Daily Archives: 01/06/2018

Romania: Romania’s anti-corruption agency (DNA) reacts after Constitutional Court decides chief prosecutor Kovesi must be dismissed by president

May 31, 2018

Romania’s anti-corruption agency (DNA) has released its first statement in reaction to the Constitutional Court’s decision on Wednesday which said that president Klaus Iohannis must move forward with the dismissal of DNA’s chief prosecutor, Laura Codruta Kovesi, following the proposal of Justice minister Tudorel Toader.

DNA’s statement reads: “It is time to send an alarm signal and express our concern regarding the potential damage done to prosecutors’ independence, which represents an essential premise of the fight against corruption. Without the existing legal guarantees, the fight would not have been possible, and losing these guarantees could mean that the ongoing investigations conducted by anti-corruption prosecutors could be gravely affected.”

Another negative reaction came from the chief prosecutor of DIICOT, Romania’s anti-organised crime and terrorism agency, Daniel Horodniceanu, who said that CCR’s decision has placed prosecutors “not under the authority, but under the potentially discretionary exercise of the Justice minister, who is a political appointee.” He added that “the constitutional guarantor of the independence of the judiciary, the Superior Council of Magistracy, has been reduced to a sterile role.”

http://business-review.eu/news/anti-corruption-agency-reacts-after-constitutional-court-decides-president-iohannis-needs-to-dismiss-chief-prosecutor-kovesi-171609

https://www.actmedia.eu/daily/dna-s-reaction-on-ccr-s-decision-the-prosecutors-independence-status-might-be-affected/75721

https://www.actmedia.eu/daily/ec-on-ccr-decision-in-kovesi-s-case-fight-against-corruption-is-periodically-evaluates-in-the-mechanism-of-cooperation-and-verification/75722

https://www.europeaninterest.eu/article/romanias-president-ordered-dismiss-romanias-chief-anti-corruption-prosecutor/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Codru%C8%9Ba_K%C3%B6vesi

https://www.stiripesurse.ro/o-judecatoare-arunca-in-aer-scandalul-deciziei-ccr-pe-revocarea-sefei-dna-cine-va-avea-ultimul-cuvant_1268342.html (ROMANIAN)

http://adevarul.ro/news/eveniment/500-procurori-zeci-judecatori-reactioneaza-fata-decizia-ccr-ministrul-justitiei-nu-niciun-rol-cariera-procurorilor-1_5b1013c3df52022f75a47299/index.html (ROMANIAN)

https://lepetitjournal.com/bucarest/actualites/dna-manifestations-pour-soutenir-kovesi-suite-la-decision-de-la-ccr-232037 (FRANCAIS)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Codru%C8%9Ba_K%C3%B6vesi (FRANCAIS)

http://www.kas.de/wf/de/33.52675/ (DEUTSCH)

http://www.eastjournal.net/archives/90606 (ITALIANO)

The Philippines: Judicial independence in Philippines is under threat, says UN human rights expert

June 1, 2018

A UN human rights expert has expressed grave concerns about public threats issued against the Philippines’ Chief Justice by the country’s President, saying her dismissal, that followed those threats, is sending a chilling message to other supreme court judges and members of the judiciary posing a serious threat to judicial independence.

On 11 May 2018, the Supreme Court voted 8-6 to remove Maria Lourdes Sereno from her job on the grounds she had failed an ‘integrity test’. Chief Justice Sereno was appointed the country’s top judge position in 2010.

“The decision of the Supreme Court was issued two days after the President of the Philippines publicly threatened the Chief Justice by saying that she was his enemy and that she should be removed from her job or resign,” said Diego García-Sayán, Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers.

“The unprecedented decision of the Supreme Court of the Philippines seems directly related to the threats made against the Chief Justice in relation to her professional activities in defence of the independence of the judiciary.”

http://www.ryt9.com/es/prg/212694

http://www.thaipr.net/general/863929

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/996446/intl-jurists-group-slams-cj-removal

http://politics.com.ph/let-rule-of-law-prevail-icj-urges-sc-to-reinstate-sereno-as-chief-justice/

https://news.mb.com.ph/2018/05/31/criticizing-the-supreme-court-is-no-disrespect/

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/996711/sereno-ouster-worries-un-expert-hes-misinformed-says-palace

http://manilastandard.net/news/top-stories/267099/un-executive-weighs-in-on-sereno-ouster.html

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/655406/un-expert-sees-link-between-duterte-s-threats-sereno-s-ouster/story/

