[JURIST] Leading Tuesday's international brief, Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail has told reporters that the Sudan government is not planning to challenge the recently announced probe [JURIST report] into Darfur by the International Criminal Court [official website]. Ismail reiterated, however, Sudan's continued opposition to sending anyone charged with war crimes or crimes against humanity to a foreign jurisdiction for trial. Ismail said that Sudan's legal advisor had told them there was room in the ICC's Rome Statute [official PDF text] to allow for the ICC investigation and trial of the alleged abusers within Sudan. A recent UN report on human rights abuses [official PDF text] alleged that the Sudan courts are incapable of conducting fair and impartial trials. Ismail repeated the Sudan government's claim that the national war crimes tribunal [JURIST report] would be sufficient to deal with alleged abusers. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Sudan [JURIST news archive]. The Sudan Tribune has local coverage.
In other international legal news ...
- Kenya's two-year-old National Commission on Human Rights [government website] published its first annual report Tuesday, criticizing the Kenyan government [official website] for its widespread and pervasive failure to cooperate with the investigations of the Commission. KNCHR alleged that it was routinely denied access to police precincts, government offices and records, and that the Kenyan Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs [government website] has purposefully delayed the organization of its codes to prevent the KNCHR from issuing reports on the regulations' compliance with international law. The KNCHR also raised allegations of lack of impartiality, saying that since it received a portion of its funding through the Ministry of Justice budget, it was subject to political pressure to back off on its investigations; a fact that the KNCHR alleges led to it receiving barely one-third of its budget during the past fiscal year. Officials in the KNCHR submitted a request to the Kenyan Ministry of Finance [government website] to receive their funding independent from any other ministry. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Kenya [JURIST news archive]. Kenya's Daily Nation has local coverage.
- Nearly forty years after its initial conception, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo [official profile] has implemented the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), which is intended to provide all Nigerians with basic medical care. Obasanjo has been pushing to activate the program for years, but had to withdraw it on the cusp of implementation several years ago following allegations of abuse by the former NHIS Executive Secretary Muhammad Sambo, who was accused of bribery and corruption during the contracting phase for companies bidding on the ID creation process. Obasanjo alluded to this in his speech, saying that no foreign contractors would be employed for ID creation in light of allegations of abuse. Obasanjo also hinted that Sambo would be brought before Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [government website], although he didn't specify what charges might apply. Obasanjo revealed that nearly $ million (USD) had been budgeted for the NHIS in the upcoming fiscal year. Read the implementing legislation [official text]. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Nigeria [JURIST news archive]. Nigeria's Daily Champion has local coverage.
- As expected [JURIST report], the Taiwanese National Assembly [government website in Chinese] approved the proposed constitutional reforms up for consideration Tuesday. The approved amendments cut the number of seats in the Legislative Yuan [government website in Chinese] nearly in half, create a single-constituency election process for representatives, and allow for non-territorial and sovereignty-related constitutional reforms to be adopted by public referendum. Unless any new constitutional reforms are brought before the National Assembly, the body will adopt a self-dissolution measure that will permanently disband the quasi-legislative body. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Taiwan [JURIST news archive]. Channel News Asia has local coverage.