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Germany: Undercover Agents and Self-Incrimination

(Dec. 2, 2007) On July 26, 2007, the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) (FCJ) held that an undercover agent may not persistently urge a suspect to confide in him as to whether he committed a crime and may not interrogate him as a police officer, if the suspect had already asserted his right to […]

Iraq: Iraqi Official Admits the Use of Violence

(Dec. 2, 2007) General Abdel-Karim Khalaf, a spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior in Iraq, admitted that some officers in his Ministry had used violence to extract confessions from those accused of committing crimes, but without the knowledge of people in high positions. He added that the Ministry of the Interior has what he […]

Samoa: New Anti-Money Laundering Laws

(Dec. 2, 2007) Samoa has enacted new anti-money laundering legislation. This includes: Money Laundering Prevention Act 2007, which establishes a Money Laundering Prevention Task Force and a legislative basis for Samoa's Financial Intelligence Unit; increases the amount of money (cash or negotiable instruments) at a border crossing that requires mandatory reporting, now WST20,000 (approximately US$7,490); […]

European Union: Firearms Legislation

(Dec. 2, 2007) In the aftermath of a recent shooting at a school in Finland, the European Parliament moved quickly to approve at first reading the European Commission's proposal to amend Directive 91/477/EC concerning the acquisition and possession of firearms. The last step in the legislative process is that the proposal will be forwarded to […]

Peru: Possession of weapons and ammunitions

(Dec. 2, 2007) On October 17, 2007, President Alan Garcia Perez signed Law No. 29106 amending article 13 of Law No. 25054, which regulated the manufacture, trade, possession and use by individuals of weapons and ammunitions not destined to war and including amendment to articles 36 and 38 of the Criminal Code (Legislative Decree No. […]

Africa: Death Penalty Developments

(Nov. 2, 2007) The non-governmental human rights organization Amnesty International (AI) reported in October 2007 on various developments concerning capital punishment in five African countries. Most notably, Rwanda abolished the death penalty on July 27, 2007, resulting in the commutation of the sentences of about 600 death row prisoners to life imprisonment. According to AI, […]

India: Death Sentences for Ex-Legislators in a Lynching Case

(Nov. 2, 2007) On October 1, 2007, the Additional Sessions Judge, Ram Krishna Rai, handed down a landmark judgment when he awarded a former member of the Parliament (M.P.), Anand Mohan, and a former member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) of the State of Bihar, Akhlaq Ahmed, sentences of death in a murder case. The […]

Italy: Repeal of Capital Punishment

(Nov. 2, 2007) On October 2, 2007 the Italian Parliament approved Constitutional Law no.1, which amends article 27 of the Constitution, concerning the repeal of capital punishment. The previous reading of the fourth paragraph of article 27 was "Capital punishment is not permitted, except in cases foreseen in the military laws of war" (unofficial translation). […]

Mali: Cabinet Abolishes Death Penalty

(Nov. 2, 2007) L'Essor, a government newspaper in Mali, reported on its Web site on October 18, 2007, that the Cabinet had passed a bill on the abolition of capital punishment, replacing it with life imprisonment. It had been a penalty that could be imposed under article 4 of the August 20, 2001, penal code. […]

Chile: Regulations of the Law Establishing a Criminal Responsibility System for Juvenile Delinquents

(Nov. 2, 2007) On 13 December 2006, the President of Chile issued Supreme Decree 1,378 approving the Regulations of Law 20,084 of 2005, which establishes a Criminal Responsibility System for Juvenile offenders. The regulations address the rights of adolescents in the Chilean criminal law system, including, among other things, their right to a treatment which […]