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Brazil: Federal Supreme Court Confirms Powers of National Council of Justice

(Feb. 13, 2012) On February 8, 2012, in a very close, six-to-five decision, the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court decided to keep the rules currently in force that standardize the methods for investigating judicial misconduct in the country. The rules were created by Resolution No. 135 of July 13, 2011, issued by the National Council of […]

Maldives: Military Arrests and Detains Criminal Court Judge

(Jan. 30, 2012) On January 16, 2012, the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) took the unprecedented step of arresting and detaining Abdulla Mohamed, Chief Judge of the country's criminal court, on charges of corruption. The MNDF, with government backing, took action after the judge issued a ruling in favor of the release of a government […]

Taiwan: Judges Evaluation Committee Operational as Part of New Judges Act

(Jan. 12, 2012) Taiwan's Judicial Yuan, its highest judicial organ, announced on January 5, 2012, that the new evaluation mechanism for judges, based on the Judges Act adopted last June, would take effect on January 6, 2012. The Judges Evaluation Committee system is being implemented six months in advance of the date when the Act […]

Taiwan: Law on Removal of Judges Adopted, But Dinosaur Judges Might Not Become Extinct

(July 6, 2011) On June 14, 2011, Taiwan’s legislature adopted a controversial Judges Act (Fa-kuan fa) that creates a mechanism for removal from office of incompetent judges. The 103-article Act has been in the making for 23 years, but critics contend that the law is flawed and may harm judicial independence in Taiwan. (Judges Act […]

South Africa: Constitutionality of Extension of Chief Justice’s Tenure to Be Challenged

(June 17, 2011) Two South Africa-based rights groups are gearing up to challenge the legality of President Jacob Zuma's June 3, 2011, decision to unilaterally extend by five years the term of Sandile Ngcobo, Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court. Ngcobo's 12-year term is slated to expire on August 15, 2011. (Pierre De Vos, CASAC […]

Pakistan: Chief Justice Castigates Judiciary for Faults and Failings

(Apr. 26, 2011) In an effort to remove misconceptions about the judiciary, the Chief Justice of Pakistan, speaking at the Fourth National Judicial Conference, criticized the district judiciary for dealing with serious offenses in a cursory and casual manner, but defended it against undue criticism for acting against executive measures by stating that it has […]

Taiwan: Legislature Considers Draft Law Aimed at Improving Quality of Judges

(Jan. 19, 2011) It was reported on January 6, 2011, that a draft Judges Act aimed at promoting judicial probity by providing a mechanism for evaluating individual judges and dismissing those with poor performance records has passed a first reading in the Legislative Yuan. The Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committees approved the draft […]

China: Code of Ethics for Judges Revised

(Dec. 28, 2010) On December 15, 2010, the Supreme People's Court (SPC) of China published on its website the revised Basic Norms of Professional Ethics of Judges and Code of Conduct for Judges. The two revised documents took effect immediately. (Faguan Zhiye Daode Jiben Zhunze, Fa Fa [2010] No. 53 (Basic Norms) & Faguan Xinwei […]

Czech Republic: Reduction of Salaries Proposed for Judges

(Oct. 1, 2010) Czech Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek announced on September 26, 2010, that in two weeks the government will propose the lowering of the salaries of judges and other officials. The reduction would be of five percent. Kalousek added that “[t]his is an agreement we have firmly concluded. You can basically consider it a […]

European Union; Nigeria: Conference Held on Improving Judicial Performance Evaluation System

(Mar. 10, 2010) The European Union, under the Financing Agreement No. 9356/UNI “EU Support to Law Enforcement against Economic and Financial Crimes,” has granted Nigeria's judiciary N5.2 billion (about US$34 million) to help combat economic and financial crime and strengthen judicial integrity and capacity. The grant, funded by the European Development Fund for the period […]