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UK changes Ministerial Code removing expectation for ministers to resign for breaches – JURIST

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The UK government published a policy document on Friday outlining the revisions to the Ministerial Code, a set of guidelines for the conduct of its ministers. The changes relax the consequences for minor breaches of the code and expand the role of the independent adviser, a person appointed by the executive responsible for advising the prime minister on breaches of the code. Before the reissue of the code, ministers were expected to resign following any breach of the code. . But now, according to a report by Parliament’s Committee on Standards in Public Life, the government has decided that “it is disproportionate to expect that any breach, however minor, will automatically lead to resignation or dismissal.” Instead, the consequences could only include “some form of public apology, corrective action, or removal of ministerial salary for a period.” In justifying the revisions, the statement cites the need to prevent abuse of the code by those who would make “trivial” accusations for partisan motives. In addition, the government will now allow the independent adviser to launch investigations into possible breaches of the code, a power previously reserved for the prime minister. Still, however, any decision on which sanctions to impose is ultimately left to the prime minister. The new reviews have caused a stir in light of the latest findings against Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his cabinet. Following the conclusion of a police investigation that resulted in numerous fines, including one against the Prime Minister himself, senior civil servant Sue Gray released her full report on Wednesday into Downing Street’s conduct during the COVID-19-related lockdowns, detailing the numerous parties and gatherings he organized. Although Johnson has accepted “full responsibility” for the parties, he announced last week that he has no plans to resign.

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UN Fact Finding Mission reports serious human rights violations in Libya – JURIST

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The UN Independent Fact Finding Mission (IFFM) on Libya reported Wednesday that Libyan authorities have committed crimes against humanity, war crimes and serious human rights violations under international law. The FFM was formed in June 2020 to document human rights violations in Libya and to ensure that those responsible are held accountable. FFM conducted 103 interviews with victims and witnesses during its investigation. FFM documented 27 places of detention in the eastern and western parts of Libya and reported that migrants were subjected to the “systematic use of prolonged arbitrary detention”, including the detention of thousands of migrants in secret and extra-legal prisons. The report highlights the atrocities of women facing sexual violence by human smugglers and smugglers for extorting money from their families and documents more cases of rape in places of detention or captivity in which migrant women are forced to have sex. to survive, in exchange for food or other essential goods. articles.FFM with the use of UNOSAT satellite image-based analysis documented the atrocities during the reign of the Al-Kaniyat militia in Tarhuna, Tripolitania region, and reported the discovery of new uncovered mass graves.Mohammad Aujjar, president of the FFM He said: The mission calls on the international community to support the relevant Libyan authorities in conducting prompt investigations, in accordance with international standards, into the alleged violations and bringing those responsible to justice. The goal is to end the prevailing impunity in the face of clear and persistent patterns of serious human rights violations, in many cases perpetrated by militia groups… Now more than ever, the Libyan people need a strong commitment to help bring peace and justice to his country, and establish a state based on the rule of law and human rights. The FFM published its first report on Libya in October 2022, and then published a follow-up report in March 2022.

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Two more charged for the death of 53 migrants in Texas – JURIST

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US authorities on Wednesday charged two additional suspects in the deaths of several dozen immigrants whose bodies were discovered in a truck in San Antonio, Texas, on Monday. These latest charges are in addition to charges filed Tuesday against two men suspected of involvement in the incident. The San Antonio Police Department discovered a truck carrying about 100 immigrants across the border on Monday. Piles of bodies were found inside the truck with the remaining victims collapsed next to it. In total, 39 men and 12 women died in the incident. Charges were filed Wednesday against the alleged truck driver, Homero Zamorano, as well as an alleged co-conspirator, Christian Martinez. Zamorano was charged with one count of alien smuggling resulting in death, while Martinez was charged with a single count of conspiracy to transport illegal immigrants. Given the incident’s status as the deadliest migrant smuggling incident on record in the United States, the US Department of Justice announced that if the defendants are convicted, they will face life in prison or capital punishment. Due to the incident, Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott told reporters at a Wednesday news conference that the state will immediately begin additional truck checkpoints like the one found in San Antonio to prevent a recurrence. a similar tragedy.

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Columbia Truth Commission publishes final report on six decades of conflict – JURIST

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The Commission for the Clarification of Truth, Coexistence and Non-Repetition (Truth Commission) of Colombia presented its final report on the prolonged Colombian conflict on Wednesday, reporting that approximately 450,664 people were killed in a period of almost six decades. The Truth Commission was established by a peace agreement (2016) between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). It was established to document human rights abuses and highlight the causes of the conflict. The 900-page report included 30,000 interviews with people ranging from soldiers to five former Colombian presidents. The report states that the consequences of the conflict are “massive and intolerable” and that the non-combatant civilian population, especially the ethnic population, was the most affected during the conflict. The report also highlights that “of every ten people killed violently in the armed conflict-eight were civilians”, and documents that the number of disappeared is around 121,768, which represents 90% of civilian casualties. The statistics highlighted in the report indicate that 50,000 people were kidnapped between 1990 and 2018; More than 7 million people fled their homes; 34,000 children were forcibly recruited by the guerrillas; and 56,000 civilians were killed by the Colombian armed forces, including 6,300 people killed in remote areas. The Truth Commission recognized US financial support, recommended changing the framework of Colombia’s armed and police forces, and advised authorities to reassess military targets. The report also suggested separating the National Police from the Ministry of Defense. Furthermore, the report urged the Colombian government to repeal its militarized approach to drug policy and reformulate drug policy in coordination with the US and create a new framework to move from a prohibitionist perspective towards legal regulation. Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, supported the Truth Commission report and said: I want to pay tribute to the Colombian Truth Commission at a historic moment by presenting its final report today. I would also like to pay tribute to the victims, whose courage and persistence were the basis for the creation of the Commission… The work of the Truth Commission has highlighted the causes of the conflict and exposed its painful reality. Without truth, reconciliation is not possible. Without reconciliation, the risk of repetition remains real.

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