Posts tagged ‘Corruption’

Corruption of Waldo: Where in the world is President Umaru Yar’Adua

The Nigerian president, Umaru Yar’Adua, has been away from his country since November 2009.  No one has seen him. The official line is that he is in Saudi Arabia receiving treatment for an undisclosed illness. On January 12th 2010, he finally acknowledged his countrymen’s concern by calling BBC radio to make a brief public statement to prove that he was not yet beyond death’s door. On January 13th, a federal court declared that Vice President Goodluck Jonathan can perform all presidential duties while the president is away. However, the judgement is ambiguous: Jonathan’s new role lends him no substantive constitutional authority to be acting president, except that transmitted to him by the president.

What has been most bewildering about the president’s absence is the subtle yet apparent lack of leadership that continues to cloud Africa’s most populated nation. Legally, the January 13th ruling was supposed to put the country back on track. Yet, the judgement has  failed to soothe tempers. As recently as January 27th 2010, the Nigerian cabinet and Senate continue to be at odds regarding who is governing their country. The question seems to remain: how do we account for the governing activity from November 2009 to now? In particular, what of the 2010 budget that is being negotiated in the president’s absence? It is true that in the time Yar’Adua has been away,…

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Last Week in International Law

1. Prosecutor v. Karadzic

Proceedings against Radovan Karadzic began on October 28, 2009, despite the accused’s refusal to attend court. The case was supposed to start on October 26 but Karadzic, who is representing himself, asked for at least eight more months to prepare his case. The court gave him 24 hours to change his mind. After he failed to appear on Tuesday, judges ordered the Prosecution to open its case and warned Karadzic to appear in court or risk having counsel assigned to him and being tried in absentia.

For more information, see the Reuters article or our own Lee Rovinescu’s analysis of the situation.

2. R. v. Munyaneza

On October 29, 2009, Justice André Denis of the Quebec Superior Court handed down a life sentence to Désiré Munyaneza, the Rwandan genocidaire who helped organize and perpetrate the mass-murder of Tutsis in the Butare area. On May 22, 2009, Justice Denis found Munyaneza guilty of two counts of genocide, two counts of crimes against humanity and three counts of war crimes. Having concluded that the killings were premeditated, Justice Denis held that Munyaneza would not be eligible for parole for 25 years.

Munyaneza was the first person to be charged under Canada’s Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act. The Act incorporates universal jurisdiction, allowing Canada to prosecute any individual present…

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