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Sudan: New Law Amending Penal Code Takes Effect

(July 23, 2020) On July 13, 2020, the Sudanese Official Gazette published Law No. 12 of 2020, which amends 15 provisions of the Penal Code of 1991. According to Justice Minister Nasredeen Abdulbari, the new provisions are part of Sudan’s efforts to eliminate all laws that violate human rights and “demolish any kind of discrimination […]

Côte d’Ivoire: Former Prime Minister Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Corruption

(May 15, 2020) On April 28, 2020, the Tribunal Correctionnel (Criminal Trial Court) of Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, convicted former Prime Minister Guillaume Soro in absentia of embezzlement and money laundering. The trial lasted only a few hours and was boycotted by Soro’s lawyers in protest of what they claimed were politically motivated, trumped-up charges. Soro, […]

Germany: First Criminal Trial Worldwide on State Torture in Syria Begins

(Apr. 30, 2020) On April 23, 2020, the first criminal trial worldwide on state torture in Syria started at the Higher Regional Court in Koblenz, Germany (docket no. 1 StE 9/19). The two defendants allegedly worked for the Syrian intelligence services and are charged with crimes against humanity in numerous cases. The trial is scheduled to […]

Côte d’Ivoire: ICC Prosecutor Appeals Acquittal of Former Ivorian Leaders

(Dec. 2, 2019) On October 17, 2019, the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor in the case of Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé filed a motion for the ICC Appeals Chamber to declare a mistrial following the two defendants’ January 15 acquittal. Laurent Gbagbo was the president of Côte d’Ivoire from 2000 until 2011, and […]

New Zealand: Court Orders Minister of Justice to Reconsider Extradition Request from China

(June 20, 2019) On June 11, 2019, the New Zealand Court of Appeal released its judgment (Kim v Minister of Justice [2019] NZCA 209) on an appeal of a High Court ruling in a consequential extradition case involving a man who is a citizen of the Republic of Korea and a New Zealand permanent resident. The […]

Australia: Queensland Enacts Historic Human Rights Legislation

(Mar. 6, 2019) On February 27, 2019, the Queensland Parliament passed the Human Rights Bill 2018 (Qld), making it the third jurisdiction in Australia to enshrine human rights protections in such legislation. (Human Rights Bill 2018 (Qld), Queensland Parliament website; Jack Maxwell, A Human Rights Act for Queensland, OXFORD HUMAN RIGHTS HUB (Nov. 26, 2018).) […]

Italy: New Law Making Torture a Crime

(Sept. 20, 2017) On July 18, 2017, new legislation creating the crime of torture entered into effect in Italy. (Law No. 110 of July 14, 2017, Introduction of the Crime of Torture in the Italian Legal System (Law No. 110), GAZZETTA UFFICIALE  (July 18, 2017) (in Italian).) To effect this change, the new legislation introduces articles […]

Sweden/ECHR: Court Rejects Deportation of Iraqis Connected to U.S. Forces

(Oct. 20, 2016) On August 23, 2016, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) issued a judgment against Sweden for attempting to deport three Iraqi citizens in violation of article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits subjecting persons “to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or […]

New Zealand: Two Men Sentenced for Possession of ISIS Material

(June 24, 2016) On June 23, 2016, in two separate cases, New Zealand’s Auckland District Court sentenced two men for offenses that included possession of videos produced by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also referred to as ISIS).  The cases were the first of this kind in the country.  The charges against the […]

Sri Lanka: Criticism of Ongoing Use of Torture

(May 13, 2016) In a statement following a nine-day trip to Sri Lanka, Juan E. Méndez, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture, claimed that criminal and terrorism investigators in Sri Lanka still use torture against detainees, even though the use has declined since the end of the country’s civil war seven years ago. While […]