Law, Crime, and Law Enforcement

Law, Crime, and Law Enforcement
▪ 2006

Trials of former heads of state, U.S. Supreme Court rulings on eminent domain and the death penalty, and high-profile cases against former executives of large corporations were leading legal and criminal issues in 2005.

International Law
      On Oct. 19, 2005, the trial of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein began. The Iraqi Special Tribunal had been established by the United States in 2003, when Iraq was first under U.S. military occupation. The initial case against Saddam and several of his top officials centred on the 1982 execution of more than 140 men and teenage boys in Dujail, a mostly Shiʿite town 56 km (35 mi) north of Baghdad. An estimated 300,000 Iraqis, mostly Shiʿites and Kurds, were killed by Saddam's regime. Human rights groups expressed concern about the tribunal and what many perceived to be the impossibility that Saddam would receive a fair trial, and Saddam's chief strategy was to challenge the legitimacy of the tribunal. The trial resumed on November 28 for a few hours, was recessed, and resumed December 5 to 7 and December 21 to 22, when it was again recessed until Jan. 24, 2006.

The International Court of Justice.
      The International Court of Justice (ICJ) dismissed Liechtenstein's case against Germany regarding confiscation of the principality's property following World War II. The court held that it had no jurisdiction because the states had not given the ICJ jurisdiction over their disputes in 1945. It also dismissed a case brought by Serbia and Montenegro against NATO stemming from the NATO air campaign that brought an end to the Serbian conflict with Kosovo. The court found that Serbia and Montenegro did not have standing to sue because former Yugoslavia was not an official member of the United Nations or the ICJ when it initiated the case in 1999.

      Ruling on a dispute between Niger and Benin, the court determined that the island of Létè Goungou in the Niger River belonged to the former. In September Costa Rica brought suit against Nicaragua for navigational rights of the San Juan River. In a nod to the advisory opinion handed down by the ICJ in 2004, the Israeli Supreme Court said that the security wall that Israel was building in the West Bank must not run through five Arab villages that were threatened to be divided by the structure; earlier the ICJ had stated that the wall stood in violation of international law.

International Tribunals and Special Courts.
      At the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) at the end of 2004, the lawyers representing former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic, upon his initiative, had asked to be removed from the case; the judges denied the request, and Milosevic continued to serve as his own primary counsel. In March the ICTY indicted Ramush Haradinaj, the prime minister of Kosovo, who resigned in order to face trial. The Bosnian war crimes court still had 1,000 cases pending. While prosecutions of major war criminals continued at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), a network of 12,000 traditional community courts called gacaca was established in Rwanda to alleviate the burden on the ICTR. These local courts were charged with reviewing charges against about 63,000 people implicated in the 1994 genocide.

      In May the United Nations closed its special prosecution unit investigating crimes committed during East Timor's 1999 struggle for independence from Indonesia. More than 600 cases were left pending, including an indictment of General Wiranto, the former head of the Indonesian armed forces.

      Several countries besides Iraq had established special domestic courts to try persons charged with human rights abuses. Problems beset these courts, however. In Sierra Leone there was a shortage of funding for its tribunal, and in Cambodia similar money problems, coupled with concerns over fairness, hampered progress in trying leaders from the Khmer Rouge era. The UN Security Council called upon Burundi to establish a special court to prosecute war crimes associated with the decades of civil war in that country.

The International Criminal Court.
      During 2005 the International Criminal Court (ICC) investigated war crimes in The Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and Uganda. The ICC began pretrial hearings into abuses in the DRC. In February the UN issued a report that described war crimes—but not genocide—in the Darfur region of The Sudan. In March the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1593, which referred the ongoing conflict in Darfur to the ICC. The Sudan was not a signatory to the ICC, but under the Rome Statute charter for the ICC, the court's jurisdiction extended to investigation and prosecution of those responsible for severe human rights crimes when domestic governments were unwilling or unable to do so. The U.S. abstained on the 11–0 Security Council vote on the resolution. The Security Council submitted a list of 51 Sudanese suspects to the ICC for investigation. Following this international pressure, in June The Sudan established its own special court to try those accused of war crimes in Darfur. Human rights groups expressed concern about the impartiality of such courts and the desire and ability of The Sudan to bring the perpetrators of the human rights abuses to justice.

      In October the ICC unsealed its indictments of war criminals in Uganda. Rebel leader Joseph Kony and his Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) were accused of gross human rights violations during the 19-year war against the Ugandan government. Kony and his four top deputies, who were believed to be hiding in southern Sudan, were indicted. The Sudan gave the Ugandan army permission to enter the region to search for the LRA leaders.

Universal Jurisdiction.
      Universal jurisdiction is the policy of allowing courts in one country to judge human rights crimes committed in another, regardless of the nationality of the accused. In April Adolfo Scilingo, a former Argentine naval officer, was convicted in Spain of crimes against humanity for his role in the so-called Dirty War in Argentina in the 1970s. It was the first conviction under a Spanish law that allowed courts to prosecute crimes committed in other countries if they constituted violations of international law. A ruling in September by the Spanish Constitutional Court stated that universal jurisdiction over genocide and crimes against humanity was allowed in Spain and thereby overturned a Spanish Supreme Court decision that Spain's judiciary could deal only with crimes committed against Spanish citizens. The case was sparked by 1992 Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchú's request that Spain prosecute members of the Guatemalan government who were allegedly responsible for genocide and crimes against humanity during their 1978–86 rule.

      In July a British jury sentenced a former Afghan commander living in Great Britain to 20 years in a British prison for torture and hostage taking in Afghanistan during the Taliban rule. Two other Afghans, Heshamuddin Hesam and Habibulla Jalalzoy, faced Dutch war-crimes charges for their actions in Afghanistan during the 1980s. These cases were made possible by Dutch law making domestic law parallel international law, in this case the Geneva Conventions and the Convention Against Torture. The defendants had applied for political asylum in The Netherlands, were denied, but stayed anyway. The two men were high-ranking officials in the KhAD secret police. Both were convicted; Hesam was ordered to serve 12 years in prison and Jalalzoy to serve 9.

      In September a Belgian court issued an indictment and arrest warrant for former (1982–90) Chadian dictator Hissène Habré for crimes against humanity for his treatment of thousands of citizens. In 2003 under international pressure, especially from the United States, Belgium repealed its universal jurisdiction law. The Habré case, however, was allowed to continue because the investigation had already begun and three of the plaintiffs were Belgian citizens. Habré was arrested in Senegal on November 15 but later released. Senegal's Court of Appeals stated that it was not competent to rule on the matter and decided to turn the case over to the African Union summit in January 2006.

      Two international treaties took effect in 2005. The Kyoto Protocol on global warming, having been ratified by 140 countries following its negotiation in Japan in 1997, entered into force in February. The United Nations Convention Against Corruption became law in December, 90 days after ratification by the 30th signatory state. It had been signed by more than 100 countries and provided for international cooperation in the return of assets illicitly acquired by corrupt leaders as well as the institution of preventive measures to detect the plundering of national wealth as it occurred.

      In February in compliance with an ICJ ruling in a case known as Avena, in which the court determined that the U.S. was in violation of its obligations under the Vienna Convention to notify consular officials of the arrest of a foreign national, the administration of Pres. George W. Bush agreed to grant 51 Mexicans on death row in Texas new state court hearings. In March, however, President Bush withdrew the U.S. from the Vienna Convention's Optional Protocol Concerning the Compulsory Settlement of Disputes and thus rejected ICJ jurisdiction over future domestic death-penalty cases.

Victoria C. Williams

Court Decisions
      The 2004–05 term of the U.S. Supreme Court was the last term with Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist (Rehnquist, William Hubbs ), who died Sept. 3, 2005. (See Obituaries.) Rehnquist's death marked the end of a dozen years of institutional stability in which there had been no changes in the membership of the court. On September 29 the U.S. Senate confirmed John G. Roberts (Roberts, John G., Jr. ), a conservative judge on the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals, to succeed Rehnquist as chief justice of the United States. (See Biographies.)

      In the 2004–05 term the voting behaviour of the court as an institution remained centre-right, but the voting blocs had become considerably less stable than at any point in recent history. Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, who often voted together, took opposing sides in 12 cases, and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer—who were the only two Democratic-appointed justices—took opposite sides 11 times.

      By far the court's most controversial decision of the year was the ruling that concerned eminent domain in the case of Kelo v. City of New London. Although there was little debate over the authority of government to exercise eminent domain, questions had arisen regarding the constitutional provision of “public use.” Historically, governments claimed private property for public use in the furtherance of such things as bridge construction, highway development, and services in the public interest. Commerce, which was a corollary to economic vitality, had always been a concern in eminent domain cases, but in Kelo, New London, Conn., argued that the public-use provision could be satisfied via private economic development. Specifically, New London condemned private property as part of a municipal development plan and transferred it to the New London Development Corp., a private development company. Writing for the court in a 5–4 ruling, Justice John Paul Stevens upheld the city's action by arguing that “public purpose” was the functional equivalent of “public use” and that private economic development fostered by the government fell within the court's “traditionally broad understanding of public purpose.”

      In 2005 the U.S. Supreme Court refused to intervene in court rulings that concerned Terri Schiavo, a Florida resident who suffered severe brain damage in 1990 and was being sustained by means of a feeding tube. Asserting that it would have been her wish not to continue artificial life-prolonging procedures, her husband filed a petition in 1998 to authorize the removal of the feeding tube, but her parents insisted that her wish would be to live. After extensive court proceedings and appeals, the tube was removed March 18 by a county court order, and she died March 31. The case brought widespread attention to the issue of health care surrogates in cases such as Shiavo's in which a person became incapacitated and had not established an advance directive (living will) or a health care guardian.

      In the field of criminal law, the death penalty—once a dormant area of constitutional law—occupied centre stage and was addressed in three separate cases: Miller-El v. Dretke, Rompilla v. Beard, and Roper v. Simmons. In the first case the central question focused on the civil rights of a criminal defendant who had been convicted of murder almost 20 years earlier. The prosecutors in the original case had used peremptory (discretionary) challenges to exclude 10 of 11 African Americans summoned for jury duty. In overturning the conviction, the court reasoned that the jury-selection process had been rooted in racial discrimination and therefore compromised Miller-El's right to a fair trial. In Rompilla v. Beard the court again upheld the rights of the criminally accused and overturned the death sentence of Ronald Rompilla on the grounds of inadequate counsel. In the third and most compelling case, Roper v. Simmons, the court ruled 5–4 that the Constitution prohibited the death sentence for defendants under the age of 18. In raising the protective age for capital punishment from 16 to 18, the court overruled a precedent set only 16 years earlier. In a small but not uncommon act of obiter dicta (incidental observation), Justice Anthony M. Kennedy argued that the citizens of the nation and the world generally agreed that the sentencing option should be limited, especially when applied to juvenile defendants. This was the second time in as many years that Kennedy had appealed to the global community. In the 2003 case of Lawrence v. Texas (the landmark case that protected sexual orientation under the 14th Amendment's due process clause), he invoked a decision of the European Court of Human Rights.

      The court also addressed two cases of consequence for the civil liberties and civil rights of prisoners. In a 5–3 decision the court ruled in Johnson v. California that the state's policy of temporarily segregating new and transferred inmates by race was inherently suspect and that the deference that was commonly owed to prison administrators should not be afforded in light of apparently discriminatory policies and practices. In the case of Cutter v. Wilkinson, the court upheld the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, which required prison officials to satisfy the religious needs of inmates. Despite the arguments made on behalf of Reginald Wilkinson, the director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, the court ruled unanimously that the law did not violate the establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment.