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/996816/sereno-camp-welcomes-comment-of-un-expert-on-ouster-of-chief-justice-sereno-sc-un-special-rapporteur-deinla

https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/06/02/1820859/senators-mull-withdrawal-signatures-quo-warranto-case

https://thedailyguardian.net/option/dismantling-democracy/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_Lourdes_Sereno

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(Stand With CJ Facebook, 2/6/18)

India/Kashmir/IAPL: Lawyers in Kashmir struggling; media distorting facts: Report

June 1, 2018

Indian police detain a Kashmiri 'Anganwadi', a government sponsored child and mother care worker, during an anti-government protest in Srinagar on May 30, 2018. Tauseef Mustafa/AFP

A team of 15 lawyers from various parts of the country who are members of the Indian Association for People’s Lawyers (IAPL) visited Kashmir for a fact-finding campaign and have come out with observations saying that the national media has “distorted facts” and kept a wrong picture of Kashmir before the country and that the lawyers in Kashmir are facing fatal hurdles while carrying out their duties.

The IAPL is the India chapter of the International Association of People’s Lawyers and was formed in the year 2004 “to uphold justice, equality, human rights and to fight against all undemocratic laws and procedures, not only in the courts but also through the fact-finding mission.” The fact-finding effort in Kashmir was one such effort.

The team of 15 lawyers from different regions of India like Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana conducted the fact-finding from May 23 to May 27, meeting with the bar associations of the Kashmir High Court, Baramulla, Handwara, Kupwara, Ganderbal, Budgam, Shopian, Islamabad (Anantnag), Pulwama and Chairperson of SHRC.

The association, in a statement, claims that in the background of the conflict situation, the fact-finding mission found that the lawyers in Kashmir are “working in very difficult circumstances while trying to bring some semblance of the rule of the law when it comes to human rights violations in various part of the state.”

The team was “shocked to find that the state’s lawyers, apart from facing threats, intimidation, illegal detentions and arrests, have been subject to torture and killings, while discharging their professional responsibilities.”

http://www.sakaltimes.com/nation/lawyers-kashmir-struggling-media-distorting-facts-report-19004

https://www.facebook.com/IAPLIndia/

Poland: The Irish Times view on Poland’s authoritarian drift: a big question for the judiciary

June 1, 2018

Ms Justice Aileen Donnelly of the High Court has asked the European Court of Justice to determine whether changes to the judicial system in Poland have undermined its ability to give a Polish national a fair trial. Photograph: Alan Betson

Artur Celmer will not be in the court today. He’s still in an Irish jail awaiting the deliberations of the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) over the Polish warrant for his extradition. The hearing, expedited because of Celmer’s incarceration, will also be closely watched all over Europe. On the court’s view of a question referred to it by Ms Justice Aileen Donnelly of the High Court hangs the future of all extraditions to Poland from the EU.

And, just as importantly, the court could deliver a damning judicial assessment of the state of the rule of law in Poland and the “reforms” of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party.

That would provide important political ammunition for the European Commisssion’s action against Poland under Article 7 of the EU treaty which accuses Warsaw of “systematic” undermining of the rule of law and judicial independence. That lengthy procedure could ultimately see Poland stripped of its voting rights in the union.

 

The changes to the role of the minister for justice in Poland have given the holder of that office “too many powers for one person” and have weakened the independence of the judiciary, the Commission has said. Ms Justice Donnelly has understandably asked the CJEU to determine whether such changes have undermined both Poland’s ability to give Celmer a fair trial and the mutual trust between member states in each other’s judicial systems that is the basis for the near-automatic transfer of accused under the European Arrest Warrant system.

https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/editorial/the-irish-times-view-on-poland-s-authoritarian-drift-a-big-question-for-the-judiciary-1.3515407

https://euobserver.com/political/141956

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-eu-courts/court-disease-in-poland-hungary-could-spread-judicial-body-chief-idUSKCN1IW2KK

http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/the_organized_bar_must_address_attacks_on_the_judiciary

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-06/top-polish-judge-raises-alarm-over-populist-court-revamp

https://euobserver.com/tickers/142008

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Council_of_the_Judiciary

https://www.euractiv.fr/section/justice-affaires-interieures/news/eu-rule-of-law-generally-good-but-clouds-on-the-horizon/ (FRANCAIS)

India: DPCC urges L-G Baijal to enact special act for lawyers’ safety

June 1, 2018

The Asian Age

The legal and human rights department of the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) has urged lieutenant-governor Anil Baijal to enact a special act for the safety and security of lawyers in the national capital.

