International brief ~ India high court bans media release of illegally-taped conversations

[JURIST] Leading Tuesday's international brief, the Supreme Court of India [official website] has issued a ruling [text] that bans all media entities from publishing or revealing any transcripts or recordings they may have of conversations that were taped illegally. The ruling comes as Amar Singh, a high political party official in India, has been fighting the release by radio and newspaper of illegally recorded phone conversations between himself and other famous individuals in India. The court held that such recordings are subject to government control until the court produces a guideline on what can and cannot be used and published. The court also criticized the government for failing to clearly spell out what was illegal for investigative journalists and for failing to properly prosecute the violation of the law. The Navhind Times of India has local coverage.

In other international legal news ...

  • The ongoing debate over the level of autonomy in the recently-resolved Aceh region in Indonesia has been rekindled over a legislative provision that would give the Indonesian central government [official website in Bahasa Indonesian] law-making abilities inside the Aceh province beyond what was agreed to in the peace protocols [JURIST report] signed last year. Originally, Indonesia would only have a say in legislating matters concerning foreign policy, defense security, judicial affairs, and finance. The current Aceh autonomy bill [JURIST report] up before the Indonesian House of Representatives seeks to grant the central government power to legislate certain issues outside of those exceptions. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Indonesia [JURIST news archive]. The Jakarta Post has local coverage.

  • The South Korean Ministry of Justice [official website] has proposed a series of reforms focusing on the rights of child victims of sexual abuse and the criminal justice procedures surrounding the need for a civilian complaint before a case may be brought against an individual. The proposed reforms suggest several key changes, including a mandatory minimum sentence of three years for convicted pedophiles and the removal of the requirement that the victim bring charges against the perpetrator - a requirement that prosecutors argue keeps individuals from coming forward concerning regular abuse. The Ministry of Justice is also considering the introduction of a new crime of "sexual assault of a minor" that would cover many gaps in sexual assault laws designed to deal with attacks on adults rather than children. South Korea's Chosun Ilbo has local coverage.

  • UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) [official website] officials met with representatives of Ethiopia and Sudan [government website] on Monday to sign a three-party agreement aimed at returning over 70,000 Sudanese citizens, some of whom have been in Ethiopia since the 1969 Sudanese civil war, back to their homes. The document outlines the legal responsibilities of both governments and the aid to be expected from the UNHCR in returning those Sudanese citizens who wish to go. The presence of Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia has been a point of contention for years between the two governments, and the UNHCR hailed the agreement as a solid step forward to resolving a difficult legal, political, and human situation. Read the UNHCR press release. The Sudan Tribune has local coverage.

 

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