      Two other cases dealt squarely with the establishment clause. In McCreary County v. American Civil Liberties Union and in Van Orden v. Perry, the court was asked to address, separately, questions that involved the display of the Ten Commandments on public property. At first glance a reasonable assumption would have been that the court would rule identically in the two cases, given their similarity. In the McCreary County case, the court ruled that framed displays of the Ten Commandments in two Kentucky courthouses constituted an endorsement of religion and therefore violated the establishment clause. In Van Orden v. Perry, however, the court ruled that a 1.8-m (6-ft) granite monolith that displayed the Ten Commandments on the grounds of the Texas State Capitol did not violate the clause. A pivotal matter in the rulings may have been the centrality of the Ten Commandments to the government buildings—framed in the courthouses in the first case and displayed among 17 monuments and 21 historical markers over a 9-ha (about 20-ac) site in the other. The cornerstone issue of establishing religious preferences was debated by Rehnquist and Stevens most clearly in the Van Orden case. Stevens, an establishment clause “separationist,” argued in his dissenting opinion that “[t]his Nation's resolute commitment to neutrality with respect to religion is flatly inconsistent with the plurality's wholehearted validation of an official state endorsement of the message that there is one, and only one, God.” Rehnquist, an establishment clause “accommodationist,” did not consider the monolith—or the courthouse displays, for that matter—any more an establishment of religion than the image on the frieze of the Supreme Court building that depicted Moses holding two tablets.

      In three cases that dealt with discrimination, the court extended constitutional protection to individuals in matters that concerned sex, age, and disabilities. Title IX was a well-known law that prohibited sex discrimination in schools. In 2005 the law was broadened in Jackson v. Birmingham Board of Education to include whistle-blower protection. Under the law, third parties who filed complaints of discrimination as well as those who were directly subjected to sex discrimination were now protected from retaliatory action by school officials. In Smith v. City of Jackson, the court broadened the scope of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act by ruling 5–3 that proof of intentional discrimination was not necessary to sustain a suit based upon age discrimination. By appropriating the theory of “disparate impact” to age and employment, employees did not have to prove discriminatory motivation or intent, only effect. With regard to individuals with disabilities, the court ruled 6–3 that the Americans with Disabilities Act applied to cruise ships that sailed under foreign flags and stopped at American ports. Absent a controlling doctrine of international law, the court in Spector v. Norwegian Cruise Line Ltd. decided that although the American government cannot compel foreign charters to make structural changes to vessels, passengers of cruise ships that stop at American ports were otherwise protected by the act.

      In a marginally related case that involved medical treatment for the ill, the court in Gonzales v. Raich upheld the authority of Congress to ban the use of medicinal marijuana and to prosecute those who violated the law. The law had a controlling effect even in the 11 states that had legalized the substance for medicinal purposes. Part of the irony of the case was that Stevens, the most liberal member of the bench, wrote the decision. Stevens's action was less concerned with marijuana than it was with the conflict between state laws and federal laws. As the court had moved to the ideological right and championed states' rights along the way, Stevens had sought to curtail what he perceived to be a subversion of federal authority by the states. As the final term of the Rehnquist era drew to a close, the legacy of states' rights had become less secure. The ultraconservative court that some had predicted and desired under Rehnquist never grew to fruition; instead, the centre-right position, dominated by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and joined by Republican appointees Justice David Souter and Justice Kennedy, held sway.

Brian Smentkowski


      Despite a bounty of $25 million on his head, Osama bin Laden continued to elude captors in 2005 as his radical Muslim al-Qaeda supporters and affiliated terror groups perpetrated new and lethal attacks. On July 7, during the morning rush hour in London, bomb explosions ripped through three subway trains and a double-decker bus in a coordinated assault that left 52 persons dead and 700 injured. Responsibility for the action was claimed by a group called the Group of al-Qaeda of Jihad Organization in Europe, which said that the assault was mounted to avenge British involvement in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

      London police revealed that the blasts were the work of four suicide bombers who had detonated explosives carried in backpacks. On July 21 four more would-be suicide bombers attempted a similar but unsuccessful attack on London's transport network. Within days, five members of a suspected gang of bombers believed responsible for the failed attack were arrested. The bombers, like their July 7 predecessors, were mainly young Muslim men who were British residents or from families of recent immigrants to the U.K. Because two of the July 7 bombers had visited Pakistan during 2004, investigations intensified into possible links between the bombers and extremist groups in that country.

      On July 23 three suicide bombers drove vehicles into the popular Egyptian tourist resort town of Sharm al-Shaykh, killing at least 64 people and wounding more than 200. Two groups claimed immediate responsibility for the atrocity—the Abdullah Azzam Brigades of al-Qaeda in Syria and Egypt and the previously unknown Holy Warriors of Egypt. On October 1 three suicide bombers killed 23 people and injured more than 100 in explosions at two Indonesian beachside restaurants in the village of Jimbaran and at a café in the town of Kuta, both on Bali. The attack was thought to have been committed by the al-Qaeda-linked Indonesian Muslim extremist group Jemaah Islamiyah.

      Imad Eddin Barakat Yarkas, the leader of an al-Qaeda cell in Spain, was sentenced on September 26 in Madrid to 27 years in prison for conspiracy to commit terrorist murders in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C. The Syrian-born Yarkas, known as Abu Dahdah, was said to have conspired with suicide pilot Mohamed Atta and other members of the al-Qaeda cell based in Hamburg that carried out the 9/11 attacks. Zacarias Moussaoui, a Frenchman, was the only other person in jail for 9/11-related crimes.

      In April the newly established National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), assuming a statistical reporting responsibility previously undertaken by the U.S. Department of State, announced that 651 “significant” terrorist attacks took 1,907 lives during 2004. In July the NCTC issued revised figures, which increased its 2004 estimates to 3,192 terrorist attacks, with 28,433 people killed, wounded, or kidnapped.

Drugs and Human Trafficking.
      According to the 2005 World Drug Report, published in June by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), 200 million people, or 5% of the world's population aged 15–64, had consumed illegal drugs at least once during the previous 12 months. Of these drug consumers, close to 160 million had used cannabis, 26 million amphetamines, 14 million cocaine, 16 million opiates (11 million of whom had used heroin), and 8 million ecstasy. For the first time, on the basis of data for 2003, UNODC presented an estimate of the volume of the illicit drug market, which was calculated at $13 billion at the production level, $94 billion at the wholesale level (taking into account seizures), and $322 billion at the retail level (also taking seizures and other losses into account).

      In its annual report released in March, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) expressed concern about the continuing opium production in Afghanistan, with the illicit drug crop and related activities reaching an unprecedented level in 2004. The Pentagon subsequently announced plans to quadruple spending on its antinarcotics campaign in Afghanistan, which in 2004 was reportedly responsible for almost 90% of the world's supply of heroin and opium.

      A confidential strategic study of the drug trade in the U.K. presented in June 2003 to British Prime Minister Tony Blair was leaked to the press in July 2005. The report concluded that the profits per kilo of heroin for a major Afghan trafficker to the U.K. were as high as 58%, that law-enforcement drug-seizure efforts would have to be substantially improved from a rate of 20% to that of 60–80% in order to have a serious impact on the flow of drugs into the country, and that the entire supply of heroin and cocaine required for meeting the £4 billion (about $7 billion) annual U.K. market could be transported into the country in five standard shipping containers.

      In the U.S. a new drug epidemic involved the use of “ crystal meth,” a highly addictive and powerful stimulant also known as “crank” or “ice.” Unlike previous drug epidemics, the wave of crystal meth use was found not in inner-city ghettos but mostly in white rural areas, notably in Iowa, Missouri, and Tennessee.

Murder and Other Violence.
      Preliminary figures released in June from the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program indicated that compared with 2003, the overall number of violent crimes reported in 2004 to law-enforcement agencies in the U.S. decreased 1.7%; murder declined by 3.6%, and property crimes fell by 1.8%.

      Over the past decade in England and Wales, overall crime decreased 44%, with a fall of 7% reported in 2004. There was an increase in reports of incidents of violence against individuals, a small rise in the number of murders, and a continuing increase in crimes involving guns.

      In South Africa, one of the world's most crime-ridden countries, police reported that 18,793 murders had been recorded in the financial year ended March 2005, a 5.2% decrease from the previous year. Police officials attributed the reduction to a government amnesty that persuaded citizens to surrender more than 90,000 unlicensed firearms.

      A bloody feud in which more than 130 people were murdered in the city of Naples in 2004 continued unabated between rival families of the notorious Neapolitan mafia. The feud, fueled by the desire to gain control of the multimillion-dollar local drug trade, also led to the death of innocent bystanders, including that of a 14-year-old girl who was killed while being used as a human shield by a fleeing gangster.

      In Pakistan a woman who had accused 14 men of orchestrating her gang rape in 2002 received legal support from the nation's Supreme Court, which in June overturned the acquittals of some of the men and ordered that all of them be rearrested.

      On March 21 teenager Jeff Weise shot dead nine people, seven of them in a rampage through a high school, before taking his own life on a Native American reservation in Minnesota. The attack was the deadliest school shooting in the U.S. since the Columbine killings in 1999.

      Following a sensational trial and a week of deliberation, a California jury on June 14 acquitted American pop star Michael Jackson on all charges surrounding the alleged molestation of a teenage boy at his Neverland Ranch.

White-Collar Crime, Corruption, and Fraud.
       Bernard Ebbers, the former WorldCom CEO who was alleged to have orchestrated the $11 billion accounting debacle that forced the company into bankruptcy in 2002, was found guilty in March on all nine counts, involving conspiracy, securities fraud, and filing false reports with regulators. Ebbers was sentenced in July to 25 years in prison. In June John Rigas, the founder and former head of Adelphia Communications, received a 15-year prison sentence, and his son, the former CFO, was sentenced to 20 years. Earlier in the year Andrew Fastow, the former CFO of Enron, was sentenced to 10 years in prison under a plea deal in which he agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in their pursuit of those responsible for that corporate ruination.

      Nearly two years after the collapse of the Italian dairy giant Parmalat, its founder, Calisto Tanzi, and 15 other company executives went on trial in September in Milan on charges of false auditing, market rigging, and obstructing regulators.

      In May a Moscow court sentenced Mikhail Khodorkovsky, former chief of the Russian oil giant Yukos, to nine years in jail for tax evasion and fraud. Though authorities described Khodorkovsky as a robber baron who bought Yukos at a bargain during the privatization of state assets in the 1990s, many Western observers characterized his conviction as a case of political persecution. Khodorkovsky had provided funding for politicians opposing Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin.

Law Enforcement.
      In a report censored in part for security reasons and published in September, the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ's) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) revealed that the FBI's efforts since the 9/11 terrorist attacks to transform itself into a more proactive, intelligence-driven counterterrorism law-enforcement agency had been largely achieved but at a considerable cost. The OIG analyses of FBI agent utilization data showed that the agency had reduced its efforts to combat transnational crime, such as narcotics trafficking, organized crime, and white-collar crime, even more than planned. The OIG review said that other law-enforcement bodies claimed that the reduction in the FBI's investigative capacity had hurt its ability to address crime and left an investigative gap, particularly in dealing with financial institutional fraud and bank robberies.

      In Britain a top-level review was initiated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) of a controversial shoot-to-kill policy after its first use resulted in the death of an innocent man. On July 22 a Brazilian man residing and working in London was mistaken for a suicide bomber and shot by police seven times in the head at close range after he boarded a train.

      Doubts were expressed about the safety of the nonlethal Taser stun gun, which fires two darts that deliver a debilitating 50,000-v electrical charge to the intended target. The Taser was used in 43 countries, including the U.S., where almost 8,000 police forces and 150,000 officers were armed with the device. Amnesty International alleged that 130 people had died after being hit by a Taser, but U.S. proponents of the Taser claimed that it had resulted in a marked reduction in fatal police shootings.