The legal and human rights department chairman, Sunil Kumar, said that lawyers are in dire need of an act that will prohibit violence against them and ensure that their properties are not damaged.

He said that this new act should be like the one made for doctors and medical practitioners, which safeguards them from such incidents.

According to Section 4 of this act for medical practitioners, if any violence is done in any medicare institution, the accused can be punished with imprisonment up to three years. Furthermore, as per Section 5 of this act, every offence that would be committed under Section 3 of the act, would be cognisable and non-bailable.

Mr Kumar said such an act will enable lawyers to take up challenging cases with confidence to get justice for the aggrieved without fearing for their life and property.

http://www.asianage.com/metros/delhi/010618/dpcc-urges-l-g-baijal-to-enact-special-act-for-lawyers-safety.html

Chad: l’agression contre un avocat paralyse l’appareil judiciaire (PAPIER GENERAL)

le 1er juin, 2018

Image result for Doumra Manassé

Les avocats, notaires et huissiers de justice tchadiens ont entamé ce jeudi une grève d’une semaine dans tout le pays pour protester contre l’agression contre un avocat il y a une dizaine de jours au sud du pays. Ils sont soutenus par les magistrats, déjà en grève.

Tout est parti le 22 mai 2018 à Doba, le chef-lieu de la région pétrolifère du Logone oriental, au sud du Tchad. Ce jour-là, le tribunal de grande instance de Doba a relaxé trois prévenus poursuivis pour complicité d’association de malfaiteurs. Leur conseil, Doumra Manassé, s’est rendu à la maison d’arrêt de la ville, muni de trois ordres de mise en liberté délivrés par le juge, pour leur élargissement. En quittant la prison, l’avocat et ses trois clients ont essuyé des tirs nourris de gendarmes, arrivés dans trois véhicules et conduits par le commandant de la légion de gendarmerie de la région. Les gendarmes sont entrés dans l’enceinte du palais de Justice où ils ont passé à tabac les trois prévenus fraichement libérés, enfermé les magistrats et avocats qui se trouvaient sur les lieux et suspendu les audiences.

Les gendarmes sont repartis, emportant les trois hommes relaxés. Vingt-quatre heures plus tard, deux ont été relâchés et le troisième est toujours entre leurs mains, “dans un endroit ignoré de tous, sauf eux”, a affirmé Emmanuel Djimadoum Koumtog, secrétaire général de l’Ordre des Avocats du Tchad, au cours d’une conférence de presse conjointe organisée mercredi soir.

http://french.china.org.cn/foreign/txt/2018-06/01/content_51553237.htm

http://www.bbc.com/afrique/region-44312096

https://www.voaafrique.com/a/la-justice-tchadienne-en-gr%C3%A8ve-en-r%C3%A9action-%C3%A0-l-agression-d-un-avocat-/4418119.html

http://www.makaila.fr/2018/05/tchad-le-mcpl-s-insurge-contre-la-tentative-d-assassinat-d-un-avocat.html

https://www.africa1.com/news/tchad-greve-des-magistrats-contre-l-agression-d-un-avocat-134642

https://www.voaafrique.com/a/tchad-gr%C3%A8ve-des-magistrats-contre-l-agression-d-un-avocat/4414171.html

https://www.journaldebrazza.com/greve-de-24h-des-avocats-tchadiens/

http://www.france24.com/fr/20180601-tchad-justice-greve-agression-avocat-gendarme-doba-magistrats-ndjamena

https://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2018/06/01/au-tchad-la-justice-en-greve-en-reaction-a-l-agression-d-un-avocat_5308167_3212.html

 

Saudi Arabia/Canada: ‘She is in danger’: Lawyers, activists call for action to free Loujain al-Hathloul

May 31, 2018

Human rights lawyers and activists are urging the public to put pressure on the federal and Saudi Arabian government to free women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul, out of fears she could be jailed for years.

Al-Hathloul, a former University of British Columbia student, was detained by Saudi Arabian officials alongside several other prominent human rights advocates, in what many experts are calling a crackdown on activism in the country. Multiple human rights organizations and the president of UBC have released statements calling for their release.

Former UBC student Loujain Al-Hathloul has been detained in Saudi Arabia for her work as a women's rights activist. Lawyers and activist in Canada are concerned because if she is formally charged, she could remain in jail for years, like activist Raif Badawi.

