[JURIST] Leading Monday's international brief, despite the status of Hamas as a listed terrorist entity, the European Union [official website] has announced plans at a foreign ministers' meeting Monday to attempt to work around a legal ban that prohibits European nations from providing funding to any member of Hamas. Since Hamas' victory in Palestinian elections [JURIST report] in January, the EU and US have all warned that international aid cannot continue unless Hamas renounces its use of force as a political tool, recognizes Israel as a legitimate nation, and conforms to international standards for political parties. Israel has imposed sanctions against Hamas [JURIST report] and has begun withholding import dues reaching nearly $50 million (US) per month. EU ministers said on Sunday however, that they had no desire to see the Palestinian Authority collapse and would undertake efforts to ensure that the government had enough capital resources to meet the needs of its citizens. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of the Palestinian Authority [JURIST news archive]. Aljazeera has local coverage.
In other international legal news ...
- Chief Justice Evan Gicheru of the Kenyan Constitutional Court issued Legal Gazette Notice Number 6 of 2006 on Monday which changed court procedure rules in Kenya to ensure that individuals charged with criminal counts of corruption and graft could no longer obtain an automatic stay of trial by appealing to the constitutional court over alleged rights violations. Under the previous system, known as the Chunga Rules, anyone accused of a criminal act could have court proceedings against them stayed by appealing to the Kenyan Constitutional Court for a review of alleged rights violations against them. Gicheru issued the gazette just one week after senior Kenyan officials announced the Chunga Rules were being evaluated for change to ensure that former and current government officials would be unable to tie up the judicial system for years over alleged rights violations in the light of expected arrests and charges [JURIST report] relating to the Goldenberg [BBC report] and Anglo Leasing [Wikipedia backgrounder] scandals. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Kenya [JURIST news archive]. Kenya's East African Standard has local coverage.
- Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian [official website] has announced that he is disbanding a government council that was charged with exploring possible avenues of reunification with mainland China. The announcement is another in a long series of efforts by Chen to make Taiwan [government website] more independent from the People's Republic of China [government website] and is likely to cause severe rebuke from Chinese officials. Chen said the decision came after a meeting of the Taiwanese National Security Council and was due to the military build-up of Chinese forces aimed at Taiwan. China views Taiwan as a breakaway province and the UN ceased to recognize Taiwan as an independent nation after severe pressure from China, a permanent member of the UN Security Council. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Taiwan [JURIST news archive]. BBC News has more.
- Fox Odoi, Legal Assistant to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni [BBC profile], was arrested Sunday on charges of harassing opposition party voters during the Ugandan presidential elections [JURIST report] last Thursday. Odoi allegedly arrived at a polling location, ordered police to detain several individuals suspected of having voted against Museveni, and had them beaten and undressed while brandishing an assault rifle. Several newspapers ran pictures of Odoi holding an AK-47 with individuals obviously naked lying face down in the background. Odoi protested his innocence and claimed that his position in the government should have led police to merely inform him of the charges instead of arresting him. Museveni has distanced himself from Odoi since the pictures were released, calling for a full investigation. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Uganda [JURIST news archive]. The Ugandan Daily Monitor has local coverage.