      On February 28 in the Iraqi town of Hilla, insurgents mounted one of the bloodiest single attacks since the fall of Saddam Hussein when a suicide bomber drove a car into a line of men waiting to take medical tests in order to join the Iraqi army and police. At least 122 people were killed and 130 wounded in the assault. Despite repeated attacks on Iraqi police and security-force recruits, the promise of a regular $200 monthly salary and the lack of alternative jobs kept Iraqi police-recruiting centres filled. Some U.S. officials were concerned about the quality of the vetting process for new police recruits, many of whom were said to be marginally literate, while others had criminal records, were physically handicapped, or were members of insurgent groups.

      In China attacks on police were reported to be on the rise; during the first half of the year, 23 police officers were killed and 1,800 injured. The trend was attributed to a growing awareness by Chinese citizens of their rights—causing them to challenge and resist authorities—and a reflection of an ongoing struggle by China's leaders to cope with a growing problem of maintaining public order amid rapid social change.

Duncan Chappell

Death Penalty
      Countries that had abolished the death penalty for all crimes numbered 84 at the start of 2005, following the addition of Greece and Senegal to the list at the end of 2004. The gradual movement toward universal abolition continued. The death penalty was abolished for all crimes in Mexico. Uzbekistan's Pres. Islam Karimov signed a decree abolishing the death penalty from Jan. 1, 2008. Indian leaders proposed amending the penal code by replacing the death penalty with life imprisonment without parole. Kenyan Justice Minister Kiraitu Murungi stated that his country was committed to abolishing the death penalty and that death row inmates in Kenya would have their sentences commuted to life imprisonment. In Uganda 417 prisoners on death row sought a declaration that the punishment violates a constitutional prohibition of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment. Steps were taken to begin the gradual abolition of the death penalty in Taiwan; the country's criminal code was amended to prohibit the execution of those aged under 18 or over 80. The U.S. also stopped the use of the death penalty against individuals aged under 18 at the time they committed their offenses; the Supreme Court concluded by a slim majority that such executions were unconstitutionally cruel. By contrast, in Nigeria the Committee on Judicial and Legal Reform recommended the use of the death penalty against juveniles who had committed “heinous offenses.” Four men who had confessed to murders were executed by Palestinian security forces, reversing a stay imposed by the late leader Yasir Arafat in 2001. Despite a 29-year moratorium on executions in Sri Lanka, the country's Justice Ministry and attorney general recommended that the death sentences imposed on the men who in 1998 had gang-raped and murdered Rita John, a newlywed Indian woman, be carried out. In the U.S. confessed serial killer Michael B. Ross was put to death in Connecticut's first execution in 45 years.

Stuart Macdonald

▪ 2005


International Law
      The Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) of Iraq, led by American L. Paul Bremer III, handed over power to an interim Iraqi government on June 30, 2004. Sovereignty of the new government was not absolute, however. The U.S. retained control over a number of governmental functions, most notably national security and the prison system. It also retained control over the custody of former Iraqi Pres. Saddam Hussein. No U.S. troops were withdrawn from Iraq in conjunction with the transition, and many U.S. administrators from the CPA moved into advisory positions in the new government.

      The U.S. treatment of prisoners in Iraq, particularly in Abu Ghraib prison, received considerable attention. Many prisoners were subjected to various forms of physically and psychologically abusive treatment. They were kept naked for days at a time, photographed in that state, and forced to pose in sexually explicit positions. They were also deprived of sleep and threatened with electric shock or with attacks by military dogs. This treatment violated international humanitarian law, specifically the Geneva Conventions, which prohibited the humiliating or degrading treatment of prisoners of war. (See Military Affairs: Special Report (POWs and the Global War on Terrorism ).) According to investigators from the International Committee of the Red Cross, some of the abuses could be classified as torture and therefore violate not only the Geneva Conventions but also the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention Against Torture, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Soldiers accused of having perpetrated the abuses were arraigned in U.S. military courts, and by the end of 2004 several of the soldiers had been given jail sentences.

      The Iraqi Special Tribunal, a court established specifically for prosecuting Saddam Hussein and his former officials, also received much attention. Unlike many other war-crimes courts, the tribunal was not an independent international judiciary; it was located in Iraq, it comprised Iraqi judges, and it relied on Iraqi law. In addition, the United States had a substantial role in the formation and operation of the tribunal; it was established by the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council and financed by the U.S. government, with U.S. personnel engaged in sifting through the evidence to be presented in the case and largely responsible for prosecuting Saddam and other defendants. Saddam was arraigned by the tribunal, and in July he appeared before it for the first time. He faced charges of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. Saddam and his lawyers challenged the legitimacy of the court and the ability of Saddam to receive a fair trial in Iraq. Human rights groups also challenged the court's legitimacy, arguing that an international court would be more appropriate to issue judgment in the case.

      The two main cases brought before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) were Romania v. Ukraine, which concerned the establishment of a maritime boundary between the two states, and Benin v. Niger, a border dispute. Upon a request from the UN General Assembly, the court agreed to make an advisory ruling on the security barrier that Israel was building in occupied Palestinian territory to seal off the West Bank. In July the ICJ issued a 14–1 opinion (a U.S. judge dissented) that asserted that it had jurisdiction to issue an opinion and that the barrier violated international humanitarian and human rights law. Subsequently, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution that accepted the advisory opinion of the court, demanded that Israel comply with the legal obligations outlined in the opinion, and requested that the UN assess damages associated with the construction of the barrier.

      When the International Criminal Court (ICC) entered into force in 2002, the U.S. successfully lobbied the UN Security Council to pass a resolution that exempted from prosecution U.S. participants in UN-authorized missions. The U.S. successfully renewed the exemption once, but in 2004 it became clear that the exemption would not be renewed a second time. The U.S. continued to work to shield itself from the reach of the ICC by pressuring other countries to sign bilateral immunity agreements under which each country promised not to turn over to the ICC any U.S. nationals or employees who worked for the U.S. government or military. As of November, more than 90 countries had signed such agreements.

      In 2004 attacks by the Arab militia known as the Janjawid resulted in mass killings, rapes, looting, and starvation in the Darfur region of The Sudan, but the international community was slow to act. The question of whether the violence legally constituted genocide brought international law to the forefront of the crisis, because as a signatory of international genocide treaties the government of The Sudan was obligated to act to prevent genocide within its borders. In September the UN Security Council passed a resolution that threatened the Sudanese government with penalties if it did not disarm the Janjawid, but a later resolution passed in November warned only that “appropriate actions” would be taken if the government did not make progress toward peace. In October the African Union began to establish a peacekeeping force in the region.

      Headlining the work of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in 2004 was the trial of former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic. Milosevic, who served as his own defense counsel, planned to rest his defense on the contention that the court was illegitimate and had no jurisdiction over him. The progress of the defense portion of the trial was delayed repeatedly because of his poor health, which doctors said was aggravated by the stress of defending himself. Worried about the delays, the court appointed defense counsel for Milosevic in September. The new lawyers appealed the decision, on Milosevic's behalf, and as of November the appeal was pending. The lawyers later asked the court to remove them from the case, stating that they were unable to defend Milosevic because of his refusal to cooperate with them. In mid-2004 the appeals chamber of the ICTY overturned the convictions of Radislav Krstic and Tihomir Blaskic on some charges and reduced their sentences. Both men had been high-ranking military officials and had been convicted of genocide-related activities. Several key figures in the Yugoslav wars, including Bosnian Serbs Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, remained at large.

      The Special Court for Sierra Leone was a tribunal backed by the UN that operated in that West African state with the cooperation of the government. Its mandate was to try rebel military commanders who had been charged with killings, rapes, enslavement of children as soldiers, and mutilation committed during Sierra Leone's 10-year civil war. The leader of the rebel group, Foday Sankoh, had died of natural causes in UN custody in 2003, but the remaining rebel leaders in custody were brought to trial in June. Former Liberian president Charles Taylor, who had been indicted by the court in 2003 for having supported and funded the rebels, appealed the indictment on grounds that a court in one country had no jurisdiction over the leader of another. In May the appeals panel of the court rejected his argument, stating that the special court did have jurisdiction because it was an international tribunal. Taylor was in exile in Nigeria, which refused to turn him over for prosecution. In a related case, Liberian human rights groups called for the creation of an international tribunal for atrocities committed in Liberia's 14-year civil war. If such a court was established, Taylor would likely face indictment there as well.

      In October the Cambodian legislature voted to establish a UN-assisted tribunal, similar to the one in Sierra Leone, to punish the top leaders of the Khmer Rouge, the group that had led Cambodia from 1975 to 1979 and was responsible for the death of more than 1.5 million Cambodians. In April several groups in Côte d'Ivoire requested UN assistance in establishing a tribunal to investigate ongoing human rights violations allegedly committed by government security forces since 2000. A UN-assisted court was operating in East Timor (Timor-Leste), but concern with potential damage to relationships with Indonesia led officials in East Timor to reject calls for an independent international tribunal to try Indonesian troops responsible for violence during East Timor's 1999 movement for independence.

      In The Netherlands, Sebastien Nzapali, an army officer under Mobutu Sese Seko, former president of Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), was sentenced to 30 months in prison for having tortured people in his country in 1995 and 1996. Nzapali had been living in The Netherlands since 1998 seeking political asylum, but he had not been granted refugee status. He was arrested in 2003 after three Congolese nationals filed charges against him. His conviction came under a Dutch law, the 1988 Implementation Act to the UN Convention Against Torture.

      In Switzerland, Roma (Gypsies) brought a case against IBM, alleging that the company had provided the Nazis with technology that enabled them to track and kill Roma in the 1930s and '40s. The Swiss courts determined that the case could proceed. In 2001 a similar case brought in U.S. courts under the Alien Tort Claims Act was dropped before being heard.

Victoria C. Williams

Court Decisions
      The 2003–04 term of the United States Supreme Court was distinguished by its relatively small docket and by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist's reduced leadership role. During his 18-year tenure as chief justice, Rehnquist had overseen the development of a solidly conservative institution—seven of the nine members of the court were appointed by Republican presidents—and the membership of the court had not changed for a decade. With an ideological majority at his side, Rehnquist had been able to assert the authority of the judiciary while he exercised a doctrine of judicial restraint, advanced an agenda of states' rights in federalism-oriented cases, and attempted to restore the degree of legitimacy that the institution had lost in the 2000 case of Bush v. Gore. Rehnquist's efforts to extricate the court from the mire of political jurisprudence were undermined during the term, however, by a number of developments within and around the court. While the size of the docket had dropped by nearly one-half since 1994, when the last appointment to the bench was made, recent events provided the court with cases that separated centrist opinions from those farther to the right. Instead of leading the court in its most controversial cases, the chief justice found himself aligned with a majority in only 8 of the 18 cases decided by 5–4 margins. Of the 73 cases decided with full opinions, Rehnquist wrote for the majority only twice. Recent events had also compelled the court to abandon its “hands-off” doctrine in matters that involved political questions. Indeed, in one eight-month period, the court answered questions brought by or against the U.S. president, vice president, secretary of state, and attorney general.

      The cases that involved seemingly political questions fell into two basic categories—cases that concerned conventional matters in districting systems and political speech and cases that involved what had become known simply as the “war on terrorism.” In the first category the court upheld congressional- redistricting plans in Pennsylvania that had exhibited a Republican bias in elections. The plan, drawn by the Republican majority in the state legislature, had the effect of displacing Democratic incumbents. Although the court had previously rejected districting plans on the basis of racial gerrymandering, the plurality for the case of Vieth v. Jubelirer insisted that cases concerning partisan gerrymandering should not be entitled to legal standing in federal courts because the courts lacked a uniform standard for judging and resolving them. Regarding political speech, the court decided in McConnell v. Federal Election Commission that the McCain-Feingold ban on soft money (virtually unlimited and unregulated contributions to political parties) and various restrictions on election-period advertising were constitutionally permissible. The cases of Rasul v. Bush and Hamdi v. Rumsfeld addressed issues that involved U.S. governmental conduct in the war on terrorism. The first case involved a matter of jurisdiction. By a vote of 6–3, the court ruled that detainees held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, were entitled to file writs of habeas corpus and to request a review of their cases in U.S. federal courts, because Guantánamo Bay was considered legal territory of the United States. The implication of the ruling was that hundreds of foreign national detainees had a legal right to challenge their imprisonment. The second case, Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, challenged the U.S. president's presumed broad power to declare and detain American citizens as “ enemy combatants.” Although the court ruled 6–3 in favour of Hamdi's claim that he was unlawfully detained as an enemy combatant, the justices differed significantly on the precise reasons why that should be the case. For Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justices Stephen Breyer, Anthony Kennedy, and Sandra Day O'Connor, it was an entitlement to rebut the government before an impartial tribunal; for Justices David Souter and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, it was the absence of congressional authorization.

