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African Union: Hybrid Court to Try Perpetrators of Darfur Crimes

(Nov. 6, 2009) It was reported on October 29, 2009, that the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council summit endorsed the AU Panel on Darfur (AUPD)'s proposal for the creation of a special court to try the perpetrators of crimes committed in Darfur. The court would have Sudanese judges, as well as non-Sudanese judges […]

Rwanda: Supreme Court to Undertake Major Procedural Reforms

(Oct. 30, 2009) It was reported on October 26, 2009, that the Rwandan Ministry of Justice proposed a bill to the Parliament on what type of cases may be brought before the country's Supreme Court. During the presentation, Tharcise Karugarama, the Justice Minister, told Parliament that the bill was necessitated in order to find a […]

Brazil: President Nominates 8th Justice for Federal Supreme Court

(Oct. 23, 2009) On September 30, 2009, the Brazilian Federal Senate approved the nomination of José Antônio Dias Toffoli as the new Justice of the Federal Supreme Court, to replace the deceased Justice Carlos Alberto Menezes Direito. Toffoli is the eighth justice nominated during the administration of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, a record […]

United Kingdom: New Supreme Court Opens for Business

(Oct. 9, 2009) The new Supreme Court of the United Kingdom began operation on October 1, 2009. Its creation is designed to increase transparency and further enhance the separation of powers between the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary in the UK and is provided for in the Constitutional Reform Act 2005. Prior to the […]

Qatar: Constitutional Court Established

(Oct. 5, 2009) On September 27, 2009, Qatar's Constitutional Court began its work. Originally it was to begin functioning on October 1, 2008; administrative problems delayed the start date. It has jurisdiction over disputes concerning constitutional interpretations and is to make certain that legislation does not conflict with the constitution. The new court will rule […]

United Kingdom: New Supreme Court

(Aug. 18, 2009) The last judgments of the Law Lords of the United Kingdom took place on July 30, 2009. This will be a significant date in Britain's constitutional history, as it will mark the end of the judicial function of the House of Lords. The House of Lords will from here on have only […]

Belarus: Work Experience Qualification for Judicial Experts Simplified

(Aug. 11, 2009) On January 6, 2009, the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus (MOJ) significantly simplified the procedure for obtaining a qualification certificate as a “judicial expert” by issuing the Regulations on Judicial Experts' Certification. (Decision of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus on Certain Issues of Licensing of […]

Netherlands: Judicial Reforms Proposed to Improve Access to Legal System

(Aug. 5, 2009) According to a press release issued by the Dutch Ministry of Justice on July 28, 2009, the Ministry has submitted a legislative proposal to make the country's legal system more accessible to its citizens. In addition, the Minister of Justice, Hirsh Ballin, has pledged to the Lower House of the Parliament that […]

Indonesia: Legislature Downplays Corruption Court

(July 8, 2009) It was reported on July 3, 2009, that Indonesia's House of Representatives, the lower house of the country's bicameral legislature, is not planning to take action soon to enact a law for an independent Corruption Court. (Irawaty Wardany, House Throws Spanner at Corruption Court Bill, JAKARTA POST, July 3, 2009, available at […]

United Nations: New Tribunals to Handle Staff Complaints

(June 26, 2009) On June 22, 2009, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke at the swearing in of judges for two new tribunals. Ban's hope that the new system will boost accountability will be tested when the tribunals begin operations on July 1. The two bodies, The U.N. Dispute Tribunal and the U.N. Appeals Tribunal, […]