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United States: Federal Civil Commitment to Extend Custody of “Sexually Dangerous” Prisoners Is Unconstitutional

(Jan. 26, 2009) The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled on January 8, 2009, that a law allowing federal authorities to keep “sexually dangerous” prisoners in custody after their sentences are completed exceeds Congress's constitutional authority. A provision in the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 authorizes the Federal […]

Bangladesh: Truth and Accountability Commission Declared Illegal

(Dec. 15, 2008) A Truth and Accountability Commission (TAC) formed by the Interim Government of Bangladesh has been declared illegal under the Bangladesh Constitution by the High Court Division of the Supreme Court. The TAC was formed on July 30, 2008, under an ordinance promulgated on June 8 to expedite corruption cases. On August 25, […]

Sri Lanka: Constitutional Amendment to Qualify for EU Trade Preferences Rejected

(Dec. 8, 2008) On December 3, 2008, the Government of Sri Lanka rejected a proposal put forth by an opposition political party to amend the country's constitution that would have made international agreements enforceable immediately upon conclusion. The United National Party (UNP) had advocated the change in order to retain Generalized System of Preferences positive […]

Maldives: Bill on Freedom of Assembly Passes

(Oct. 28, 2008) The Maldives' government-proposed bill on freedom of assembly, drafted by the Ministry of Legal Reform, was passed by Parliament on October 20, 2008. It had been controversial, criticized by opposition members of the Parliament for restricting freedom of assembly in ways said to be contrary to article 32 of the 2008 Constitution […]

Fiji: Challenge to 2006 Coup Dismissed

(Oct. 24, 2008) It was reported on October 9, 2008, that Fiji's High Court dismissed a challenge to the actions of President Ratu Josefa Iloilovatu Uluivuda after the 2006 coup in which Commodore Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama took power in Fiji. The High Court ruled that the decision of the President to ratify the dismissal of […]

Mexico: Supreme Court Dismisses Constitutional Challenge to Electoral Reform

(Oct. 8, 2008) It was reported on October 3, 2008, that the Supreme Court of Mexico (known as the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation) decided that it was not possible for a judicial challenge to be brought against, and for the Supreme Court to review, the content of a constitutional reform.  The Court […]

Turkmenistan: New Constitution

(Oct. 2, 2008) On September 25, 2008, a new Constitution was adopted in Turkmenistan. This new basic law of the Central Asian country stipulates that the highest existing representative body, which had passed the Constitution, is dissolved, charges a parliament with full legislative authority, and declares the establishment of a multiparty system. The Constitution provides […]

United States: Accounting Oversight Board Ruled Constitutional

(Sept. 10, 2008) On August 22, 2008, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), which is appointed and controlled by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), does not violate the U.S. Constitution. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 established the PCAOB to regulate […]

Guinea Bissau: Parliament Dissolved by Decree

(Sept. 9, 2008) On August 5, 2008, Guinea-Bissau's President, Joao Bernardo Vieira, issued a presidential decree announcing the dissolution of the Parliament. The decree followed the withdrawal from the government of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde. It was one of the three major political parties in the coalition government […]

Kenya: Constitutional Reform Bills

(Sept. 8, 2008) Kenyan Constitutional Affairs Minister Martha Karua presented two bills on constitutional reform to the Kenyan Parliament on August 20, 2008. The Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill and the Constitution of Kenya Review Bill implement the process brokered in the National Accord and Reconciliation Act of February 28, 2008. That Act helped end […]