      In the related field of criminal law, the court decided six noteworthy cases. Three cases dealt with police conduct in general and with self-incrimination in particular. In Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada, the court rejected Fourth and Fifth Amendment claims and ruled 5–4 that criminal suspects must identify themselves to police. In Missouri v. Seibert the court rejected a practice of interrogating suspects twice—once before and once after they had been informed of their Miranda rights—as a method of obtaining a confession. In the related case of United States v. Patane, the court was considerably less supportive of Miranda rights, and it ruled that physical evidence that police obtained on the basis of information provided by a criminal suspect who had not been read his rights was legally admissible in a court of law. In the case of Crawford v. Washington, Scalia wrote for the court that the confrontation clause of the Sixth Amendment guarantees defendants the right to confront their accusers, and in this case the court declared unconstitutional the practice of prosecutors' introducing the testimony of absent witnesses without offering the defense the opportunity to engage in cross-examination. In Blakely v. Washington the court barred judges from imposing sentences in excess of the state maximum, but it allowed juries to do so as long as the facts of the case were deemed to have merit “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Finally, in the case of Schriro v. Summerlin, a divided court refused to apply retroactively a 2002 decision that invalidated the death penalty in cases in five states. Among the consequences of the ruling was that approximately 100 detainees would be returned to death row.

      In the realm of civil liberties and civil rights, the court decided a number of disparately related yet important cases. Regarding discrimination, in Tennessee v. Lane the court upheld the right of disabled citizens to sue states if the states violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. The case involved a courthouse that had been inaccessible to persons with diminished ambulatory abilities. In Pennsylvania State Police v. Suders, the court developed guidelines for assessing allegations of sexual harassment. The baseline for its analysis was that employers would be liable for maintaining a workplace environment that would compel a reasonable person to resign. With procedures in place an employer could claim protection if an employee failed to use them, but if the harassment alleged corresponded to direct disciplinary action, then that blanket of protection would disappear.

      In Locke v. Davey the court addressed the perennial issue of church-state relations as they pertained to educational opportunities. Under the establishment clause of the First Amendment, the court had increasingly accommodated a closer relationship between religious and governmental institutions, but in the present case the court was asked to answer whether the free-exercise clause requires religious schools to be included in various state “school-choice” programs. The court ruled 7–2 that it does not—that state subsidies for secular college education do not have to be paired with or necessarily include an obligation to fund divinity students. Finally, in what clearly ranked as the highest-profile case of the year, the court addressed the “under God” provision in the Pledge of Allegiance. Two years earlier the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals had drawn considerable attention—and heat—for having ruled that the phrase “under God” amounted to a state-led demonstration of religious devotion and therefore compromised the wall of separation dividing church and state. The decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow was much less dramatic; indeed, it scarcely addressed the matter of religious establishment or free exercise. O'Connor and Rehnquist did argue that “under God” was a political rather than a purely religious statement, given that in 1954, when the phrase was adopted, the United States was confronting the “godless communism” of the Soviet Union. The majority, however, simply asserted that the ruling of the lower court should be overturned because the petitioner, Michael Newdow, lacked legal standing. Newdow had brought the suit on behalf of his minor child, but Newdow and the child's mother, who possessed primary legal custody, were in conflict over the child's educational and religious upbringing. The court stated that Newdow therefore could not assert the exclusive legal right to bring suit on behalf of the child, and the decision of the lower court was overturned with surprisingly little fanfare.

Brian Smentkowski


      On March 11, 2004, on the eve of the Spanish national election, multiple bomb blasts killed at least 200 rail commuters and injured more than 1,500 in Madrid. Though immediate blame for the blasts was placed on the Basque separatist group Euskadi Ta Askatasuna ( ETA), subsequent investigations revealed that the attack was perpetrated by a group that was part of a complex European-wide network of radical Muslims with links to Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda movement.

      On September 1 in Beslan, in Russia's North Ossetian Republic, a local school was attacked by 32 armed Chechen militants, who seized more than 1,100 hostages, including pupils (aged 7 to 17), parents, relatives, and teachers, who had gathered to celebrate the opening day of the new school year. The siege ended abruptly 54 hours later when explosive devices carried by the militants blew up prematurely and Russian security forces stormed the building. More than 340 people were killed, including at least 150 children, and more than 500 persons were injured, with many others missing. Responsibility for the atrocity was claimed by Riyadus-Salikhin, a Chechen liberation group led by notorious rebel warlord Shamil Basayev. That same group also claimed responsibility for suicide-bombing attacks on two Russian passenger jets, which had crashed within minutes of one another on August 24; 89 persons were killed. In the wake of these attacks, the Russian government, led by Pres. Vladimir Putin, introduced new and sweeping antiterrorism laws in the parliament and sought international support for a UN Security Council resolution to expand the definition of banned terrorist organizations to include liberation groups such as the Chechens and the Palestinians.

      In its annual review of patterns of global terrorism, released in June, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) reported that during 2003 there were 208 acts of international terrorism. A total of 625 persons were killed in these attacks, and 3,646 were injured, a sharp increase from the 2,013 persons who had been wounded the previous year. The report noted that most of the attacks occurring in Iraq during 2003 did not meet the “long-standing U.S. definition of international terrorism because they were directed at combatants, that is, U.S. and coalition forces on duty.”

      In Iraq there was a significant increase during 2004 in the number of noncombatants, including foreign-aid workers and journalists, who were taken hostage. Though some of these hostages were released—two 29-year-old Italian female aid workers were freed in September—others, including American construction engineers and a British colleague, were decapitated by their captors.

      In September Pakistani Pres. Pervez Musharraf announced the elimination of Amjad Hussain Farooqui, Pakistan's leading al-Qaeda figure and most-wanted terrorist. Farooqui, the alleged mastermind behind a number of terrorist attacks, including two recent attempts to assassinate Musharraf and the 2002 beheading in Pakistan of The Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, was killed by security forces during a raid in Nawabshah, a city in southern Pakistan.

Drug, Human, and Weapons Trafficking.
      In March U.S. Pres. George W. Bush sent to Congress his annual report, which listed the names of 23 major illicit-drug-producing and drug-transit countries, including Afghanistan, Myanmar (Burma), China, Colombia, India, Mexico, Pakistan, and Vietnam. President Bush also expressed concern over heroin and methamphetamine trafficking linked to North Korea. In September DOS officials informed Congress that poppy cultivation in Afghanistan, the world's leading supplier of illicit opium, morphine, and heroin, was anticipated to rise by 40% during the year. In 2003 the narcotics trade had reportedly generated $2.3 billion in income for Afghanistan, which produced three-quarters of the world's heroin, including 90% of the heroin trafficked to Europe.

      In May a report by Amnesty International alleged that up to 2,000 women, many of them underage girls, had in recent years been forced into sexual slavery in the southeastern European province of Kosovo. The growth in sex trafficking and prostitution rackets had taken place since NATO-led peacekeepers occupied the province in 1999. Military personnel from a number of countries were reportedly involved in the rackets, with women being traded for up to $3,500 and kept in appalling conditions by their “owners.”

      Muhammad al-Baradiʾi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), warned that a nuclear black market of “fantastic cleverness” was supplying countries that were seeking to develop illicit nuclear weapons. The IAEA confirmed that Libya and Iran had made extensive use of connections to top Pakistani scientists, including ʿ Abd-al Qadir Khan, the leader of that nation's nuclear weapons program. In February Khan, hitherto a national hero for having developed the “Islamic bomb,” made a public confession of wrongdoing while issuing a plea for clemency. Granting the plea, President Musharraf insisted there was no official involvement in Khan's activities, which were motivated by personal greed. Commentators remained skeptical, however, noting that Pakistan's nuclear program was supposed to be under close military control.

Murder and Other Violence.
      Preliminary figures released in June from the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program indicated that despite an increase of 1.3% in murder over the previous year, violent crime in the U.S. declined 3.2% in 2003 compared with 2002, and property crimes in 2003 remained relatively unchanged from the 2002 figure.

      In July the British Home Office reported that the crime rate in England and Wales fell by a further 5% during 2003 to produce the longest sustained drop since 1898. According to the latest British Crime Survey, the risk of becoming a victim of crime fell from 40% in 1995 to 26% in the 12 months to March 2004, the lowest level since the annual survey began in 1981.

       Gun-control advocates expressed dismay in the U.S. when a 10-year federal ban on some types of assault weapons expired in September. The ban, imposed in the wake of a number of multiple slayings at schools and other places by persons armed with military-style weaponry, was credited with a dramatic decline in the use of these guns by criminals. Though more than two-thirds of Americans were said to favour an extension of the ban, President Bush placed no pressure on Congress to renew the measure.

      In the first case of cannibalism in Germany since the 1920s, Armin Meiwes, a former soldier, was convicted of manslaughter in January for having killed and eaten his male lover. Meiwes—who had used Internet chat rooms to solicit his allegedly willing victim, Bernd-Jürgen Brandes—was sentenced to be imprisoned for eight years and five months. Fears that the widely publicized case might spawn copycat killings were realized in October when Berlin police found the dismembered body of Joe Ritzkowsky in a refrigerator. Ralf Meyer confessed to having killed and butchered his lover and was charged with “murder out of base motives, driven by sexual desire”; cannibalism was not an offense under German law.

White-Collar Crime, Corruption, and Fraud.
      Federal regulators in the U.S. achieved a number of high-profile successes in their ongoing efforts to prosecute and punish individuals believed responsible for some of the most notorious corporate excesses of the late 1990s. Former Enron chairman and CEO Kenneth Lay was indicted in July on 11 counts, including securities and wire fraud and bank fraud. If convicted, Lay, who continued to profess his innocence, faced a maximum sentence of 175 years in prison and huge fines. Earlier, federal prosecutors had also charged Bernard Ebbers, the former CEO of WorldCom, with conspiracy, securities fraud, and filing false statements in connection with that company's $11 billion accounting scandal, which led to the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history. Scott Sullivan, former CFO of WorldCom, pleaded guilty to the same criminal charges and agreed to testify against Ebbers in exchange for possible leniency in his sentencing. In October Martha Stewart, one of the best-known businesswomen in the U.S., began a five-month prison sentence after her conviction in March on charges of conspiracy, making false statements, and obstruction of justice. New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer (see Biographies (Spitzer, Eliot )), who had successfully prosecuted a number of Wall Street firms, took aim at the insurance industry in October. Europe also had its fair share of corporate crimes, including the Mannesmann case (see World Affairs: Germany ) and the Parmalat probe (see World Affairs: Italy .)

Law Enforcement.
      The dramatic shift in FBI priorities after Sept. 11, 2001, was revealed in a report released in April by Inspector General Glenn A. Fine of the U.S. Department of Justice. With a major focus on antiterrorism efforts, FBI investigations targeting drug trafficking, organized crime, and white-collar crime were greatly reduced. The largest cuts occurred in the FBI's investigations involving Mexican drug organizations, primarily in the U.S Southwest. Other federal agencies, including the Drug Enforcement Administration, had taken up some of these responsibilities.

