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Algeria: Campaign to Amend Constitution

(Aug. 27, 2008) It was reported on August 27, 2008, that at a massive meeting held in the city of Blida, the National Liberation Front, which controls the majority in the Algerian Parliament, initiated a campaign to amend the Constitution and allow the President of the Republic, Abdul Alaziz Boutafliqa, to remain in power for […]

Algeria: Detention of Bin Haj for Describing Judge as Liar

(July 2, 2008) On June 17, 2008, Ali Bin Haj, the second in command of the banned “Islamic Front for Rescue” in Algeria was temporarily arrested by members of the security force. His son speculated that his father was arrested as a result of describing the public prosecutor of the “Capital Judicial Council” as a […]

Bangladesh: Interim President May Not Promulgate Ordinances Unrelated to Election

(July 2, 2008) The Bangladesh High Court has ruled that an ordinance promulgated by the President of the Interim Government that amended the law governing marriage and divorce registration exceeded his powers under the Constitution. The Muslim Marriage and Divorce Registration Ordinance 2008, promulgated by the Interim Government in February, amended the Muslim Marriage and […]

Cook Islands: Chiefs Seek to Dissolve Elected Parliament

(July 2, 2008) Media reports stated recently that traditional Chiefs of the Cook Islands (members of the House of Ariki) are meeting in an attempt to resolve questions surrounding the previous dismissal by the Chiefs of the Queen of New Zealand's representative and government. The legality of the proclamation effecting the dismissal is also being […]

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 […]