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Côte d’Ivoire: Former Prime Minister Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Corruption

(May 15, 2020) On April 28, 2020, the Tribunal Correctionnel (Criminal Trial Court) of Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, convicted former Prime Minister Guillaume Soro in absentia of embezzlement and money laundering. The trial lasted only a few hours and was boycotted by Soro’s lawyers in protest of what they claimed were politically motivated, trumped-up charges. Soro, […]

Germany: Constitutional Court Strikes Down Provision Criminalizing Commercial Assisted Suicide

(Apr. 29, 2020) On February 26, 2020, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) held that the provision in the German Criminal Code criminalizing commercial assisted suicide is unconstitutional. The Court stated that the general right of personality encompasses a right to a self-determined death, which includes the freedom to take one’s own life as […]

El Salvador: Chiefs and Members of MS-13 Gang Sentenced in Historic Trial

(Dec. 19, 2019) On December 12, 2019, an anti-mafia tribunal in El Salvador imposed sentences of up to 60 years in prison on nearly 400 chiefs and members of the MS-13 gang (Mara Salvatrucha) for their involvement in multiple crimes, including terrorism, homicide, drug trafficking, money laundering, and drug and firearms smuggling. Background of MS-13 […]

Côte d’Ivoire: ICC Prosecutor Appeals Acquittal of Former Ivorian Leaders

(Dec. 2, 2019) On October 17, 2019, the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor in the case of Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé filed a motion for the ICC Appeals Chamber to declare a mistrial following the two defendants’ January 15 acquittal. Laurent Gbagbo was the president of Côte d’Ivoire from 2000 until 2011, and […]

West Bank: Palestinian Authority Announces Planned Changes to Penal Code in Response to Case of Honor Killing

(Nov. 13, 2019) The Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Women’s Affairs has responded to a wave of public protests over an alleged honor killing case by stating it will introduce a new family protection law before the end of 2019. The new law would amend the penal code to establish a minimum age for marriage, review […]

Colombia: Constitutional Reforms Proposed to Increase Punishment for Violent and Sexual Crimes Against Minors

(Nov. 12, 2019) During debates over the last several months in the Colombian Congress regarding a proposed constitutional reform to apply life imprisonment to perpetrators of violent and sexual crimes against children, representative Jaime Rodriguez submitted an additional and highly controversial proposal to impose the death penalty for those who commit such crimes. Article 11 of the Colombian […]

Israel: New Categories of Killing Offenses Go into Effect

(Aug. 9, 2019) On July 10, 2019, new penal law categories of offenses causing death went into effect, replacing the former categories that previously applied. (Penal Law (Amendment No. 137), 5779-2019, Sefer HaHukim [SH] 5779 No. 2779 p. 230 (Amendment Law), amending Penal Law, 5733-1977, SH 5733 No. 864 p. 226, as amended, as applied […]

New Zealand: Court Orders Minister of Justice to Reconsider Extradition Request from China

(June 20, 2019) On June 11, 2019, the New Zealand Court of Appeal released its judgment (Kim v Minister of Justice [2019] NZCA 209) on an appeal of a High Court ruling in a consequential extradition case involving a man who is a citizen of the Republic of Korea and a New Zealand permanent resident. The […]

Saudi Arabia: Twin Brothers Charged with Islamic Crime of Hiraba

(Feb. 9, 2018) On January 16, 2018, the Criminal Court of Riyadh began the trial of twin brothers accused of killing their 67-year old mother; attempting to kill their 73-year-old father and twenty-two year old brother; and accusing the rulers, police, and Muslim scholars of apostasy. (Saudi Arabia: Twins on Trial in Al-Hamra District Case […]