      In a separate report in July, most of which was classified as secret, Fine drew attention to the significant management challenges facing the FBI in translating all the terrorist-related material it received from wiretaps and other sources of intelligence. The FBI's electronic surveillance collection alone, in languages primarily related to counterterrorism activities—Arabic, Farsi, Urdu, and Pashto—increased by 45% in 2003 compared with 2001. The FBI indicated that nearly 24% of its ongoing Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) intercepts were not being monitored, while more than 120,000 hours of potentially valuable terrorism-related recordings remained untranslated.

      On July 22 the final report of the bipartisan National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States (the 9/11 Commission Report) was released. The report pointed to numbers of missed “operational opportunities” to discover the plot by al-Qaeda to launch its 9/11 attack and identified weaknesses in the approach taken by law enforcement, including the FBI, to counter the terrorist threat from Islamic extremists. The FBI's approach to investigations was said to be case specific, decentralized, and geared toward prosecution. Effective counterterrorism strategies were hampered by limited resources, training, and information sharing. The commission recommended a number of measures, including the establishment of a National Counterterrorism Center, within the executive office of the U.S. president, to coordinate planning and give direction to counterterrorism efforts. The commission also recommended the appointment of a new national intelligence director with two main jobs: to oversee national intelligence centres and to coordinate the agencies that contributed to the national intelligence program. In December President Bush signed into law an intelligence-reform bill that would organize the 15 separate intelligence agencies under the command of a national intelligence officer.

      Widespread public protests concerning the state of crime and the lack of personal security were reported in a number of Latin American countries during the year. Hundreds of thousands of citizens marched in the streets of Buenos Aires, Arg., in April following the murder of a kidnapped student. In Mexico a study found that 96% of crimes between 1996 and 2003 went unpunished, while in Brazil reportedly only about 8% of some 50,000 murders committed annually were being prosecuted successfully. Critics suggested that a major part of the problem was the lack of public confidence in the police, many of whom were involved in serious crimes such as kidnapping and drug trafficking.

      In the United Kingdom sweeping changes were announced in January in the handling of cases involving mothers who were suspected of having killed their babies. British Attorney General Lord Goldsmith said that 258 cases would be reviewed involving a parent who had been convicted within the past 10 years of murder, manslaughter, or infanticide of a child under two years of age. The announcement came after British courts questioned a number of the convictions in which uncertainty existed among experts about the cause of sudden infant deaths.

      In May Macedonian authorities charged a number of police officers with murder and issued a warrant for the arrest of former minister of the interior Ljube Boskovski after a lengthy investigation into the March 2002 deaths of seven young men (six from Pakistan and one from India) who had been shot dead in a remote spot shortly after they entered Macedonia from Bulgaria. Though the police claimed that the victims were terrorists, the investigation found that the seven men were illegal immigrants who had been en route to Greece to find work. They were killed in cold blood apparently in an effort to impress U.S. officials of Macedonia's credentials as a loyal ally in the war on terror.

Duncan Chappell

Death Penalty
      Some small gains were registered in 2004 in the drive to eliminate the death penalty. Two more countries— Samoa and Bhutan—abolished the death penalty for all crimes, and, thus, for the first time totally abolitionist countries outnumbered those that retained the death penalty for ordinary crimes. Abolition of the death penalty was among a number of proposals submitted to the Mexican legislature by Pres. Vicente Fox. Kyrgyzstan extended for another year its moratorium on executions; Kazakhstan gave teeth to its December 2003 moratorium by replacing a number of death sentences with life imprisonments in January 2004; and Tajikistan adopted a similar ban in November. After commuting the death sentences of 44 soldiers who had been condemned for their role in a failed 1997 coup, Zambian Pres. Levy Mwanawasa insisted that he would not sign a death warrant for as long as he remained in office. In Malawi 79 death sentences were commuted. A national debate on whether the death penalty should be abolished was initiated in Nigeria, and it was reported that the Chinese government might reduce the use of the death penalty. The U.S. Supreme Court also announced that it would consider the legality of executing people who were under the age of 18 at the time of their crime; the court's decision was expected in early 2005.

      The first execution in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban occurred in April 2004, two and a half years after the establishment of the interim government. Dhananjoy Chatterjee, convicted of the rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl, became the first person to be executed in India since 1995, and in Indonesia capital punishment was used for the first time in three years. A five-year de facto moratorium on the death penalty in Lebanon also came to an end when three men were executed in January. The U.S. state of Maryland resumed its implementation of the death penalty after a six-year hiatus. Nationwide there were 59 executions in 2004.

Stuart Macdonald

▪ 2004


International Law
      The U.S.-led attack on Iraq in March 2003 raised the question of whether such actions were permitted under international law. The unwillingness of the United Nations Security Council to pass a resolution explicitly authorizing the use of force was cited as evidence of the illegality of the action. (See World Affairs: United Nations: Special Report (What Ails the UN Security Council? ).) U.S. Pres. George W. Bush justified the attack as a preemptive strike to ensure American self-defense, a right recognized under international law in certain circumstances. He also defended the action by pointing to UN resolutions passed in 1991 that called for peace and security to be restored in the region, arguing that Iraqi Pres. Saddam Hussein (see Biographies (Hussein, Saddam )) had violated those resolutions and the international community therefore had a right to force him to comply. An additional argument was made that Saddam had refused to adhere to Security Council Resolution 1441 (November 2002), which required him to disarm. The U.S. said that Saddam was a threat to other countries and thus a legitimate target of military action under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, which allows countries to use force to restore international peace and security. Opponents of the U.S. position wanted evidence that Saddam had not complied with Resolution 1441—evidence that arms inspectors had been unable to provide. Another issue relating to international law arising from the U.S.-Iraqi war was the role of the U.S. in the aftermath of the conflict. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan referred to the U.S. as an “occupying power,” angering some American officials. Under international law an “occupying power” has clearly defined responsibilities. The U.S. claimed that it was a “liberating force”—a term that has no meaning in international law—rather than an occupying power but that it would abide by international conventions.

      The U.S. continued to hold more than 600 suspected Taliban and al-Qaeda members at the U.S. military base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Six of the prisoners were French citizens, and the French government requested information from the U.S. on the nature of the prisoners' crimes. The U.S. government classified all U.S.-held prisoners as enemy combatants rather than prisoners of war. The international-law community steadfastly objected to this classification, because prisoners of war have more clearly protected rights under international law.

      The two International Criminal Tribunals, for Rwanda and for Yugoslavia (ICTR and ICTY, respectively), heard cases throughout 2003. November marked the start of ICTR trials for four former government ministers in Rwanda. Those sentenced at the ICTY included prison guard Predrag Banovic; Milomir Stakic, who was sentenced to life in prison after being acquitted of genocide charges but found guilty of crimes against humanity and war crimes for his role in the occupation of the Prijedor municipality, Bosnia and Herzegovina, in 1992; and Biljana Plavsic, the former president of Republika Srpska, the Serb entity in Bosnia and Herzegovina, who plead guilty and received an 11-year sentence for her role in crimes against humanity. Three other high-ranking Serb officials were also found guilty of crimes against humanity and war crimes. In response to international pressure, Serbia handed over a number of people indicted by the ICTY, but several key figures, including Bosnian Serbs Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, remained at large. In October the ICTY issued indictments of four more Serbian generals for crimes committed during the Kosovo war.

      In April the Council of Europe called for a war crimes tribunal to try Russians accused of war crimes in the suppression of the independence movement in Chechnya, and it was suggested that an international tribunal be set up for East Timor (Timor-Leste).

      In October Ethiopia rejected the delineation of its border with Eritrea drawn by the Eritrean-Ethiopian Boundary Commission established by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. Cases pending before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) included a border discrepancy between Benin and Niger and disputes over ownership of islands between Malaysia and Singapore and also between Nicaragua and Colombia. In February the ICJ called for a halt to the scheduled executions in the U.S. of three Mexican nationals, pending a hearing on a case brought by Mexico under the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. In November the Court issued a judgment in Iran v. U.S. Both sides alleged that the other had breached the 1955 Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations and Consular Rights—the Americans during attacks on Iranian oil platforms in the Persian Gulf in October 1987 and April 1988, the Iranians during attacks on vessels in the Gulf during the same time period. The ICJ found that neither side had breached the treaty and therefore neither side owed reparations. France allowed the ICJ to have jurisdiction over a case brought by the Republic of the Congo following French attempts to investigate Congolese Pres. Denis Sassou-Nguesso, who the Congo claimed has immunity from French proceedings as a foreign head of state.

      In what was broadly seen as a setback for international law, Belgium repealed its war crimes law. Relying on the concept of “universal jurisdiction,” the 1993 law empowered Belgian courts to hear cases of human rights abuses regardless of the nationality of the offender or the place of the abuse. A new law passed in August limited jurisdiction to cases in which either the defendant or the victim was a Belgian national. Belgium's Supreme Court dismissed cases against foreign leaders, including Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, U.S. Pres. George W. Bush, and Cuban Pres. Fidel Castro.

      Spain's government refused to request extradition of 40 Argentines for the purpose of trying them in a Spanish court for crimes against Spanish nationals during the 1976–83 Argentine “Dirty War.” In July Argentina stripped the 40 men of immunity from extradition, which led observers to expect that the men would be turned over to Spain. Spain refused to extradite them, however, and Argentina's national congress repealed the amnesty laws that protected military officials from being tried for crimes related to the Dirty War. In a related issue, repeated calls were made for Nigeria to extradite former Liberian president Charles Taylor, who had been forced into exile in August. Taylor was under indictment for war crimes by the Special Court for Sierra Leone for having armed rebels in that country's civil war.

      Under the U.S.'s Alien Tort Claims Act, a group of human rights attorneys brought suit against Occidental Petroleum Corp. in a California district court in April. Occidental and its security contractor, Airscan, Inc., were accused of having participated in the murder of nearly 20 civilians in Santo Domingo, Colom., in 1998 during a raid conducted by the Colombian air force but aimed at rebels targeting an Occidental pipeline. Another oil producer, ChevronTexaco, had a suit filed against it in Ecuador, where it was accused of destroying rainforests and polluting land and rivers.

      In October the UN General Assembly criticized Israel for violating international law with its construction of a “security barrier” surrounding the Palestinian areas of the West Bank. A similar Security Council resolution was vetoed by the United States.

      The first global public-health treaty was signed by unanimous vote at the World Health Organization meeting in May. The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control was designed to reduce the death toll from tobacco. It would go into effect after 40 countries ratified the treaty.

      The first judges of the International Criminal Court were seated in March, which enabled the ICC to hold open sessions. The ICC's first chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo of Argentina, indicated that the court was “following closely” the situation in the Ituri region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and observers speculated that the abuses committed there would be the first cases to be tried before the court. The U.S. continued to work to shield itself from the ICC's reach by persuading countries to sign bilateral immunity agreements (BIAs) under which states promised not to surrender any U.S. nationals or employees to the ICC. Because the U.S. suspended military aid to countries that refused to sign BIAs, some 70 countries had done so as of November 2003.

Victoria C. Williams

Court Decisions
      As chief justice of the United States, William H. Rehnquist had led the Supreme Court, and therefore the nation, down a jurisprudential path of states' rights advocacy. Specifically, in a series of 5–4 rulings questioning state immunity from litigation, he argued for the majorities that federal law does not necessarily penetrate the borders of the states and control public policy. On May 27, 2003, however, the chief justice broke ranks with three of his conservative colleagues and ruled that states can be sued for failing to provide time off for employees experiencing family emergencies. In Nevada Department of Human Resources v. Hibbs, Rehnquist explained that, unlike previous cases involving broad claims relating to employee disabilities, the Family and Medical Leave Act specifically and successfully sought to remedy pervasive legal, political, and social assumptions about “women's work” and the role of gender in family-care matters. The state's failure to extend unpaid leave privileges to women and men equally constituted a denial of equal protection of law and therefore erased the state's 11th Amendment claim of immunity from suit.

