Global Legal Monitor (GLM)
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(Jan. 05, 2009) On December 16, 2008, the United Nations Security Council adopted its fourth resolution since June on combating piracy off Somalia's coast. Unlike the others, however, the latest resolution "empowers states combating piracy to conduct operations on land in Somalia." (UN Empowers Land Operations Against Somali Pirates, AFP, Dec. 17, 2008, available at http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/
The unanimous Resolution 1851 was co-sponsored by Belgium, France, Greece, Liberia, and South Korea. It gives states and regional organizations battling piracy off Somalia's coast one year to act against the pirates inside Somalia, authorizing them to "undertake all necessary measures 'appropriate in Somalia' to interdict those using Somali territory to plan, facilitate or undertake such acts." (Press Release, U.N. Security Council, Security Council Authorizes States to Use Land-Based Operations in Somalia, as Part of Fight Against Piracy off Coast, Unanimously Adopting 1851 (2008), SC9541 (Dec. 16, 2008), available at http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2008/sc9541.doc.htm; AFP, supra; U.N. Security Council, Resolution 1851 (2008) (Dec. 16, 2008), S/RES/1851 (2008), available at http://consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cmsUpload/N0865501.pdf.)
- Author: Wendy Zeldin
- Topic: Piracy More on this topic
- Jurisdiction: United Nations More about this jurisdiction
(Jan. 05, 2009) On November 27, 2008, the Iraqi Parliament approved the Status-of-Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the United States. SOFA calls for the withdrawal of the American forces from Iraqi cities by July 30, 2009, and from the entire country by 2011, with the exception of some elements of the U.S. Special Forces that will remain to train the Iraqi army.
The purpose of SOFA is to define the legal status of the U.S. military presence in Iraq. It regulates an array of issues between the two countries, including the duration of stay and the nature of activities of the American troops. It addresses the rights and responsibilities of the U.S. forces operating in Iraq in terms of the criminal and civil liabilities of these troops. SOFA also discusses customs and taxes imposed on troops; currency exchange; the carrying of weapons; when and where the American soldiers must wear their uniforms; the entry and exit procedures for military, civilians, and other American personnel; the movement of equipment in and out of Iraq; the movement of American military vehicles; and the ownership of properties used by American troops. (Iraqis Welcome the Parliament's Approval of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) [in Arabic], AL SABAAH, Nov. 28, 2008, available at http://www.alsabaah.com/paper.php?source=akbar&mlf=interpage&sid=73880 [via Firefox or IE 7.0 or higher].)
In addition, SOFA outlines the circumstances under which American civilian and military personnel would be subjected to the Iraqi judicial system. Under article 12 of SOFA, the United States only has jurisdiction over its civilian and military personnel while they are working inside the American military bases. However, if an American individual committed a felony outside the American military facility while off duty, this individual would be tried by an Iraqi criminal court. Further, the agreement allows U.S. military personnel the use of any type of weapon during their operations, with the exception of weapons of mass destruction. Article 7 of SOFA prohibits the use of any chemical, nuclear, radiological, or biological weapons on Iraqi soil. (Agreement Between the United States of America and the Republic of Iraq on the Withdrawal of United States Forces from Iraq and the Organization of Their Activities During Their Temporary Presence in Iraq [text in Arabic], AL SABAAH, http://www.alsabaah.com/name/agreement.pdf (last visited Dec. 22, 2008).)
- Author: George Sadek
- Topic: War More on this topic
- Jurisdiction: Iraq / United States More about this jurisdiction
(Jan. 05, 2009) January 1, 2009, marks the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the EU common currency, the euro, which was instituted six months after the establishment of the European Central Bank. The Bank introduced the banknotes and coins in 2002.
In addition, on January 1, 2009, Slovakia becomes the 16th EU Member to join the euro zone. The exchange rate of euros to Slovakian currency, is 30.1260 Slovak korunas to the euro.
Commercial banks in Slovakia received the banknotes and coins back in September 2008. These were further distributed to businesses and shops in preparation for payments and return change to be made in euros beginning in January 2009. The Government of Slovakia, assisted by the European Commission, launched a large informational campaign to assist citizens with the change. Since August 24, 2008, the prices of goods have been listed in both euros and korunas. Such a display is mandatory until January 1, 2010. The National Bank of Slovakia and many commercial banks stayed open on New Year's Day 2009 to facilitate the changeover.
