In December 1918, two women, Countess Constance Markievicz and Winifred Carney, ran for election on the island of Ireland and one, Markievicz, was elected. While this marked a significant milestone, what happened politically in the coming years was more important for the position of Irish women in the Irish Free State, and on into the Irish Republic. Initially, there was a sense of hope. The promise of female franchise and equality for women had been included in the 1916 Proclamation, and again in the Democratic Programme for Movement 1919, which included the desire that the country be “ruled in accordance with the principles of Liberty, Equality, and Justice for all”. In the local elections of 1920, 43 women were elected, while in the 1921 general election, five additional women TDs joined Markievicz in the second Dáil: Kathleen Clarke, Kate O’Callaghan, Margaret Pearse, Ada English and Mary MacSwiney. All were members of Sinn Féin. Between then and the … [Read more...] about Was 1918 a false dawn for Irish women?
Necessity criminal law
New terror laws proposed by the government may violate human rights and undermine freedom of speech, MPs have warned. The Joint Committee on Human Rights called for three clauses of the controversial Counter Terrorism and Border Security Bill to be deleted and gave a total of 27 amendments. Peers and MPs said the first clause, which would make statements deemed supportive of a banned group illegal, restricted free speech and could criminalise “valid debates” on what organisations should be banned. They said the clause should be deleted or significantly amended, alongside a proposal to make accessing terrorist material online on just one occasion a criminal offence punishable by up to 15 years in prison. “The Committee believes that this is a breach of the right to receive information and remain concerned that this offence risks criminalising legitimate research and curiosity,” their report on the new laws stated. The government insists that … [Read more...] about Proposed terror laws could ‘violate human rights and infringe freedom of speech’, MPs tell government
The Russian Lower House has passed, in the second and main reading, a bill criminalizing the persistent spreading of false or illegal reports in mass media with punishments varying from heavy fines to up to one year in custody. The bill outlawing the spreading of fake news was drafted in May by several lawmakers from parliamentary majority party United Russia. The sponsors of the motion explained its necessity by the fact that the existing legal measures often prove to be ineffective against liars and slanderers – even when they get a court order to delete and refute false information they can easily ignore it and simply pay the relatively small fines (between 1000 and 5000 rubles or $14 to $74). Read more Lawmakers stated that, in their opinion, such a situation was a violation of basic constitutional guarantees of citizens’ personal rights. Once the new bill is passed into law the same offence would be prosecuted under criminal law. The punishment for refusing to … [Read more...] about Russian Duma gives second nod to bill criminalizing the spreading of fake news
Hundreds of Romanian magistrates held a silent protest in support of an independent judiciary in capital Bucharest on Sunday (16 September) after a slew of legal changes by the ruling Social Democrats in one of the European Union’s most corrupt states. Since taking power last year, the party has embarked on a process to overhaul the judiciary and change legislation to decriminalise several graft offences. Several party members, including leader Liviu Dragnea, are under investigation or on trial for corruption. Romania’s National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) has charged Liviu Dragnea, the leader of the ruling Social Democrat Party (PSD), on suspicion of forming a ‘criminal group’ to funnel European Union funds, after an investigation by the EU’s anti-corruption body OLAF. Justice Minister Tudorel Toader pushed through the dismissal of chief anti-corruption prosecutor Laura Codruța Kövesi earlier this year and is currently reviewing the … [Read more...] about Romanian magistrates rally to support rule of law
''Have you ever drawn lots, not knowing but guessing the cards? And when you find these cards within a story of the other, you have to choose either 'yes' or 'no' ''… These are the first lines of Kristiina Ehin's song ''A waltz of fate''. Many prosecutors have experienced this very feeling when in the early 21st century, the Prosecutor's Office in Estonia became responsible for communication in pre-trial criminal proceedings. Having no idea how the media functions, and remembering anecdotes from the '90s, when the reporting of crimes to the public was actually a Police duty, suddenly, it had become paramount to decide which direction to take. Major changes took place back when prosecutors started directing pre-trial proceedings. In that respect, the legislator predictably considered prosecutors to be a bridge between the operational police and the independent courts of justice, who fulfill an open state obligation and supply the public with information in such a way that ensures … [Read more...] about Opinion: Prosecutor General on criminal proceedings and public interest