      Although the Nevada case addressed a core issue in federalism jurisprudence, it was the element of discrimination that decided the case, and in this it comported with a larger civil liberties and civil rights agenda. Just as the court exercised judicial power to establish legal equality according to gender, in a landmark case, Lawrence v. Texas, it employed the due process clause of the 14th Amendment to protect sexual orientation. Despite Justice Antonin Scalia's scathing dissenting opinion claiming that the court had “signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda” and “taken sides in the culture war,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority that gays and lesbians are entitled to the same right to privacy as heterosexuals. In declaring that “the state cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime,” the court's ruling invalidated sodomy laws in 13 states. Moreover, in the Lawrence decision, for the first time in its history, the court invoked a decision of the European Court of Human Rights. Kennedy's reference to the West's commitment to cultural tolerance prompted Scalia to read from the bench his dissent in which he characterized the court's ruling as “dangerous” to the American legal tradition.

      During the final week of the term, in Gatz v. Bollinger and Grutter v. Bollinger, the court addressed another salient civil rights issue, affirmative action. The two cases addressed the University of Michigan's policies for undergraduate and law-school admissions, respectively. Although the court invalidated the undergraduate admissions policy because the university's system of awarding points on the basis of race and ethnicity too closely approximated the quotas the court had declared unconstitutional 25 years earlier in Bakke v. Board of Regents, it upheld the law school's “narrowly tailored” and “holistic” use of race in admissions decisions as a necessary step in furtherance of the compelling interest in establishing racial diversity and educational opportunity. In a manner consistent with her moderate positions on abortion and race-conscious districting, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor championed tightly fashioned laws designed to protect individual rights as virtual moral imperatives.

      The matter of race was central to two other cases in the 2003 term, Georgia v. Ashcroft and Virginia v. Black. In the former, O'Connor, whose pivotal vote created a majority in 12 of the 14 cases decided by 5–4 margins in the current term, ruled that racial redistricting designed to enhance African American voting rights through plans that divide black voters among a number of districts rather than being consolidated into fewer, densely populated districts, are constitutionally permissible. In the latter case the court addressed the delicate relationship between race relations, criminal law, and free speech. By a vote of 6–3, the court upheld a Virginia law criminalizing cross burning as a form of intimidation. Although the court had previously ruled in cases such as Capital Square Review and Advisory Board v. Pinette (1995) that the Ku Klux Klan may participate in seasonal displays involving the cross and in R.A.V. v. St. Paul (1992) that race-based fighting words may not be treated differently from other fighting words, the court here drew a line between symbolic speech and acts of intimidation. Justice Clarence Thomas, who ordinarily remained silent during oral arguments, argued that a burning cross represents nothing but a “reign of terror” and, as an act of racial intimidation, ought not to be entitled to constitutional protection.

      Falling more squarely into the realm of criminal law, the court decided a series of cases that spanned the philosophical continuum. Upholding the rights of the criminally accused, the court decided two death-penalty cases; one, Miller-El v. Cockrell, required a federal appeals court to grant habeas corpus to a Texas death-row inmate whose sentence allegedly resulted from a racially biased jury-selection process, and the other, Wiggins v. Smith, resulted in the court's overturning the death sentence on Kevin Wiggins on the grounds of ineffective legal counsel. Less sympathetic to the criminally accused were decisions in two California cases challenging the state's “three-strikes” rule. In Ewing v. California and Lockyer v. Andrade, O'Connor once again played a pivotal role, writing 5–4-majority decisions that rejected claims that otherwise-minor third offenses resulting in long mandatory sentences constitute cruel and unusual punishment. The court also rejected a pair of constitutional challenges to “Megan's Law,” named for the child victim of sexualized violence. Megan's Law enabled the creation of a sex-offender notification and registration program that had been adopted in every state. Turning away claims of a denial of due process, Rehnquist wrote for the majority in Connecticut v. Doe that the state did not have to conduct hearings prior to posting photographs and information about offenders on the state's Internet registry. A related case, Smith v. Doe, involved Alaska's attempt to add to its registry the names of sex offenders convicted before the law was enacted. Arguing that the registry does not impose any punishment on the offender, Kennedy concluded that the ex post facto clause of the Constitution—which prohibits retroactive punishment—is inapplicable to nonpunitive cases.

      Among a number of business law cases decided during the 2002–03 Supreme Court term, three stood out as noteworthy: State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. v. Campbell, Moseley v. V Secret Catalogue, Inc., and Eldred v. Ashcroft. In the State Farm case, the court decided 6–3 to set new punitive-damages guidelines, scrapping the standing 145:1 ratio of punitive to compensatory damages in favour of an unspecified ratio smaller than 9:1; a settlement above this would almost certainly be regarded by the court as arbitrary and unreasonable. The V Secret and Eldred cases both pertained to intellectual-property rights. In the former case the court ruled unanimously that economic harm does not have to be demonstrated to prevail in cases under the Federal Trademark Dilution Act. Noneconomic harm, such as discrediting a corporate name or deliberately confusing its identity, are enough to carry forward a successful case under the law. In the latter case the court ruled 7–2 that a congressional act passed in 1998, extending existing copyrights by 20 years, is constitutional. In an opinion that many thought demonstrated a pro-big-business bias, the court noted that the Copyright Term Extension Act is a constitutionally permissible exercise of congressional authority. The validity of the act was expected to prove lucrative to major copyright holders in general and the entertainment industry in particular.

      On December 10 in McConnell v. Federal Election Commission, a divided Supreme Court upheld (5–4) key provisions of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform legislation that had passed Congress in 2002. The court ruled that the law's ban on “soft money” (campaign donations not subject to federal regulations) and restrictions on advertisements by interest groups near election day did not violate the First Amendment protection of freedom of speech.

      Despite the significance of the decisions reached by the Supreme Court during the term, it was a lower court ruling that proved most salient in the court of public opinion. In Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals declared unconstitutional the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools. On October 14 the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review the ruling during its 2003–04 term. The central question was whether the phrase “one nation under God” constituted a violation of the Constitution's religious freedom clauses.

Brian Smentkowski


      In 2003 perhaps no single terrorist attack provoked greater international outrage than the suicide bombing of the UN's Iraq headquarters in Baghdad on August 19. Some 25 UN officials, Iraqi employees, and others were killed when a truck bomb was detonated near the UN's compound. Among the dead was Brazilian Sérgio Vieira de Mello (see Obituaries (Vieira de Mello, Sergio )), the UN's special representative in Iraq. U.S. officials focused their investigation on indigenous Iraqi groups who also were suspects in an August 7 car bombing of the Jordanian embassy in Baghdad that killed 17.

      According to Ambassador Cofer Black, the U.S. Department of State's coordinator for counterterrorism, al-Qaeda terrorists were on the run, and thousands had been detained. Two of those in custody were captured in Pakistan. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, a Kuwait-born Pakistani suspected of having been the architect of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, was seized on March 1 in Rawalpindi; and on March 16, in Lahore, Pakistani intelligence officers arrested Yassir al-Jazeeri, a Moroccan believed to have been one of Osama bin Laden's principal bodyguards.

      Indonesian Riduan Isamuddin, also known as Hambali, was apprehended on August 11 near Bangkok. He was alleged to have instigated the Bali bombings in October 2002, which killed some 200 people, as well as other attacks, including a hotel bombing in Jakarta on August 5 that killed at least 12 people and wounded 150. Hambali had been on the run since 2001 because of his role in a plot on Western embassies in Singapore. He was said to be a key figure in both al-Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiyah, a terrorist network active in Southeast Asia.

      On August 7 Amrozi bin Nurhasyim became the first radical Islamist to be convicted and sentenced to death for his involvement in the Bali bombings. Imam Samudra, described as the mastermind of the bombings, met a similar fate on September 10. At a February trial in Hamburg, Ger., a 28-year-old Moroccan student, Mounir al-Motassadeq, who had a “minor but vital” role in the September 11 attacks, was found guilty of belonging to a terrorist group and having aided and abetted 3,066 murders. He was sentenced to 15 years in jail, the maximum penalty permitted under German law.

      The September 11 attacks also were the subject of a 900-page U.S. congressional report, issued in July, that was said to allege an indirect flow of funds to al-Qaeda—notably to the 15 hijackers who were Saudi—from the Saudi Arabian government. A crucial part of the report was censored in the interest of national security. The allegation came as the Saudi government cracked down on Islamic extremists following a triple suicide bombing on May 12 that killed 35 people, including the 9 attackers. In August Saudi authorities were said to have seized a truckload of surface-to-air missiles smuggled in from Yemen. The missile seizure underlined a growing concern over the safety of civilian aircraft, especially as several thousand Russian-made surface-to-air missiles known to have been in Iraq were missing.

Drug and Human Trafficking.
      In June the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) announced in its annual report on global illicit drug trends that lands under opium poppy cultivation in Myanmar (Burma) and Laos had been reduced by 40% between 1998 and 2002 and that this downward trend continued in 2003. The Andean region of South America also achieved a significant decline of coca bush cultivation. In March, however, the World Bank warned that opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan was approaching record levels. Poppy cultivation, banned by the Taliban in 2000, had been reduced to a mere 1,685 ha (4,165 ac) by 2001, according to U.S. Department of State sources. About 18 times that amount of land was under cultivation in 2002, a figure that made Afghanistan the world's leading exporter of heroin. In 2003 three-quarters of Europe's heroin was believed to have originated in Afghanistan's poppy fields.

      In April Australian police and military seized a North Korean vessel, the Pong Su, in territorial waters after it had transferred 125 kg (275 lb) of heroin to shore. Thirty crew members were charged with aiding and abetting the importation of heroin. At a U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing in May, a former high-ranking North Korean official who had defected to South Korea in 1998 stated that North Korean diplomats and businessmen had trafficked in heroin and other illicit drugs in order to obtain hard currency for the North Korean regime.

      In June a Dutch court sentenced Jing Ping Chen, a 37-year-old native of China, to a three-year prison term and fined her $12,800 for human trafficking. Known as Sister Ping, she was said to be one of the most ruthless gang leaders, known as “snake heads,” in Europe. Ping's organization was believed to have been involved in the suffocation deaths of 58 Chinese found in a truck at the British port of Dover in June 2000. According to Britain's National Criminal Intelligence Service, at least 600,000 people entered the European Union illegally each year, 80% of them taken in by underworld gangs. Although profits in human trafficking were as high as those in the drug trade, the penalties were far lower.

Murder and Other Violence.
      In August the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics released figures from its 2002 National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). The NCVS collected data from a representative sample of American households on nonfatal crimes, reported or not reported to the police, against those aged 12 or older. It reported that rates were the lowest overall recorded since the survey's inception in 1973. The 23 million criminal victimizations in 2002 continued a downward trend that began in 1994. Between 1993 and 2002 the violent crime rate had decreased by 54% and the property crime rate by 50%.

      In January relatives of two victims of the sniper shootings that terrorized the Virginia-Maryland-Washington, D.C., area in October 2002 filed suit against the gun manufacturer and the gun shop linked to the Bushmaster XMI5 assault rifle used in the crimes. In their respective trials, 18-year-old Lee Malvo was sentenced to life imprisonment in December, and 42-year-old John Muhammad was given the death penalty in November for having directed the killings.

      In November, Gary L. Ridgway, in a plea agreement that would spare his life, confessed to having strangled 48 women, most of them during the 1980s, in what was known as the Green River killing spree in the Seattle, Wash., area.

      Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic (see Obituaries (Djindjic, Zoran )), known for his reformist and pro-Western policies, was assassinated in a similar manner—cut down by a sniper—on March 12 in front of the main government building in Belgrade. The 50-year-old Djindjic had spearheaded the revolt that toppled Slobodan Milosevic in October 2000. As police searched for Milorad Ulemek, a former paramilitary leader and a key suspect, the trial of Milosevic on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity continued in The Hague.