Commission President Jose-Manuel Barroso commented that "joining the euro will place Slovakia at the economic and political heart of Europe, less than five years after joining the European Union. This is a superb achievement and I look forward enormously to welcoming all Slovakians into the euro area." (Press Release, IP/08/2061, Europa Rapid, In Less Than Three Days Slovakia Adopts the Euro; Euro Turns 10 (Dec. 29, 2008), available at http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/08/2061&language=EN.)
- Author: Theresa Papademetriou
- Topic: Currency and Coins More on this topic
- Jurisdiction: European Union More about this jurisdiction
(Jan. 05, 2009) The Government of Sri Lanka has taken steps to cut the cost of living for its citizens and strengthen the economy. They were announced in a special Cabinet meeting called by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on December 30, 2008. The budgets of all state institutions are to be cut by five percent, and the expense allowances for the Prime Minister and the President will be reduced by 15 percent. Members of Parliament in Sri Lanka are given housing allowances; these will be cut in half. The prices of various types of fuels, including gasoline, diesel, and kerosene, are to be reduced as well; the price cuts range from Rs10 to Rs276 per liter, depending on the product involved (about US$0.09 to 2.42). In addition, a coupon system will be created for those who operate three-wheeled vehicles. The operators will be entitled to purchase up to four liters of petrol for each such vehicle owned at an Rs20-reduced price, up to 75 liters per operator every month. (Sri Lanka Government Reduces Allowances for Legislators, Slashes Fuel Prices, COLOMBOPAGE NEWS DESK, Dec. 30, 2008, available at http://www.colombopage.com/archive_08/December30191904CH.html.)
The Government has also taken steps to aid two important industries, tea and rubber, including the establishment of price guarantees. A price of Rs45 per kilogram has been set for tea and of Rs150 per kilogram for rubber. Furthermore, tea growers are now entitled to a subsidy for the purchase of fertilizer, and the tax on rubber imports has been increased to 15 percent. (Id.)
- Author: Constance Johnson
- Topic: Government Employees More on this topic
- Jurisdiction: Sri Lanka More about this jurisdiction
(Jan. 05, 2009) On November 25, 2008, the Peruvian Congress amended existing laws to provide greater protections for victims of domestic violence. Law No. 29282, enacted after the incorporation of observations submitted by President Alan Garcia Perez, amends the Criminal Code and the revised text of Law No. 26260 on protection from domestic violence. The new Law defines domestic violence and prohibits members of the Peruvian National Police from promoting or entering into any kind of conciliatory agreement in situations involving domestic violence. It also states that it is the duty of the police to inform those accused of domestic violence of their rights and to display in a visible place information on the rights of victims and the services provided to victims free of charge by the State.
Article 4 specifies measures of immediate protection. The measures adopted at the request of the victim or by order of the prosecutor include, among others: (1) removal of the aggressor from the domicile; (2) prohibition of the aggressor from communicating with or getting close to the victim in any manner; (3) temporary suspension of visits; (4) taking of an inventory of assets; (5) suspension of the aggressor's right to possess and carry weapons; and (6) other immediate protective measures guaranteeing the physical, psychological, and moral integrity of the victim. For the execution of these measures, the prosecutor may request the assistance of the police, if necessary. He may also request the detention of the aggressor before a competent criminal judge, who must act within 24 hours.
Article 5 deals with treatment that the victim, the victim's family, and the aggressor may receive. Article 7 specifies the evidentiary value of medical certificates. Articles 9 through 13 amend specified articles of the Criminal Code concerning aggravated forms of domestic violence, including cases where minors are victims, and serious, culpable, or false claims of injury. (Ley No. 29282, Nov. 25, 2008, EL PERUANO [the official gazette] (Nov. 27, 2008), available at http://www.congreso.gob.pe/ntley/Imagenes/Leyes/29282.pdf.)
- Author: Dario Ferreira
- Topic: Domestic Violence More on this topic
- Jurisdiction: Peru More about this jurisdiction