IN BRIEF: Rule of Law News from Around the World

European Union: For years, European Union (EU) institutions have been charged with a democratic deficit, falling short on practicing those same democratic principles they claim to promote. VoteWatch Europe has developed new approaches to improving transparency and engagement around the EU’s previously obscure, decision-making processes.

Libya: For the fifth time in less than three months violence has been directed against the ICRC in the cities of Misrata and Benghazi. The organization strongly condemned acts committed against its staff and its premises.

Mali: The crisis in the north of Mali has allowed drug trafficking to flourish. Until 2008, and due to its landlocked nature, narco-traffickers had largely ignored the Malian route to Europe. However, the country has increasingly become a transit hub for the international trafficking of narcotics emanating from Latin American drug cartels.

Mali: On 29 and 30 July, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) visited 79 Malian military personnel held by the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) in the Tinzaouatène area of north-eastern Mali. In its capacity as a neutral intermediary, the ICRC has committed to assisting in the transfer of a detainee released for health reasons, who will be handed over to the Malian authorities.

Malta: A documentary film, When You Hear My Voice, looks at the restorative effect of Shakespeare and literacy in Maltese prisons. It tells the story of a multinational collection of young offenders from Malta prison, on a personal journey of discovery; realizing their talents, developing their self-esteem and finding new connections with each other.

South Africa: An article from the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) looks at how disclosure can change a culture of corruption. In South Africa, weak oversight mechanisms mean that public access to information is critical. Declaration of interests and assets is one example of a preventative anti-corruption tool. However, perhaps even more important than the declaration of interests is the monitoring and oversight thereof.

South Sudan: The U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) is providing start-up funding and advisory support for the Sudd Institute, a new, independent policy research organization based in the South Sudanese capital of Juba.

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