Region-Building: Common Objectives Part 3

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INTEGRATED REGIONAL COURTS, TRIBUNALS, PARLIAMENTS
AFRICAN UNION:
Pan-African Parliament seeks to Strengthen Linkages with National Parliaments in Africa
StarAfrica, August 30, 2012 – The Clerk of the Pan-African Parliament, Adv. Zwelethu Madasa, in his presentation to the meeting said that the Protocol establishing the PAP was still under review by the African Union Member States. This is to establish how the Pan-African Parliament can be transformed from its current advisory and consultative position into a full legislative body.
Blocs seek to emulate EAC regional assembly – The Citizen (Tanzania), August 30, 2012 – Some regional economic blocs in Africa have shown desire to transform their legislative bodies into Assemblies with legislative powers, it was disclosed here yesterday. They want to copy the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) model which is the only regional Parliament in the continent out of the seven with legislative powers.
East African Court of Justice opens sub-registries in member countries – Afrique en Ligue, August 8, 2012 – The EACJ, established in November 2001, is one of the EAC organs and its major responsibility is to ensure adherence to law in the interpretation and application of and compliance with the EAC Treaty….Decisions of the Court on the interpretation and application of the Treaty take precedence over decisions of national courts on similar matters.
War Crimes Court for Africa? – AllAfrica, July 13, 2012 – The African Union’s Human Rights Commission seated in Banjul, The Gambia could be used as Africa’s War Crimes Court in trying those accused of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity on the continent.
Analysis: How close is an African criminal court?
– IRIN News, June 13, 2012 – The long-running spat between the African Union (AU) and International Criminal Court (ICC) over perceived bias has prompted the AU to push ahead with plans to form its own Africa-wide criminal court, but analysts believe the move could complicate, rather than enhance, international justice.
Pan-African parliament choses new president
– Press TV, May 29, 2012 – So far, the Pan-African parliament has only enjoyed consultative and advisory powers….The new president admits the step to achieve legislative powers is one of his biggest challenges….The Pan-African Parliament is hopeful a tangible step in this direction will be taken at the African Union Heads of State meeting in Malawi in July.
AFRICA: THE HAGUE COURT – TIME CONTINENT STANDS UP TO EUROPE
– AllAfrica, May 15, 2012 – There is also a strong perception that the ICC was set to deal with “errant” Africans whose existence threatened the hegemonic influence of the superpowers in their scramble for African resources….In the same way that the African Union refused to recognise the arrest warrant issued for Sudanese President al-Bashir, the African continent must refuse to recognise such a kangaroo court whose agenda is simply to dehumanise Africans in the same manner that slavery did to our fore fathers. The most plausible way forward is for the African Union to actualise its African court as stipulated in its Constitutive Act.
ECOWAS submits draft Act to enhance powers of parliament – Nigerian Tribune, August 1, 2012 – The Speaker of ECOWAS [Economic Commission of West African States] Parliament, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who submitted the Act, regretted that the commission’s Parliament was the only supranational parliament with solid structure and prospects of transforming into a full legislative body throughout the African continent. He informed that at the time of its inception in 2000, it had remained a mere consultative and advisory parliament, whereas other regional parliaments it predated had either gained legislative powers or about doing so.
AU court seeks to expand jurisdiction – Zimbabwe Independent, July 20, 2012 – The African Union’s African Court on Human and People’s Rights judge president Gerard Niyungeko has revealed that the institution wants to expand its jurisdiction to criminal matters in a manner similar to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to address its challenges.
The EAC Treaty has the force of law in Uganda – New Vision (Uganda), July 25, 2012 – First, the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community provides for general undertaking as to implementation. In particular, Article 8(4) provides that Community organs, institutions and laws shall take precedence over similar national ones on matters pertaining to the implementation of this treaty.

ARAB LEAGUE:
Qatar calls for pan-Arab legal system – ArabianBusiness, March 1, 2012 – Addressing a meeting of Arab attorneys in Cairo, Qatar’s attorney general Dr Ali Bin Futais Al Merri….proposed giving the Arab League secretary general the power to set up a commission that prepares an Arab plan for the independence of the judicial system, which he said should be presented to the ministerial council of the Arab League and later to the Arab summit conference for approval.
Joint Arab action call – Gulf Daily News (Bahrain), Jan. 16, 2012 – Bahrain’s leaders have called for the need to activate joint Arab action and consolidate co-operation, especially in the political, economic and social fields. His Majesty King Hamad stressed the Arab League’s role in promoting Arab unity….He also hailed the royal initiative calling for the establishment of an Arab Human Rights Tribunal.

EURASIAN UNION:
Eurasec Court to hear first case – BSR Russia, June 29, 2012 – The court of Post-Soviet economic bloc EurAsEC will hear its first ever economic dispute on Tuesday….Experts quoted by the paper say the lawsuit aims to draw attention to economically unjustified administrative barriers in trade between the EurAsEC member states, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. South Kuzbass is challenging some provisions of a decision by the Customs Union Commission, later renamed into the Eurasian Economic Commission, obliging companies exporting coal from Russia to file customs declarations.
Putin wants to discuss the creation of the Parliament of EurAsEC
– Charter ’97 (Belarus), May 29, 2012 – The parliament will be formed at the Eurasian Economic Union and then the Eurasian Union.
Eurasian Parliament might be created in near future
– TVR (Belarus), May 18, 2012 – So far there are two options – either it will be the Eurasian Assembly consisting of already elected MPs of the three countries, or an institution similar to the European Parliament with direct elections and fairly broad powers…. The Belarusian speaker Vladimir Andreichenko confirmed that today the attendees discussed the “parliamentary dimension.” According to him, the Eurasian Union will be formed in 2015.

NORTH AMERICA:
Review of U.S. Rulings by Nafta Tribunals Stirs Worries – New York Times, April 18, 2004 – T]he tribunal declared a Mississippi court’s judgment at odds with international law, leaving the United States government potentially liable for hundreds of millions of dollars…. “This is the biggest threat to United States judicial independence that no one has heard of and even fewer people understand,” said John D. Echeverria, a law professor at Georgetown University…. The availability of this additional layer of review, above even the United States supreme Court, is a significant development, legal scholars said….The tribunals have the potential to upset the settled American constitutional order.

UNASUR:
Andean Legislators discussed the creation of a South American Parliament
MSN.Latino News, August 27, 2012 (Google translation) – The Union of South American Nations (Unasur), composed of the twelve South American countries, has ministerial councils and presidents, but not an entity at the legislative level.
Ecuador has a plan for creating a UNASUR criminal court – BBC News, June 7, 2012 – Ecuador on Wednesday unveiled a project to create an international criminal tribunal of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), according to the agency Efe.
A CRIMINAL COURT FOR UNASUR
– Radio Netherlands Worldwide – Latin America (Google translation), May 25, 2012 – Steps [are being taken] to accelerate the creation of an International Criminal Court in the field of UNASUR. This is demonstrated by various actions taken by the representatives of the bloc countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Support creation of UNASUR Criminal Court to fight drug trafficking
– Andina (Peru), June 2, 2012 (Google Translation) – [Peru Attorney General] Jose Pelaez Bardales, considered [it] important to create an International Criminal Court at the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) to combat drug trafficking in the region….He added that it would be necessary to establish a treaty involving legal procedures to be followed by states that choose to participate in the International Court and, finally, define the jurisdiction that such court shall have all the territory of UNASUR.

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