      Also murdered was Anna Lindh, Sweden's widely known and respected foreign minister, who on September 10 was attacked and stabbed to death as she shopped. After nine days the Swedish police released the first suspect in the crime, having apprehended a new one. Commentators noted that public prosecutor Agneta Blidberg also had presided over the botched investigation into the similar unsolved shooting murder, in 1986, of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme.

White Collar Crime, Corruption, and Fraud.
      The investigation of American corporate scandals involving insider trading, stock manipulation, false accounting, and other fraud continued at a slow pace. In June Sam Waksal, the 55-year-old founder of drug company ImClone Systems, became the first American corporate chief executive to be imprisoned for the scandals. Waksal, who had pleaded guilty to 6 of 13 charges stemming from his attempt to dump his shares in ImClone before a public announcement caused their value to plunge, was sentenced to more than seven years in prison, the maximum penalty under federal guidelines, and fined $4.3 million. In September Ben Glisan, a former treasurer of Enron, the energy giant that went bankrupt in 2001, was sentenced to five years in jail after he pleaded guilty to criminal conspiracy. Glisan's former boss, Andrew Fastow, former chief financial officer, was scheduled to stand trial in April 2004. Fastow continued to maintain his innocence on each of the charges in his 109-count indictment. Meanwhile, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced in July that two major banking groups, J.P. Morgan Chase and Citigroup, had agreed to pay nearly $300 million to settle SEC allegations regarding their roles in Enron's manipulated financial statements. The SEC said that $236 million would go to defrauded Enron investors.

      In South Africa, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the former wife of Nelson Mandela, was convicted of 43 counts of fraud and 25 of theft in a bungled banking scam. She was sentenced to four years in jail. In July the former deputy chairman of the British Conservative Party, Lord Jeffrey Archer, was paroled after having served half his four-year sentence for perjury.

      British banks announced in September the successful trial of new fraud-busting card technology that utilized a microchip on credit and debit cards and required verification by a personal identification number (PIN) rather than a signature. The new cards were scheduled to debut throughout the U.K. by January 2005. A similar scheme introduced earlier in France had resulted in an 80% decrease in card fraud.

Law Enforcement.
      The U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI were said to have increased dramatically their use of two little-known powers allowing them to tap telephones, seize records, and obtain other information without immediate oversight by the courts. The FBI, for example, had issued a substantial number of “national security letters” that required businesses to hand over records about finances, phone calls, e-mails, and other personal data. The letters could be issued by FBI field offices and were not subject to judicial review unless a case came to trial. The issuing of these letters was accelerated after the September 11 attacks, when Congress passed the USA PATRIOT Act, a package of sweeping antiterrorism legislation.

      Both U.S. civil rights groups and foreign governments decried the George W. Bush administration's decision in July to designate six foreign nationals (including two from the U.K. and one from Australia)—all of whom had been held captive at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, since the end of the war in Afghanistan—to stand trial before a closed military tribunal that was empowered to order their execution. All had been kept in legal limbo, neither treated as prisoners of war nor charged with a criminal offense. Britain warned that it would not tolerate the imposition of the death penalty on British nationals.

      In September Paul Evans, a senior U.S. police commissioner, was appointed to head the British Police Standards Unit. Evans, who was based in Boston, had been chosen because of his impressive record as the architect of Operation Ceasefire, a collaboration between the police and several Boston churches that all but eliminated youth gun crime in Boston and caused the number of homicides to plummet by two-thirds.

      In May the interior and justice ministers of the Group of Eight industrialized nations—Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.S., and Russia—agreed to develop a global system to thwart terrorism, organized crime, illegal immigration, and identity theft. The system would use biometrics such as eye scans, a near-foolproof method of checking identity. A scheme to equip passports with biometric chips capable of storing details of the holder's fingerprints and iris patterns, both of which were extremely difficult to fake, was expected to commence in late 2004 or early 2005.

      In Iraq the urgent need to train and equip a police force to replace the security apparatus of Saddam Hussein resulted in a massive program, conducted by the new U.S.-led administration, designed to put in place 75,000 new or retrained police officers by the end of 2004.

Duncan Chappell

Death Penalty
      Following the inaugural worldwide Cities Against the Death Penalty observance on Nov. 30, 2002, international pressure for the worldwide abolition of the death penalty continued during 2003. In Europe, Protocol 13 to the European Convention on Human Rights, which banned the death penalty in all circumstances, entered into force on July 1. In line with its commitments as a member of the Council of Europe, the Armenian National Assembly approved a new criminal code that substituted life imprisonment for execution. Kenya continued to move toward abolition as Pres. Mwai Kibaki (see Biographies (Kibaki, Mwai )) released 28 prisoners from death row and commuted to life imprisonment the death sentences of 195 others, and a Nigerian Shariʿah court of appeal overturned the death sentence of a 31-year-old Amina Lawal who had been convicted of adultery. Zambian Pres. Levy Mwanawasa appointed a commission to review the nation's constitution and to submit a recommendation regarding the death penalty. In Asia a nonpartisan Japanese parliamentary group drafted legislation to replace the death penalty with life in prison, and the president of Kyrgyzstan announced in January that a countrywide moratorium on executions would continue for another year. In the United States, Gov. George Ryan of Illinois commuted the death sentences of 167 death-row inmates two days before he left office.

      Acting counter to the global trend but in response to a rise in serious crime, the Sri Lankan minister of interior proposed the reintroduction of the death penalty, more than 26 years after the country's last execution was carried out. In Cuba a three-year de facto moratorium on executions came to an end when three men who had hijacked a ferry were executed by firing squad. In January, 15 people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo were secretly executed; these were the first executions to have been carried out there in just over two years.

Stuart Macdonald

▪ 2003


International Law
      In the most significant development in international law during 2002, the International Criminal Court (ICC) came into force on July 1. Despite objections by the U.S., the ICC garnered the requisite 60 ratifications among United Nations member states and opened its permanent headquarters in The Hague. As of October, the ICC had obtained 81 ratifications. Citing concern that Americans abroad would be the victims of false allegations, the U.S. in May submitted a formal renunciation of the American signature to the ICC treaty; the U.S. had signed the treaty in December 2001 but never ratified it. Israel submitted a similar letter in August. Following the withdrawal of several U.S. military observers from the UN mission in East Timor and American threats to veto a continuation of the peacekeeping missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, the Security Council guaranteed a one-year amnesty from ICC prosecution to nationals who were from countries that had not ratified the treaty and who were serving in official UN peacekeeping operations. Included in this group were American, Russian, and Chinese personnel. The Security Council indicated that it would renew this exemption on a yearly basis.

      Despite the formal announcement regarding its position on the ICC, the U.S. continued to be concerned about the reach of international law as represented by the court. The U.S. launched a full-scale diplomatic effort to reach bilateral agreements with more than 150 countries that would promise to provide immunity from ICC prosecution to Americans abroad. As of October, about a dozen countries had signed such agreements with the U.S. In late September the European Union (EU) gave its member states permission to negotiate such accords but only for U.S. soldiers and officials—and only if the agreements specified that the U.S. would agree to prosecute the accused in American courts instead. These conditions met with dissatisfaction in the U.S., where the administration of Pres. George W. Bush continued to argue that unconditional immunity was needed to protect Americans from “politically motivated” prosecutions. In January Britain negotiated a similar agreement with the Afghan interim government. That agreement protected the troops from several nations working with the International Security Assistance Force stationed in Afghanistan from prosecution by international tribunals.

The International Court of Justice.
      The International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued two rulings of importance to international law in 2002. In October the ICJ decided a territorial dispute between Nigeria and Cameroon in favour of the latter state. The Bakassi peninsula, rich in natural gas and oil reserves, was the disputed territory. Nigeria's claims rested on self-determination, as most of the inhabitants of the territory were Nigerian. Cameroon's claims stemmed from a 1913 treaty between colonial rulers Britain and Germany, which gave the territory to Cameroon.

      In February the ICJ had ruled in a case pitting the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC, formerly Zaire) against Belgium. The DRC had instituted proceedings against Belgium following the latter's issuance of an arrest warrant in 2000 for Abdulaye Yerodia Ndombasi, foreign minister of the DRC at that time. Yerodia was accused of crimes against humanity for his role in inciting a massacre of Tutsi in Kinshasa, the capital of Zaire in 1998. The warrant was issued under Belgium's law that established universal jurisdiction of the Belgian courts over grave violations of humanitarian law regardless of where, by whom, or against whom they were committed. The DRC contended, and the ICJ agreed, that Belgium had failed to respect customary international law regarding the immunity of incumbent heads of state and, by extension, official representatives of that position such as a foreign minister. Although initially the DRC's position challenged the legality of the entire Belgian law, the DRC changed its claim to focus only on the issue of ministerial immunity. The ICJ found that the issuance of the warrant, even though it was never executed, violated Yerodia's immunity because, by exposing him to arrest abroad, it interfered with his ability to conduct his official duties. This ruling forced Belgian courts to reconsider a similar warrant that the government had issued against Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

International Criminal Tribunals.
      The trial of former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic began in February at The Hague. He stood accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes in Kosovo, genocide in Bosnia, and crimes against humanity in Croatia. The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) heard testimony during the year from dozens of witnesses, including Croatian Pres. Stipe Mesic, who had served as the last president of the Yugoslav federation before its collapse in 1991. In a heated exchange in October, Milosevic, who had opted to defend himself at trial, accused Mesic of murder and betrayal of Yugoslavia. Mesic, who sternly denied those charges, had testified that Milosevic intentionally ignited ethnic violence in Croatia. The trial was ongoing at year's end.

      Former Bosnian Serb president Biljana Plavsic pleaded guilty to crimes against humanity. Her sentencing was scheduled for December. Other charges against her, including genocide, were dropped. Plavsic, who apologized and expressed remorse for her crimes, could be compelled to testify against other defendants, including Momcilo Krajisnik, her co-defendant and a former high-level adviser to Bosnian Serb Pres. Radovan Karadzic. Karadzic and Bosnian military leader Gen. Ratko Mladic remained at large in 2002.

      Also at the ICTY, the trial of Radoslav Brdjanin, a former Bosnian Serb deputy prime minister, produced an ancillary case focusing on the rights of journalists. The case, for which initial arguments were heard in September, focused on an article written by Washington Post correspondent Jonathan Randal. Defense attorneys for Brdjanin wanted to question Randal regarding the accuracy of an article he wrote that had been presented as evidence against Brdjanin. More than 30 media organizations joined in the case supporting Randal and arguing for journalistic privilege. Given the interest in and attention to the case, defense attorneys indicated that they might drop the request to force Randal to testify, keeping the ICTY from issuing a ruling on what many perceived as a test case for journalists' rights.

      Fifty-three suspects continued to await their trials at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). Following a reward offer of five million dollars, nine more genocide suspects were arrested in early August. Primary among them was Augustin Bizimungu, former chief of staff of the Rwandan army, who was arrested in Angola. Because of the backlog of cases, Bizimungu, who was charged with 10 counts of genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, and crimes against humanity, would not go to trial for another year.

      Thousands of Cambodians took to the streets in October to call for an international tribunal to bring members of the Khmer Rouge to justice for the atrocities that occurred during their reign in the 1970s. In February, however, the five-year-long talks between the Cambodian government and the UN to establish a tribunal on the models of the ICTY and ICTR broke down. In December the UN General Assembly began considering a UN committee resolution to resume talks.

U.S. Court Decisions Relating to International Law.
      Basing their claims on the Alien Tort Claims Act and the Torture Victim Protection Act, citizens of Zimbabwe brought a class-action suit in a federal court in New York against Zimbabwe Pres. Robert Mugabe and his foreign minister, Stan Mudenge, individually and as officers of the Zimbabwe African National Union–Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF). Mugabe, Mudenge, and ZANU-PF were accused of having orchestrated a campaign of violence against their political opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change. Mugabe and Mudenge were served while they were in New York City for a UN conference. Backed by the U.S. Department of State, the men requested dismissal of the case.

