Law & Order

Thai dissidents living in exile fear for their lives after a string of disappearances and murders

A string of mysterious murders and deportations across South-East Asia has Thai dissidents fearing for their lives and members of a controversial folk band say they may be targeted next. Liam Cochrane ABC The band Faiyen, which means “cold fire” in Thai, fled the country after the 2014 coup and has written songs criticising the military government and the monarchy. Late last week, the band posted a chilling message on Facebook. “We … fear for our lives. Many trusted people ... Read More »

General Assembly Welcomes International Court of Justice Opinion on Chagos Archipelago, Adopts Text Calling for Mauritius’ Complete Decolonization

The General Assembly adopted a resolution today welcoming a 25 February 2019 International Court of Justice advisory opinion on the legal consequences of separating the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965, demanding that the United Kingdom unconditionally withdraw its colonial administration from the area within six months. By a recorded vote of 116 in favour, to 6 against (Australia, Hungary, Israel, Maldives, United Kingdom, United States), with 56 abstentions, the Assembly affirmed that doing so — in accordance with the advisory opinion — would ... Read More »

Chagos Islands: UN officially demands Britain and US withdraw from Indian Ocean archipelago

Former Mauritian territory houses Diego Garcia US military base Samuel Osborne Independent The UN General Assembly has overwhelmingly voted for a resolution demanding Britain withdraw its administration of the Chagos Islands. While the resolution is not legally-binding, it carries significant political weight. The Indian Ocean archipelago is home to the Diego Garcia US military base. In February, the International Court of Justice ruled the UK’s decolonisation of the Indian Ocean islands was unlawful. The World Court said the UK acted illegally ... Read More »

Returning from the Land of Jihad: The Fate of Women Associated with Boko Haram

Women are streaming home from Boko Haram’s domain in north-eastern Nigeria, some having escaped captivity and others having left jihadist husbands behind. ICG The state should safeguard these women from abuse, so that they stay in government-held areas and encourage men to come back as well. What’s new? The Nigerian military’s battle with Boko Haram has led tens of thousands of women formerly associated with the group to return to government-held towns across the north east. While prejudice against them ... Read More »

Chad: Avoiding Confrontation in Miski

Risks of an escalation in Tibesti are high as friction is rising between the state, gold miners and the local ethnic Teda population. ICG The government should lift what has become a blockade of the village of Miski, dial back its rhetoric and enter talks with the population. What’s new? In the gold mining areas of Tibesti in northern Chad, friction is rising among the state, gold miners and the local ethnic Teda population. In late 2018, clashes erupted between ... Read More »

Christians seek refuge after deadly Burkina attacks

KAYA, Burkina Faso (Reuters) – Concerned about a rise in violence against Christians in Burkina Faso, Pastor Jacques Ouedraogo changed the time of his Sunday service as a precaution. He believes this is what saved his life. Thiam Ndiaga Reuters Later, his church was one of two targeted by gunmen on May 12 in the town of Dablo in a series of deadly attacks on churches and a religious procession in the last two weeks in Burkina’s formerly peaceful Central ... Read More »

How Australia ended up taking in Rwandans accused of killing tourists

Australia’s government faces questions over secret deal with US in which the men were granted humanitarian visas Helen Davison The Guardian Just hours out from a federal election, the Australian government is facing questions over its decision to grant humanitarian visas to two Rwandan men accused of the brutal 1999 murder of tourists in Uganda. The Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, has said that the men were subject to – and cleared – security checks, and on Friday distanced himself ... Read More »

Sweden v USA – What Happens Next In Assange?

It was confirmed this week that the Swedish authorities have reopened the criminal investigation into Julian Assange over allegations of rape in 2010. Gherson The decision comes as Assange is serving a prison sentence in the UK for breaching bail in the original extradition proceedings. Assange is also facing extradition to the USA in connection with hacking allegations. After years of deadlock with Assange holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy there is finally significant movement and many people are asking ... Read More »

Austrian parliament adopts controversial headscarf ban in elementary schools

Austrian lawmakers have approved controversial plans to ban girls in elementary schools from wearing headscarves, a move that would add to existing restrictions on veils. Daily Sabah Compliled From Wire Services The Austria Press Agency reported that lawmakers from the governing coalition of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s conservative People’s Party (ÖVP) and the anti-migration Freedom Party (FPÖ) supported the… Kurz’s party conceded that the new headscarf ban is likely to face challenges at Austria’s Constitutional Court, either on grounds of religious ... Read More »

Lively debate on interpreting laws at maritime conference

UN Convention on the Law of the Sea not product of the West or ambiguous, says Tommy Koh Lim Min Zhang The Straits Times Differing interpretations of the international law of the sea took centre stage at a maritime conference yesterday involving academics and navy chiefs from around the world. Ambassador-at-Large Tommy Koh had a spirited exchange with a Chinese academic over whether the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos) had involved input from Asian… During ... Read More »

Tech giants pledge unprecedented action to tackle terrorist content

US technology behemoths Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon and Twitter will join forces as part of an unprecedented push against the sharing of terrorist content in the aftermath of the… Jennifer Duke The Sydney Morning Herald In a nine-point agreement released overnight, the first of its kind, the competing multi-billion dollar businesses pledge to reconsider livestreaming safeguards and to work together to develop tools to improve the… The move comes amid intensifying global pressure on the companies to be more accountable ... Read More »

Alabama passes bill banning abortion

Alabama has become the latest US state to move to restrict abortions by passing a bill to outlaw the procedure in almost all cases. BBC Supporters say they expect the law to be blocked in court but hope that the appeals process will bring it before the Supreme Court. They want the court, which now has a conservative majority, to overturn the 1973 ruling legalising abortion. Sixteen other states are seeking to impose new restrictions on abortion. Earlier this year ... Read More »

What are our courts doing about firearms offences?

In March, Victoria had the highest number of fatal shootings in a decade. Five people were shot dead in less than a fortnight. By Arie Freiberg and Anusha Kenny * The Age Data published by The Age suggests there has also been a surge in non-fatal shootings over the same period. The unlawful possession and use of firearms is a significant and growing problem. There are some 132 firearms offences in Victorian law relating to such matters as the acquisition, ... Read More »

Charging asylum application fees is the latest way the US could make immigrants pay for its red tape

The Trump administration wants to make people fleeing persecution in their home countries pay for something they’ve long gotten for free: the right to apply for asylum in the United States. Sarah R. Sherman-Stokes The Conversation As an immigration attorney and a law professor who has represented people seeking asylum for over a decade, I believe this change, which could go into effect as soon as the summer of 2019, would be not just cruel but also unusual. At present, ... Read More »

Sweden to reopen rape case against WikiLeaks’ Assange

Swedish prosecutors said on May 13 they are reopening a rape case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, a month after he was removed from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. STOCKHOLM-The Associated Press Hurriyet Eva-Marie Persson, Sweden‘s deputy director of public prosecutions, told a news conference in Stockholm that “there is still a probable cause to suspect that Assange committed a rape.” She added: “It is my assessment that a new questioning of Assange is required.” Swedish prosecutors filed preliminary charges – a step short of formal… ... Read More »

Maritime issues prompt Coast Guard to review law of the sea

To address pressing maritime issues, the Philippine Coast Guard conducted a seminar aimed to review the law of the sea. Betheena Unite Manila Bulletin The one-day seminar was organized by the Office of the Deputy Chief of Coast Guard Staff for Maritime Security Services last May 9 in a bid to refresh their knowledge of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the… According to Capt. Glenda Pereyra, deputy chief of Coast Guard Staff for Maritime Security Services, maritime ... Read More »