International brief ~ Kenyan high court throws out case against constitutional referendum

[JURIST] Leading Tuesday's international brief, three judges from the Kenyan Constitutional Court ruled that a legal challenge to the legitimacy of the upcoming Kenyan national referendum on the proposed draft constitution [JURIST report] was invalid and that neither the legislative nor judicial branches of government could stop the referendum. Activists from the Kenyan Yellow Movement [advocacy website] had challenged the referendum process as unconstitutional, claiming that it stemmed from a flawed process that had ignored the principles of democracy and the sovereignty of the people. The three high court judges ruled that the referendum was an "exercise of the people's constituent power" and was beyond the power of the High Court and Parliament. Debate over the proposed draft Constitution [PDF text] has sparked violence [JURIST report] among the population as protestors tried to derail the vote scheduled for Monday, November 21. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Kenya [JURIST news archive]. Kenya's Daily Nation has local coverage (registration required).

In other international legal news ...

  • Zimbabwean police in the capital city of Harare reportedly forced over 250 homeless people to move Monday from the temporary 'tent city' they had set up in the poverty-stricken suburb of Mbare. The forced relocation of citizens already made homeless by Operation Murambatsvina [Wikipedia backgrounder], authorized by Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe [BBC profile], violates an October Zimbabwean Provisional High Court ruling that ordered Harare police not to remove people from the 'tent city'. The removal of homeless citizens comes just two weeks ahead of a scheduled visit by UN relief co-ordinator Jan Egeland to re-examine the situation of the over 700,000 homeless people identified by UN Special Envoy Anna Tibaijuka's report [PDF text]. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Zimbabwe [JURIST news archive]. ZimOnline has local coverage.

  • South Korean officials announced Tuesday that they will once again abstain from voting on a United Nations General Assembly [official website] resolution scheduled for November 18 that proposes to condemn North Korea for its abysmal human rights record. South Korea [government website] has traditionally refrained from taking official steps of expressing its disapproval in the United Nations of the current situation in North Korea and North Korea has repeatedly warned that South Korean sanctions would be met with force. The EU-sponsored resolution calls for North Korea to end public executions, torture and the incarceration of political dissidents. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of South Korea [JURIST news archive]. South Korea's Chosun Ilbo has local coverage.

  • Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] released a statement [official text] Monday terming the Nepalese government's implementation of the "Code of Conduct" for national and international NGOs in Nepal a "legal veneer for repressing civil society". The Code of Conduct, adopted into law in Nepal [government website] last Thursday, limits the ability of "social organizations" to meet and protest government policy and creates legally vague terms that may be used to prosecute opposition leaders and activists. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Nepal [JURIST news archive]. Kantipur Online has local coverage.


 

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