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United States: Judgment by International Court of Justice Held Not Binding on State Courts

(Apr. 2, 2008) On March 25, the Supreme Court ruled that a decision by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) did not override state procedural requirements governing post-conviction proceedings for convicted criminals. Ernesto Medellin, a Mexican national, was arrested in Texas for his participation in the rape and murder of two girls there. After his […]

Council of Europe; Malta: Convention on Proceeds from Crime and Financing of Terrorism Ratified, Will Enter into Force

(Mar. 2, 2008) On January 31, 2008, Malta became the sixth nation to ratify the Council of Europe's Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime and on Financing of Terrorism (of May 16, 2005). As a result, the Convention will enter into force on May 1, 2008, pursuant to article […]

China; Israel: Cooperation Accord

(Feb. 2, 2008) On January 14, 2008, a memorandum of understanding was signed by Eli Yishi, Israel's Industry, Trade, and Labor Minister, and Chen Deming, his Chinese counterpart. The memorandum is designed to boost research cooperation and trade in agriculture, telecommunications, and water technology between the two countries. The ministers agreed, among other measures, to […]

Cyprus; Malta: Adoption of the Euro

(Jan. 2, 2008) As of January 1, 2008, the national currencies of two European Union Members, the pound of Cyprus and the lira of Malta, have been replaced by the euro. Thus far, 15 out of the 27 EU Members share a common currency. The two countries became full-fledged EU Members on May 1, 2004, […]

India: Government to Ratify Hague Conference on Private International Law

(Jan. 2, 2008) The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs and the National Commission for Women, as a part of their efforts to counter fraudulent marriages by non-resident Indians, finally succeeded recently in persuading the Government of India to ratify the Hague Conference on Private International Law. India's ratification of the Convention may facilitate the mutual […]

Japan; North Korea: Defectors Return to Japan

(Dec. 2, 2007) After Japan's defeat in the Second World War, Koreans who had entered Japan during the war, in many cases against their will, returned to the Korean peninsula. Those that remained in Japan immediately after 1945 could not return to South or North Korea during the Korean War (1950-53). From 1959 to 1984, […]

Cameroon; Nigeria: Bakkassi Peninsula

(Dec. 2, 2007) The fate of the Bakkassi, a peninsula said to hold ten percent of the world's oil and gas reserves, is once again up in the air after the Nigerian Senate approved a motion on November 22, 2007, making its handover of the region to Cameroon illegal. The handover was part of the […]

United Nations: Advancing Rule of Law Deemed Vital

(Dec. 2, 2007) On November 20, 2007, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated that upholding the rule of law is "crucial to the cause of peace." He was speaking to parliamentarians from many nations at the Annual Parliamentary Hearing, sponsored by the United Nations in cooperation with the Inter-Parliamentary Union. The speech stressed the importance of […]

Palestine: Future Borders

(Nov. 2, 2007) In an interview on Palestinian television, Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, announced that he wants to establish an independent Palestinian state on 6,205 square kilometers (about 2,400 square miles), corresponding to about 98 % of the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel in 1976. As to the remaining 2%, he indicated […]

European Union; Macedonia: Membership Talks

(Nov. 2, 2007) On November 7, 2007, the European Commission published the Enlargement Package. It includes the Commission's annual strategy document on future enlargement and a summary of the progress made by each candidate. Current candidates include Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), and Turkey. The Package will also include the 2007 progress […]