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India: Special Courts to Try Riot Cases

(May 5, 2009) Five special fast-track courts will be set up to try cases resulting from riots in the Indian state of Gujarat in 2002. The events had resulted in numerous deaths – estimates range from 1,000 to 2,500 people, most of them Muslims – following a train fire in which 60 Hindus perished. Some […]

Brazil: Reform of the Judiciary

(Apr. 24, 2009) On April 13, 2009, the presidents of the Chamber of Deputies, Federal Senate, and the Federal Supreme Court and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva launched the Second Republican Pact, which includes a proposal to further reform the Brazilian judiciary. The proposal was then sent to Congress with the support of […]

Denmark: Special Court System for Terror Trials Considered

(Mar. 18, 2009) A committee of Denmark's parliament has proposed the establishment of a special court system for trials of suspected terrorists who face deportation. The new court would be a way to protect confidential information contained in evidence collected by the Danish domestic intelligence agency. Approved attorneys would be appointed to represent any foreign […]

European Court of Human Rights: Fiftieth Anniversary

(Feb. 5, 2009) The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), located in Strasbourg, France, reaches a milestone this year, as it celebrates fifty years since its establishment in 1959. The European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which laid the foundation for the correct application and implementation of its provisions by the ECHR, was […]

Bulgaria; European Union: Justice System Criticized

(Jan. 29, 2009) Although Bulgaria joined the European Union in 2007, it has been placed under a strict monitoring regime by the EU, with particular emphasis on the operation of the judiciary. Aid from the EU to the Bulgarian government has been cut substantially and there may even be further reductions in assistance if the […]

Indonesia: Corruption Court Bill in Deliberations

(Dec. 17, 2008) Indonesia's Corruption Court was established under a law promulgated in 2002; that law was ruled unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court in 2006. Since December 2006, work has been underway on a new bill for the Corruption Court. (House Vows to Uphold Graft Courts, THE JAKARTA POST, Nov. 26, 2008, available at http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2008/11/26/house-vows-uphold-graft-courts.html.) […]

Ecuador: High Court Judges Selected by Lottery

(Nov. 4, 2008) On October 29, 2008, Ecuador selected judges to serve on a temporary Supreme Court of Justice by means of a lottery. The procedure selected 21 of the 31 judges who had served on the former permanent Court; the temporary institution is designed to last until a new permanent Court is established in […]

Nigeria: Bill on Establishment of Financial Crimes Court

(July 2, 2008) It was reported on May 12, 2008, that Nigeria's Senate would approve the establishment of a special court for financial crimes, through the enactment of the “Financial Crimes Court 2008” bill. According to Senator Simeon Oduoye, Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Security and National Intelligence, the new body will have […]

United Arab Emirates: Refusal to Appoint Non-Muslims to Judiciary

(July 2, 2008) On June 17, 2008, the Federal National Council of the United Arab Emirates, a consultative body, held a closed session that the media was not allowed to attend, in which a proposed amendment to the law of the judiciary was discussed. Sources revealed to the newspaper ASHARQ ALAWSAT that the Council did […]

Mexico: Congress Passes Judicial Reform Bill

(May 2, 2008) The Mexican Senate recently passed a bill authorizing several judicial reforms, including the use of recorded telephone conversations as evidence with consent; the guarantee of the presumption of innocence; and the provision of public and oral trials. The bill also provides for the representation of suspects by qualified public defenders. Mexico's House […]