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Ireland: Referendum on EU Operations Passes

(Oct. 7, 2009) In a referendum held on October 2, 2009, the voters of Ireland ratified the Treaty of Lisbon – a European Union (EU) agreement that would make a number of significant changes to the EU's operational and decision-making procedures and powers – by a margin of approximately 67 percent in favor to 33 […]

Mexico: New Law of the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic

(June 9, 2009) On May 29, 2009, the Mexican government officially published the New Organic Law of the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic (PGR), which entered into force the following day. Among other features, the statute establishes a new structure for the PGR and creates a system of regional coordinator administrative units […]

Mozambique: Bill to Put Criminal Investigation under Autonomous Body

(May 15, 2009) It was reported on May 13, 2009, that the Mozambican government approved a bill that puts criminal investigation, which until now has been a police function, under the jurisdiction the Criminal Investigation Service (SICRIM). Although SICRIM will be part of the Interior Ministry, its administration will be autonomous and it will be […]

Nigeria: Bill Granting More Powers to Auditor-General Rejected

(May 14, 2009) It was reported on May 8, 2009, that a bill seeking to make Nigeria's Auditor-General independent of the executive body and create an audit commission, entitled “Act to provide for additional powers and functions for the office of the Auditor General of the Federation and for matters connected therewith,” was refused a […]

Russia: New Procedures for Appointment of Governors

(May 6, 2009) On April 23, 2009, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed into law a series of amendments to federal laws that will affect the activities of political parties, the election of governors, and some issues of municipal self-government. The amendment on gubernatorial elections transfers the right to recommend individuals to be nominated as candidates […]

European Union; Finland: Submission of Report on EU Policy

(May 5, 2009) In its Government Report on Finland's EU Policy, submitted to the European Union on April 8, 2009, the Finnish government recommends a number of new guidelines for the EU. The report suggests that: EU net membership fees have a ceiling applicable to all Member States (no ceiling is specified; “[w]e have to […]

Switzerland: Succession of Cabinet Members

(Mar. 31, 2009) On January 21, 2009, Switzerland promulgated a Reform Act to the Parliamentary Act (Bundesgesetz über die Bundesversammlung (Parlamentsgesetz) Änderung, Oct. 3, 2008, Amtliche Sammlung des Bundesrechts 725 (2009), available at (click on page 725)). The Act became law on January 22, after the referendum period had expired, and it became effective […]

Ukraine: Simplified Impeachment Procedures

(Feb. 3, 2009) On January 15, 2009, the Ukrainian legislature, the Verkhovna Rada, adopted the Law on Special Temporary Investigative Commissions, which simplifies the procedure for the legislative body to impeach the President. Previously, the impeachment procedure could be initiated on the basis of a petition signed by three-quarters of the parliamentarians. The new Law […]

European Union: Czech Republic Assumes Presidency in January 2009

(Dec. 8, 2008) With its ascent to the six-month rotating European Union presidency scheduled to commence on January 1, 2009, the Czech Republic is setting the agenda for its leadership role. The Czech government has chosen as its representative slogan “Europe without barriers,” alluding to the country's stand on eliminating the labor barriers between the […]

China: “Super Ministries” Plan

(Apr. 2, 2008) On March 15, 2008, the People's Republic of China (PRC) National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislative body, passed the State Council's Institutional Reform Plan, under which five “super ministries” are created. (Shiyi jie Ren Da yici huiyi xuanju chansheng xin yijie guojia lingdaoren pizhun Guowuyuan jigou gaige fang'an, XINHUANET, Mar. 15, […]