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European Union; Lithuania: Lithuania in Charge of European Council Presidency

(July 12, 2013) On July 1, 2013, Lithuania assumed the rotating Presidency of the European Council for the first time. There is an ambitious agenda to achieve a number of objectives during the six-month period of the Presidency. Highlights of its priorities were discussed with Members of the European Parliament. (Press Release, European Parliament, Lithuanian […]

European Union: Ireland Holds the Presidency of the European Council

(Jan. 31, 2013) On January 1, 2013, Ireland assumed the Presidency of the European Council, a postion that rotates among the European Union (EU) Member States every six months. This is the seventh time that Ireland has held the Presidency since it joined the EU in 1973. The Presidency has an official website (last visited […]

Kenya: President Vetoes Major Legislation

(July 12, 2012) On June 25, 2012, Mwai Kibaki, President of Kenya, vetoed the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2012 (34 KENYA GAZETTE SUPPLEMENT (May 2, 2012)), which the National Assembly had adopted on June 21. Kibaki argued that his assent to the legislation in its current form would violate the principle of separation of […]

Morocco: New Law to Allow Prime Minister to Select Political Appointees

(May 10, 2012) On May 8, 2012, the Moroccan Parliament approved a new law that grants the Prime Minister the right to hire the vast majority of public officials in the kingdom. Under the new law, the Prime Minister has the right to select 1,181 political appointees, while 48 appointments are reserved for the King. […]

Nigeria: House of Representatives to Consider Legislation on Appointment of Ministers

(Nov. 14, 2011) On November 8, 2011, it was reported that the lower house of Nigeria's National Assembly will review legislation, the Confirmation of Ministerial Nominees (Procedure) Bill, 2011, aimed at compelling the President to clearly state the specific responsibilities of nominees for ministerial positions when referring them to the Senate for confirmation. (Ibanga Isine, […]

Germany: Intelligence May Not Be Kept from Parliament

(Aug. 5, 2009) On July 30, 2009, the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany ruled that the government intelligence service (BND) may not withhold information from the legislature, unless there is a good cause presented in a detailed explanation. (Federal Constitutional Court website [in English], (last visited Aug. 3, 2009; text of ruling not yet […]

Venezuela: Consolidation of Administrative Powers in Executive Branch

(July 27, 2009) A new law issued on March 17, 2009, amends Venezuela's Organic Law on the Decentralization, Delimitation, and Transference of Competencies of the Public Power that was published on August 14, 2003. The amendments allow the transference of powers previously within the realm of the states to the executive branch for the administration […]

Honduras: Supreme Court Communiqué on Replacement of President

(July 9, 2009) The Honduran Supreme Court of Justice (SCJ) issued an undated special communiqué on the subject of the removal of President José Manuel Zelaya Rosales from the executive branch. (Honduran Supreme Court Details Reasons for Zelaya's 'Constitutional Replacement', OPEN SOURCE CENTER, June 30, 2009, OSC No. LAP20090706068001.) The document refers to Zelaya as […]

United States: Federal Court Rules State Secrets Privilege No Bar to Bringing Complaint

(May 8, 2009) On April 28, 2009, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the state secrets privilege, which the U.S. Government has used to seek dismissal of cases involving secret government conduct, does not compel dismissal of a case at the outset solely because it involves government secrets. Several plaintiffs […]

Nigeria: Law on Annual Presidential State of the Nation Address

(Feb. 20, 2009) On February 19, 2009, the Nigerian Senate approved the Bill for an Act to Enshrine an Annual State of the Nation Address and Other Matters Concerned. The new legislation would compel the President of Nigeria to give a “state of the nation address” once a year, on the first day of the […]