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International brief ~ UK Foreign Secretary says UN reforms would allow faster action to protect rights

[JURIST] UK Foreign Minister Jack Straw said in an interview Monday that he believed recently-proposed changes to the UN Charter (reported by JURIST's Paper Chase here) would allow for easier intervention in situations of human rights abuses like those that were taking place in Sudan and Iraq. Straw said that Charter changes would allow the Security Council to act even against a veto from a permanent member, and to prevent crises instead of just reacting to them. The UK Independent has more on the interview.... A UN fact-finding mission began work Monday in Nepal, investigating the reports of disappearances that may exceed 9,000 individuals since the start of the 1996 Maoist revolution. Nepal's National Human Rights Commision reported that it has documented over 1,400 official cases of disappearance on both sides of the conflict. The Nepalese government has admitted to arresting and detaining people, but has said that most were released, and that the families of those still detained have been notified. BBC News has more.... The trial of Maxime Brunerie begins Monday in France, as Brunerie faces charges of attempting to murder French President Jacques Chirac in July, 2002. Brunerie attempted to shoot Chirac with a hunting rifle during an annual summer parade. Bystanders pushed the rifle into the air and police tackled the man. Brunerie attempted to shoot himself during the struggle and later was examined to determine mental competency to stand trial. Brunerie's defense team is expected to challenge the ruling that their client is mentally competent. Expatica has more.... Britain's Department for Constitutional Affairs Monday announced plans to reform procedures for taking the testimony of victims and witnesses in court, and to separate the nation's highest court, the House of Lords, from the body of the same name in Parliament. Lord Falconer said the changes relating to testimony include a plan to allow witnesses to testify\ from remote locations outside the courtroom, using closed circuit tv. The goal is to ensure that the process cares is as attentive to the traumatic burden of testifying that is placed on witnesses and victims as much as it cares for the constitutional rights of the defendants. The reforms also include a proposal to formalize the now traditional separation of the judicial House of Lords from the legislative House of Lords. Read the official report of the DCA Strategy for 2004 - 2009 here. The Telegraph has more.

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About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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