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International brief ~ China high court regains right to review death sentences

[JURIST] Leading Tuesday's international brief, China's Supreme Peoples' Court [official website] regained the power to review death sentences on Tuesday, after nearly six months of intense criticism of the old process, which allowed regional courts to review death sentences. Chinese media highlighted nearly a dozen cases over the last six months of miscarriages of justice, including two sensational cases where the alleged murder victims later turned up alive, one after the execution of her 'murderer.' The Supreme Peoples' Court will create three criminal trial courts to review all death sentences in the nation. China executed an estimated 3,400 individuals in 2004, more than all other nations put together. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of China [JURIST news archive]. BBC News has more.

In other international legal news ...

  • The European Parliament [official website] is hearing final speeches on the proposed Common Asylum Standard Directive [EU asylum backgrounder] and is expected to vote late Tuesday or early Wednesday on the plan designed to prevent 'asylum shopping' in Europe. Currently, EU member nations all have individualized asylum policies, leading to some nations being perceived as having 'easier' entry standards than others, resulting in asylum seekers avoiding countries known to have difficult asylum laws and concentrating on others. The Common Asylum Standard Directive would normalize all refugee and asylum laws throughout the EU, with a stated goal of distributing the load of asylum seekers evenly across the EU member nations. The Directive, already heavily amended, also includes provisions on fingerprinting applicants to determine if they've applied elsewhere before, and will also remove the practice of having designated "safe" countries outside the EU that EU nations can deport failed applicants to without violating the European Convention on Human Rights [official text]. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of the European Union [JURIST news archive]. BBC News has local coverage.

  • Following the filing of a civil case against the Nepal government one and a half years ago, the Nepal Supreme Court [official website] has ordered the Nepalese Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare to take all necessary steps to abolish the cultural practice of "Chhaupadi" [Wikipedia backgrounder] and to ensure that it is branded as an 'evil practice' throughout Nepal. The cultural custom was declared by the court on Monday to be significantly discriminatory towards women and a violation of the equal rights that women enjoy under the Nepal Constitution [official text]. The Nepalese Ministries of Health and Local Development have been tasked with studying the effects of the chhaupadi system and educating the populace about its impact on women. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Nepal [JURIST news archive]. Nepalnews has local coverage.

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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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