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Kenya: Proposed Bills to Stop Interference in Constitutional Review Process

(July 2, 2008) Two new bills, the Constitution of Kenya Review bill 2008 and the Constitution of Kenya amendment bill 2008, seeking to deter the government, parliament, former commissioners of the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission, and civil servants from interfering in the constitutional review process, were recently proposed in Kenya's Parliament. The bills mandate […]

Kyrgyz Republic (Kyrgyzstan): Law on Public Demonstrations Approved

(July 2, 2008) On June 12, 2008, the Kyrgyz Law on Peaceful Public Gatherings was amended with a provision that defines the procedure for applying to local authorities for permits to hold a public rally. According to the amendment, rally organizers should submit their notification to the local authorities 12 days in advance. The local […]

Lithuania: Ban on Nazi and Soviet Symbols

(July 2, 2008) On June 17, 2008, the Lithuanian Parliament adopted amendments to several domestic laws that regulate the implementation of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, to prohibit public display of Soviet and Nazi German flags, coats of arms, and national anthems. Under the amendments, during public rallies and other mass gatherings, the […]

Mexico: Judicial Reform Enacted

(July 2, 2008) President Felipe Calderón of Mexico signed a decree on June 17, 2008, enacting constitutional amendments reforming the criminal justice and public security systems; the decree was published in the federal official gazette (DIARIO OFICIAL DE LA FEDERACIÓN) on June 18. The reform adopts the adversarial process, with oral trials and simplified trial […]

Nigeria: State Governments Take Federal Government to Court

(June 2, 2008) It has been reported that seven state governments, of Abia, Bauchi, Benue, Niger, Ogun, Oyo, and Osun States, recently filed a suit against the Federal government before the Nigerian Supreme Court for violation of section 163 of the Nigerian Constitution, by failure to pay “Federal Account entitlements” between 2004 and 2007. The […]

Australia: Summit Recommends Republic

(May 2, 2008) The Governance Session of the 2020 Summit (held April 19-20, 2008, in Canberra Australia) has recommended that Australia become a republic via a two-step process involving an initial plebiscite to ascertain whether or not Australia should relinquish ties to the United Kingdom and then a referendum to establish the model of the […]

Ukraine: New Procedure to Amend Constitution

(May 2, 2008) On April 18, 2008, the Constitutional Court of Ukraine ruled that the nation's Constitution can be amended following the results of a national referendum. This ruling was issued in response to the request submitted to the Court by the President of Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko, for a ruling on the possibility of changing […]

Kosovo: Constitution Signed

(May 2, 2008) On April 9, 2008, the Parliament of Kosovo unanimously adopted the Constitution, which was signed by Kosovo's President Fatmir Sejdiu and Prime Minister Hashim Thaci. The Constitution declares Kosovo to be "an independent, sovereign, democratic, unified, and inseparable state" that guarantees freedom to all its citizens. The Constitution will enter into force […]

India: Minorities Commission to Have Constitutional Status

(Apr. 2, 2008) India's National Commission for Minorities, a statutory body since its creation in 1992, will shortly have constitutional status. As a statutory body, it was unable to investigate complaints or grievances; upon being conferred constitutional status, it will have the power to investigate such complaints suo moto and to pass verdicts that will […]

Kenya: Lawmakers Amend the Constitution

(Apr. 2, 2008) The Kenyan President recently signed the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill and the National Accord and Reconciliation Bill into law. Before reaching the President's desk, the bills had been unanimously approved by the Kenyan Parliament. The constitutional amendment will make a power-sharing deal reached between President Mwai Kibaki's ruling party and Raila […]