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Australia: Inquest Rules Murder in Balibo Five Case

(Dec. 2, 2007) International media have reported a Sydney coroner court finding that the five Australian-based journalists known as the Balibo Five (two Australians, two Britons, and a New Zealander) were murdered in East Timor by Indonesian troops, to prevent the disclosure of the invasion of East Timor. The court found that the journalists were […]

Vanuatu: Ban on Harvesting Sea Cucumbers and Clams

(Dec. 2, 2007) According to a media report of November 12, 2007, Vanuatu's Fisheries Department has issued a maximum five-year ban on sea-cucumber harvesting and a total ban on clam shell harvesting. The purpose of the bans is to replenish the stocks after the Fisheries Department's research showed a dramatic decline in them. (Vanuatu Fisheries […]

ASEAN: Charter Signed

(Dec. 2, 2007) During their 13th summit, held from November 18-22, 2007, Members of ASEAN (the Association of South East Asian Nations, consisting of Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam) signed a charter setting out ASEAN's principles and rules as well as a declaration indicating their intention to implement […]

Cambodia: Genocide Tribunal Has First Hearing

(Dec. 2, 2007) International media have reported the first public hearing of the Genocide Tribunal of Cambodia. It was a request for bail by Kang Kek Ieu, the former head of the Tuol Sleng prison in Phnom Penh. The tribunal is supported by the United Nations and has a mandate to try surviving Khmer Rouge […]

Solomon Islands: Parliament Scheduled

(Dec. 2, 2007) The SOLOMON TIMES has reported that the Governor-General, Sir Nathanial Waena, issued a proclamation scheduling a parliamentary session. The Solomon Islands is currently at a political impasse, with the current Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, refusing to call a session of parliament. Under Waena's proclamation, parliament will sit on December 13, 2007. (Governor […]

Samoa: New Anti-Money Laundering Laws

(Dec. 2, 2007) Samoa has enacted new anti-money laundering legislation. This includes: Money Laundering Prevention Act 2007, which establishes a Money Laundering Prevention Task Force and a legislative basis for Samoa's Financial Intelligence Unit; increases the amount of money (cash or negotiable instruments) at a border crossing that requires mandatory reporting, now WST20,000 (approximately US$7,490); […]

Hong Kong: Extension of Free Education

(Nov. 2, 2007) The Hong Kong government announced on October 10, 2007, a new policy that will provide twelve years of free school education beginning from the 2008-2009 school year. (Policy Address, Education Advancement Outlined (Oct. 10, 2007), available at

Tokelau: Independence Rejected

(Nov. 2, 2007) Tokelau, a small country consisting of three islands in the Pacific Ocean, has rejected proposed independence in a United Nations-observed referendum. A two-thirds majority of voters was required for Tokelau to move from a dependent territory to self-government in free association with New Zealand. (Press Release, Rt. Hon Helen Clark, Tokelau Referendum […]

Fiji: Ruling Permits Publication of Any Government Information

(Nov. 2, 2007) According to a media report of October 19, 2007, a recent Fiji High Court decision permits Fiji media the freedom to publish any government or statutory body information regardless of how the information has been obtained. The only exception to this right is where the owners of the information are able to […]

New Zealand: Environmental Activists Cannot Be Charged Under Anti-Terrorism Laws

(Nov. 2, 2007) In a public statement made on November 8, 2007, New Zealand's solicitor-general Dr. David Collins QC declined to authorize charging recently arrested environmental activists under the Terrorism Suppression Act, on the basis that there was insufficient evidence to meet the high standard required by the legislation that the group was planning on […]