Related Posts: Law and Justice

In The News

Firing of Foreign Judges in Timor-Leste Threatens Justice System

October 29, 2014

In a dramatic challenge to the principles of democracy, on Friday night, the parliament of Timor-Leste decided in a closed session to fire all foreign judges and advisers in its justice system. The National Parliament passed Resolution No. 11/2014, calling on the government to audit the justice sector and immediately terminate all existing contracts of at least 11 international judges and prosecutors, as well as other international staff in the Courts, Public Prosecutor’s Office, Public Defender’s Office, Anti-Corruption Commission, and the Legal Training Center. In response, the government quickly passed Resolution No. 29/2014, an echo of Resolution No. 11. The stated legal basis for the resolutions was force majeure and “national interest” – but it’s unclear whether either is applicable in this case.

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Notes from the Field

Human Rights and Mongolia’s Small-Scale Mining Sector

October 29, 2014

Since the collapse of the socialist regime in 1990, Mongolia’s economic development has been dependent on an expanding formal and informal mining sector that for many years had little regard for the environment.

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In The News

Poll Shows Fighting Corruption Drives Support for Education Reform in Cambodia

October 15, 2014

Earlier this week, Cambodia’s Ministry of Education Youth and Sports (MoEYS) held a second high school exam to provide a second chance for the over 70 percent of 93,000 high school students who failed to pass the first annual national high school exam, held in early August. The passing rate in the first exam…

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Notes from the Field

Indonesian Lawsuit Pushes Local Government to Regulate Massive Coal Mining Industry

October 15, 2014

In last week’s In Asia, I examined the growing environmental and social costs that the coal mining industry is having on Indonesia’s East Kalimantan province, home to 28 percent of Indonesia’s total coal reserves. Already, 6.6 million hectares have been allocated for mining across the province, and in the provincial capital…

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In The News

Acid Crimes: A Growing Crisis in Pakistan

October 1, 2014

Acid crimes have long been recognized as one of the most horrendous manifestations of gender-based violence, directed largely at women, who account for an overwhelming 80 percent of all cases globally. In a country like Pakistan, where conservative ideals and deeply rooted patriarchal structures have shaped its psyche and social fabric…

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In The News

In Indonesia, Decentralization and Direct Elections Two Sides of the Same Coin

October 1, 2014

Last week, Indonesians woke up to the news that in the dead of night the parliament voted for a bill that would end direct elections for over 500 local-level political offices (mayors, district and sub-district governors), and replace them with an indirect selection process in regional parliaments. Since then, the country has been engaged by the decision, and civil society groups have readied themselves…

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In The News

Proposed Bill to Eliminate Indonesia’s Direct Elections Puts Price on Democracy

September 24, 2014

In what is yet another significant twist in this fascinating election year in Indonesia, the country’s national legislature (DPR) will vote today on a hastily cobbled bill that aims to eliminate over 500 direct local elections. Following heralded national elections in April and July and a decade of direct local elections, this bill has surfaced like a sudden malady afflicting Indonesia’s electoral democracy. Here is a brief diagnosis of this disorder as well as a prognosis for recovery.

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In The News

Khmer Rouge Sentence a Milestone, but Cambodia’s Justice System Remains Fragile

September 3, 2014

The Extraordinary Chambers in the Court of Cambodia last month sentenced two former senior Khmer Rouge leaders to life in prison for crimes against humanity. The Khmer Rouge’s 88-year-old chief ideologist and No. 2 leader, Nuon Chea, and its 83-year-old former head-of-state, Kheiu Samphan…

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In The News

Elections Boost Trust in Indonesia’s Constitutional Court

September 3, 2014

On August 21, millions of Indonesian voters watched live as the Constitutional Court Chief Judge, Hamdan Zoelva, read the conclusion of the Court’s 300-page decision of the 2014 presidential election results dispute. The court rejected on all counts the challenge from presidential and vice presidential candidate, Prabowo Subianto and Hatta Rajasa…

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In The News

Minorities within the Minority: Indigenous Communities in the Bangsamoro

August 6, 2014

In March this year, a major milestone passed in the 40-year effort to end hostilities in the Philippines between the national government and Muslim separatist fronts. The government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) signed a Comprehensive…

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