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Thailand: Draft Amnesty Law Approved by House Likely to Be Turned Down by Senate

(Nov. 12, 2013) On November 1, 2013, Thailand’s House of Representatives approved legislation that would grant amnesty for crimes committed during the period of political unrest in the country following the ouster of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra by a military coup in 2006. The legislation was put forward by the pro-Thaksin ruling party, Pheu […]

Mexico: Government Promulgates Federal Penal Reform on Pardons

(Nov. 8, 2013) The Mexican government recently promulgated a decree adding a new article to the Federal Penal Code. Article 97 Bis provides that the Mexican President may, exceptionally, by his own initiative or at the request of one of the chambers of the federal Congress, grant a pardon (indulto) for any federal or common […]

Israel: Court Upholds Government Decision to Release Convicted Palestinians

(Aug. 27, 2013) On August 11, 2013, the Israeli High Court of Justice rejected a petition by Almagor, Israel’s Association of Victims of Terrorism, and by members of victims’ families to void a governmental decision to release Palestinian prisoners convicted of terrorism offenses. The release was designed to be a goodwill gesture in the midst […]

European Union; Lithuania: Lithuania in Charge of European Council Presidency

(July 12, 2013) On July 1, 2013, Lithuania assumed the rotating Presidency of the European Council for the first time. There is an ambitious agenda to achieve a number of objectives during the six-month period of the Presidency. Highlights of its priorities were discussed with Members of the European Parliament. (Press Release, European Parliament, Lithuanian […]

European Union: Ireland Holds the Presidency of the European Council

(Jan. 31, 2013) On January 1, 2013, Ireland assumed the Presidency of the European Council, a postion that rotates among the European Union (EU) Member States every six months. This is the seventh time that Ireland has held the Presidency since it joined the EU in 1973. The Presidency has an official website (last visited […]

Kenya: President Vetoes Major Legislation

(July 12, 2012) On June 25, 2012, Mwai Kibaki, President of Kenya, vetoed the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2012 (34 KENYA GAZETTE SUPPLEMENT (May 2, 2012)), which the National Assembly had adopted on June 21. Kibaki argued that his assent to the legislation in its current form would violate the principle of separation of […]

Morocco: New Law to Allow Prime Minister to Select Political Appointees

(May 10, 2012) On May 8, 2012, the Moroccan Parliament approved a new law that grants the Prime Minister the right to hire the vast majority of public officials in the kingdom. Under the new law, the Prime Minister has the right to select 1,181 political appointees, while 48 appointments are reserved for the King. […]

Nigeria: House of Representatives to Consider Legislation on Appointment of Ministers

(Nov. 14, 2011) On November 8, 2011, it was reported that the lower house of Nigeria's National Assembly will review legislation, the Confirmation of Ministerial Nominees (Procedure) Bill, 2011, aimed at compelling the President to clearly state the specific responsibilities of nominees for ministerial positions when referring them to the Senate for confirmation. (Ibanga Isine, […]

Germany: Intelligence May Not Be Kept from Parliament

(Aug. 5, 2009) On July 30, 2009, the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany ruled that the government intelligence service (BND) may not withhold information from the legislature, unless there is a good cause presented in a detailed explanation. (Federal Constitutional Court website [in English], (last visited Aug. 3, 2009; text of ruling not yet […]

Venezuela: Consolidation of Administrative Powers in Executive Branch

(July 27, 2009) A new law issued on March 17, 2009, amends Venezuela's Organic Law on the Decentralization, Delimitation, and Transference of Competencies of the Public Power that was published on August 14, 2003. The amendments allow the transference of powers previously within the realm of the states to the executive branch for the administration […]