“Time is not on our side,” said Jackie Hansen, women’s rights campaigner for Amnesty International Canada. “We want to make sure they’re released because if they’re charged, it makes it that much harder to secure their release from detention.”

Al-Hathloul has been an outspoken women’s rights advocate for years, and is known for posting videos online of herself driving, in protest of Saudi Arabia’s ban on driving for women. While the government has loosened their restrictions on women by overturning their driving ban, Hansen said the arrests are a message that “activism will not be tolerated.”

Gail Davidson, executive director of Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada, which is preparing their own letter calling for Al-Hathloul’s release, said that Canada’s ties to Saudi Arabia, specifically a $15 billion contract to provide combat vehicles signed in 2016, could be used to her advantage.

“Canada had been very cozy with Saudi Arabia, so people that are wanting to lobby and appeal should put pressure on global affairs, and the prime minister,” she said.

In an email statement, Global Affairs Canada spokesperson Brittany Venhola-Fletcher said Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland has already alerted Saudi officials to their human rights record, and tweeted about the arrest of the women’s rights activists.

“Minister Freeland has raised Canada’s human rights concerns with her Saudi counterpart during her recent trip to Bangladesh. Canada will continue to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, both at home and abroad,” Venhola-Fletcher said.

But Davidson fears that al-Hathoul will face a similar fate to other people with Canadian connections detained in Saudi Arabia, such as blogger Raif Badawi, whose wife and children were granted asylum in Canada, and human rights lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair, who was defending Badawi. Both men are still in prison, despite many calls from international organizations for their release.

https://www.thestar.com/vancouver/2018/05/31/she-is-in-danger-lawyers-activists-call-for-action-to-free-loujain-al-hathloul.html

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/saudi-activist-loujain-al-hathloul-and-her-fight-for-freedom-xplblkvjm

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/incredibly-fierce-ubc-graduate-among-activists-detained-in-saudi-arabia-1.4681151

Rally held in support of former UBC student being held in Saudi jail for advocating women's rights

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/loujain-al-hathloul-arrest-ubc-president-letter-1.4684869

http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/05/29/563264/Saudi-Arabia-activists-arrests-United-Nations-human-rights-office

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5784645/Saudi-Arabia-seeks-criminalise-sexual-harassment.html

UBC president pens letter to Ottawa to help alumna jailed in Saudi Arabia

http://www.pressreleasepoint.com/ibrahim-al-mudaimigh

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-44333068

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/06/saudi-arabia-international-community-cannot-afford-to-remain-silent-about-detained-womens-rights-activists/

https://www.ubyssey.ca/news/rally-for-alumna-detained-in-saudi-arabia/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loujain_Alhathloul

https://e-activist.com/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1770&ea.campaign.id=103929&utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=FBpostSaudiWHRD (PETITION)

https://www.amnesty.be/je-veux-agir/agir-en-ligne/petitions/article/3-defenseures-du-droit-de-conduire-doivent-etre-liberees (FRANCAIS – PETITION)

https://www.amnesty.org/fr/latest/news/2018/05/saudi-arabia-another-activist-arrested-as-crackdown-continues/ (FRANCAIS)

https://www.amnesty.fr/discriminations/actualites/arabie-droit-de-conduire-des-femmes-une-militante-persecutee (FRANCAIS)

https://victoriadroit.com/blog/ubc-president-stylos-lettre-a-ottawa-pour-aider-ancienne-emprisonne-en-arabie-saoudite/11864/ (FRANCAIS)

https://www.francetvinfo.fr/societe/droits-des-femmes/arabie-saoudite-coup-de-frein-sur-les-droits-des-femmes_2777431.html (FRANCAIS)

https://www.es.amnesty.org/actua/acciones/arabia-libertad-mujeres-conductoras-may18/ (ESPANOL)

https://www.elperiodico.com/es/internacional/20180525/campana-arrestos-arabia-saudi-contra-activistas-derechos-mujer-6839087 (ESPANOL)

https://tg24.sky.it/mondo/2018/05/31/arabia-saudita-donne-guida-proteste.html (ITALIANO)

http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/saudi-arabien-mohammed-bin-salman-laesst-feministinnen-verhaften-a-1209714.html (DEUTSCH)

https://magazin.zenith.me/de/presseschau/verhaftung-von-aktivisten-saudi-arabien (DEUTSCH)

Pro-government media outlets splashed the activists' photos online and in newspapers after thye were arrested, branding them 'traitors' for their supposed crimes