IN BRIEF: Rule of Law News from Around the World

Afghanistan: Kathleen Kuehnast discusses what gender violence means for Afghan women.

Africa: Sexual refugees – those persecuted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, are unable to access asylum, either because they are unaware they can claim this or officials do not recognize the claim.

Arab Spring: Oliver Roy discusses the unique qualities and assumptions within the transformation of the Arab Spring, including the new relationship between democracy and religion in the region. In addition, RAND discusses that democracy hasn’t been created yet, but it is still possible.

Europe: the European Court of Human Rights issued a new ruling that illustrates a pragmatic approach to prisoner voting rights, according to the Open Society Foundation.

European Union: the EU Strategic Framework and Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy was released – with commentators noting that it missed a chance to address victims rehabilitation from torture.

Iran: New reports raise concerns about Iranian political prisons – namely that they are suffering deteriorating health in prison.

Israel: the UN Special Rapporteur condemned Israel’s use of solitary confinement against Palestinian Children.

Kenya: Election-related violence and the displacement of people are regular occurrences in Kenya, and thousands of families are affected by it every five years. But a bill tabled in parliament on 13 June seeks to compel the government to protect internally displaced persons (IDPs).

Libya: Elections for the Constituent Assembly are widely regarded as credible and decently run. Both the Carter Center and Dan Serwer discuss in more details.

Nigeria: Al-Jazeera discusses whether the conflict is religious or political.

Sierra Leone: With the dual land tenure system, overlapping and confusing systems from colonial era and customary norms, there is confusion about land rights for women.

South Sudan: The government of South Sudan signed onto the 1949 Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols on July 16.

South Sudan: High mortality during child birth is a serious threat to women. IRIN has a new video focusing on developments aiming to improve medical care.

Syria: The ICRC notes that conditions for civilians in Damascus and other parts of Syria are worsening.

United Kingdom: Can defendants have true access to justice if they don’t understand and engage in the trial? New commentary on what the criminal justice system needs to do to support those struggling to communication fluently with the court or follow the court process.

Yemen: the Government passed the strongest Right to Information Law in the Arab World on July 1, and 17th in the world.

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