizenship.
Bangladesh’s Fifth Special Judge’s Court of Dhaka found former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia guilty of corruption and sentenced her to five years in prison on Thursday.
India’s antitrust watchdog, the Competition Commission of India
(CCI) [official website] on Thursday imposed
[order, PDF] a USD $21.17 million fine (1.36 billion rupees) on Google for “search bias” and abuse of its dominant position.
Australian officials are abusing prisoners with disabilities, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disabilities are at especially high risk, Human Rights Watch
(HRW) [advocacy website] reported Tuesday.
The report [text], titled, “I Needed Help, Instead I Was Punished”: Abuse and Neglect of Prisoners with Disabilities in Australia, set forth findings from research conducted from June 2016 to January 2018, that show people with disabilities experience grave physical, emotional and sexual abuses in Australian prisons.
UN expert Paulo Pinheiro on Tuesday reported
[press release] civilian violence in Syria is dramatically increasing, causing internal displacement and an estimated quarter of a million civilians to flee the country.
A Kenyan lawyer was reportedly deported
report] on Tuesday after being charged with treason for attending the symbolic presidential inauguration of opposition leader Raila Odinga.
The lawyer, Miguna Miguna, was to appear in court under orders from the High Court, but was instead deported overnight after an invalid law, applied by another court, caused him to lose his Kenyan nationality.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
[official website] Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Wednesday criticized
[statement] Indonesia’s increasing public attitude of religious intolerance and urged the government to address it.
Zeid also criticized the country’s blasphemy laws as “ill-defined” and described them as a weapon to oppress minority religious groups.
Three justices of the Maldives Supreme Court
[official website] on Tuesday annulled
[order, PDF] a controversial ruling
[text] the court had issued last Thursday that required the government to immediately release a number of political prisoners.
Secretary of Defense James Mattis
[official website] on Monday fired two Guantánamo Bay officials responsible for overseeing the trials of accused war criminals including the planners of the 9/11 attack.
The five-member Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal
[official website] on Tuesday unanimously reversed
[judgment] the August 2017 order sentencing the pro-democracy 2014 Umbrella Movement protesters Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow, quashing their sentences and setting them free.
The Scotland Court of Session
[official website] on Tuesday rejected
[order, PDF] a petition from a group of individuals from the Scotland
and EU parliaments
[official websites] asking the court to make a preliminary reference to the European Court of Justice
(ECJ) [official website] on the question of whether the UK can unilaterally stop the Brexit process by withdrawing the notification under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union
(TEU) [text, PDF] before March 29, 2019.
The preliminary reference procedure is made under Article 267 of the Treaty on the Functioning of EU (TFEU) [text, PDF], which permits national courts of EU member states to refer questions concerning the interpretation EU law to the ECJ.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari
[official bio] signed an executive order Monday “to improve local content in public procurement with science, engineering and technology components.”
Buhari announced [Tweet] Executive Order 5 (EO) via his official Twitter account stating: “the EO is expected to promote the application of science, tech and innovation towards achieving Nigeria’s development goals.” Additionally, the EO prevents the Ministry of Interior [official website] from issuing visas to foreign workers for job positions that Nigerian citizens themselves could perform.
A South Korean appeals court on Monday suspended a two-and-a-half-year jail sentence for Jay Y Lee
[Forbes profile], billionaire heir of Samsung Group.
Maldives President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom
[official profile] declared
[press release] a state of emergency Monday for the next 15 days as political tensions between the president and the Supreme Court continue to escalate.
Voters in Ecuador on Sunday voted to reinstate a two-term limit for elected officials, with 64 percent of voters
[results, in Spanish] in favor of referendum question 2, which would amend the constitution so that all elected officials can only be re-elected once for the same office.
Environmental groups filed an appeal
[press release] on Monday after the Oslo District Court
[official website] ruled
[JURIST report] that Norway’s oil and gas exploration in the Arctic did not violate citizens’ right to a clean environment.
The court found earlier this month that the oil and gas exploration was permissible under Norway’s anti-pollution laws [text, PDF] and did not violate the Paris Agreement [materials].
Greenpeace Nordic and Nature and Youth [advocacy websites, in Norwegian] filed this appeal arguing that Norway should be held responsible for the greenhouse gas emissions emitting from its oil and gas exploration.
The appeal was filed to the Supreme Court of Norway [official website].
An accused computer hacker won his appeal
[judgment, PDF] on Monday in the UK High Court of Justice
[official website], stopping his extradition to the US.
Lauri Love, a British student, was indicted on charges [JURIST report] of hacking into US government websites in 2013, along with other unnamed co-conspirators, stealing huge amounts of data.