      In February the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York agreed to dismiss charges against Mugabe and Mudenge on the basis of diplomatic and sovereign immunity. The court stated that it had to consider the potential harm to diplomatic relations and the request of the State Department in making its determination. The court allowed the charges against ZANU-PF to stand, arguing that there was a difference between suing a head of state and suing a group with which he was associated. The court rejected the U.S. government's claim that there was absolute inviolability for the leaders under international law that would extend to whether they could be served process as representatives of a group such as the ZANU-PF. The court specified that the purpose of diplomatic and head-of-state immunity was not to protect those who abused human rights but rather to protect diplomatic relations, and diplomatic relations were jeopardized less by the case against ZANU-PF. The court did, however, recognize the continuing interest of the U.S. government in the case in allowing it to appeal the final judgment.

Victoria Williams

Court Decisions
      The 2001–02 term of the United States Supreme Court was notable for many reasons. The year marked the 30th anniversary—and arguably the most influential year—of Chief Justice William Rehnquist's tenure on the bench. The composition and character of the court were far different from those of the court he had joined during the twilight of the Earl Warren era. The year also marked the longest period of personnel continuity since the early 19th century, with no member of the bench possessing fewer than eight years of service. Moreover, seven of the nine justices had been appointed by Republican presidents, so the stability of the court had been favourable to conservative issues. Rehnquist, originally a frequent dissenter, had emerged as the leader of both the institution and the conservative bloc that had secured victories, many of them narrow (28% of all cases in the 2001–02 session were decided by 5–4 margins), in a number of important areas of constitutional law.

      Perhaps the most significant ruling of the term was in the case of Zelman v. Simmons-Harris. The case pertained to a movement in a number of states to consider alternatives to “failing” public educational institutions. The issue that gave rise to the case was the city of Cleveland's policy of providing “school vouchers,” financial assistance for students to attend schools of their choice. An estimated 96% of the recipients of vouchers elected to use them in private religious institutions. The implications for the establishment clause (the First Amendment prohibition on the government's making law on the establishment of religion) were abundantly clear; indeed, the prevailing wisdom among opponents of the law had been that the policy blatantly violated the separation of church and state. The present court, however, considered “accommodationist” on freedom of religion, upheld the school-voucher program. The pivotal element of the law—and the court's opinion—was neutrality. Rehnquist wrote for the majority that because the program provided benefits to a “wide spectrum of individuals, defined only by financial need and residence in a particular school district,” it constituted “a genuine choice among options public and private, secular and religious.”

      In a second education-related case, Board of Education v. Earls, the court upheld the right of schools to administer drug tests randomly to students involved in extracurricular activities. Turning back a claim that the privacy rights of students would be surrendered under such a policy, Justice Clarence Thomas distinguished between the rights of adults and those of minors and championed the broad authority of schools to undertake measures designed to create a disciplined, safe, and healthy learning environment for students. Citing the “custodial responsibility” of the schools, he persuaded a bare majority that such initiatives justified “greater controls [for students] than those appropriate for adults.”

      The court's interest in protecting minors from another vice—pornography—was addressed in the case of Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition. By a vote of 6–3, the court struck down the Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996, which criminalized the creation, distribution, and possession of digitally created or manipulated (“virtual”) child pornography. In his majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy did not question the government's interest in halting the proliferation of child pornography but noted that the virtual format at issue here distinguished the medium from pornography per se. On that distinction in particular, and artistic expression in general, he wrote that “the Constitution gives significant protection from over-broad laws that chill speech within the First Amendment's vast and privileged sphere.”

      In a more limited ruling concerning the proliferation of “harmful” materials via the Internet, the court decided in Ashcroft v. ACLU that the Child Online Protection Act of 1998's dependence on community standards in a global digital domain, though inherently questionable, did not “by itself render the statute substantially overbroad” and therefore unconstitutional. The substantive elements of the law neglected by the intermediate appellate court would, by this ruling, be reexamined by the federal appeals court in Philadelphia and almost certainly serve as a foundation for further scrutiny by the Supreme Court during its 2002–03 term.

      A third major freedom of speech case involved the scope of protection afforded commercial speech. In Thompson v. Western States Medical Center, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor led a bare majority in declaring unconstitutional a federal ban on the advertisement of compounded pharmaceuticals (medications designed by pharmacists to treat the specific needs of a patient). Because the medications are created by pharmacists, they are not subjected to standard drug approval processes. The ban was exacted to protect consumers from the effects of such drugs in the absence of information common to ordinary prescriptions. Reasoning that “regulating speech must be a last—not first—resort,” O'Connor found such broad a priori legal remedies to be a violation of speech rights.

      In Rush Prudential HMO Inc. v. Moran, the court sided with patients in claims against managed-care companies. In a 5–4 ruling joined by Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, O'Connor, and John Paul Stevens, Justice David Souter held that Employee Retirement Income Security Act rules did not apply to cases in which patients were denied medically recommended treatments. State laws mandating independent medical reviews of denied-treatment claims were therefore upheld.

      In the area of criminal law, the court decided four important cases—two involving capital punishment and two involving the constitutional rights of sex offenders. The death penalty cases raised both substantive and procedural questions. Substantively, the court ruled in Atkins v. Virginia that the imposition of the death penalty in cases involving mentally retarded defendants violated the Eighth Amendment's protection against cruel and unusual punishment. On the basis of “evolving standards of decency,” the majority, led by Justice Stevens, held that mentally retarded persons “do not act with the level of moral culpability that characterizes the most serious adult criminal conduct” and that to impose the same lethal sentence would compromise the principle of fairness in capital cases. Procedurally, the court struck down protocol in five states that allowed judges, rather than juries, to determine whether the prosecution had successfully demonstrated the aggravating circumstances necessary for imposition of the death penalty in capital cases. Without questioning the constitutional validity of capital punishment itself, the court ruled 7–2 in Ring v. Arizona that fair trials required jury involvement in the fact-finding process relevant to death penalty cases. (See Special Report (Death Penalty on Trial ).)

      Both sex offense cases involved Kansas laws, one of which was designed to protect citizens and the other of which was intended to rehabilitate perpetrators. In Kansas v. Crane, the court clarified the rules governing postdetention civil confinement. In a 7–2 ruling the court held that civil confinement could be imposed only if it could be proved that a convicted sexual offender was still dangerous, likely to repeat the crime, and experiencing “serious difficulty in controlling behavior.” In McKune v. Lile, a sharply divided court upheld the state's Sexual Abuse Treatment Program. The act penalized inmates who refused to participate in a program that required them to reveal (and potentially stand accountable for) other crimes they had committed prior to their current conviction. To Justice Kennedy both the means and the ends (both geared toward reducing recidivism) were legitimate and the therapy designed to cure the problem did not amount to coerced self-incrimination, as the dissenters contended.

      The Supreme Court also continued its interest in cases involving Americans with disabilities. In three separate cases the court sided with employers and limited the recourse of workers. In Toyota Motor Manufacturing Inc. v. Williams, the court clarified the qualifications for claiming a disability, deciding unanimously that disabilities had to limit not only specific job-performance activity but also general abilities “central to daily life.” In US Airways v. Barnett, the court limited the breadth of requirements designed to accommodate disabled worker job transfers in light of governing seniority rules; arguing that the law would treat unfairly employees whose security depends on company seniority plans, the court ruled that such transfers do not constitute a “reasonable accommodation” of disabled workers under the Americans with Disabilities Act. In Chevron USA v. Echazabal, the court ruled unanimously that the Americans with Disabilities Act could not be interpreted as requiring potential employees to hire individuals whose existing health status might be jeopardized by job requirements.

      Despite the significance of the year's Supreme Court rulings, the one case that emerged as perhaps the most salient and controversial came from the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco. On the eve of the Fourth of July, the court decided a case questioning the constitutionality of the phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance. In a ruling that earned front-page coverage coast-to-coast the following day, the court declared that the utterance of those words by teachers in their classrooms amounted to an unconstitutional interference with students' freedom of religion.

Brian Smentkowski


      Throughout the year a relentless international hunt continued to bring to justice those responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the U.S. In September Pakistani authorities arrested a key al-Qaeda operative, 30-year-old Yemen native Ramzi Binalshibh, in Karachi. Binalshibh was believed to have been designated as the 20th hijacker on September 11, but he had failed in his attempts to gain a visa for entry into the U.S. in order to participate in the attacks. Until his capture, Binalshibh had last been seen in Hamburg, Ger., where he reportedly had been a roommate of Mohammed Atta, believed to have been the leader of the September 11 hijackers. By his own admission, Binalshibh provided logistic support to the hijackers. He was soon handed over to U.S. authorities and moved out of Pakistan to an undisclosed location for further interrogation.

      Successes were also claimed by U.S. officials in striking against suspected terrorist plots while they were still in their embryonic stages. A total of at least 15 persons, many of them American citizens, were arrested by federal officials in separate terrorism cases in Lackawanna, N.Y.; Detroit, Mich.; Seattle, Wash.; and Portland, Ore. In early October U.S. federal courts dealt with two highly publicized prosecutions. In Alexandria, Va., John Walker Lindh, a 21-year-old American citizen, received a 20-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to charges of having aided the Taliban in Afghanistan and carried explosives. In Boston, Richard C. Reid, a British citizen who admitted membership in al-Qaeda, pleaded guilty to charges of having attempted to blow up a trans-Atlantic flight in December 2001 with explosives hidden in his shoes.

      Despite these successes, there were ominous indications that al-Qaeda was far from being a spent force. On October 12 two powerful bomb explosions ripped apart a packed nightclub and its surrounding area at Kuta Beach, a popular tourist resort on the Indonesian island of Bali. The blast and ensuing fire claimed the lives of at least 180 people and injured more than 300. The majority of those killed or injured were Australians, but the death toll also included other foreign tourists as well as many Balinese. This was by far the worst international terrorist atrocity since September 11; according to CIA Director George Tenet, it represented a regrouping by al-Qaeda and a determination to execute new attacks against targets in the U.S. and overseas.

      In May the U.S. Department of State reported that during 2001, despite the horrific events of September 11, the number of international terrorist attacks declined to 346, down from 426 the previous year. A total of 3,547 persons were killed in these attacks, the highest annual death toll ever recorded. Ninety percent of the fatalities were the result of the events of September 11. In August 2002 one of the world's most dangerous and sought-after terrorists, Abu Nidal, died in Baghdad, the Iraqi capital, where he had been granted sanctuary. (See Obituaries (Abu Nidal ).)

Drug and Human Trafficking.
      In February the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) warned governments that they needed to address the challenges that new technologies posed to drug-law enforcement in an era of increasing globalization. The INCB urged the development of a UN Convention on Cybercrime to combat organized criminal groups that were exploiting the Internet to facilitate their drug-trafficking activities. The INCB also confirmed that in 2001 opium poppy production in Afghanistan fell by more than 90% following a ban by the Taliban on the cultivation of this crop. With the fall of the Taliban regime, poppy growing was believed to have resumed on a large scale despite the best efforts of the new interim government to eradicate opium production.

      Experts on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border warned that drug smuggling was becoming a much easier task after a shift of focus in law-enforcement priorities as a result of September 11. With the FBI and other agencies involved almost exclusively in combating terrorism in 2002, it was estimated that as few as 10% of the personnel once devoted to interdicting the flow of drugs remained in place.

      At an international conference on child trafficking held in Rome in July, charitable organizations reported that a growing number of adolescent girls from Eastern Europe were being sold into sex slavery. Each year more than 6,000 children between the ages of 12 and 16 were being smuggled into Western Europe. According to a UNICEF report given at the conference, the victims of human traffickers were in general becoming younger, and the criminal gangs were using more sophisticated techniques to prevent apprehension. The UNICEF report suggested that it was time to devote more effort to prosecuting traffickers rather than simply returning victims to their countries of origin.

Murder and Other Violence.
      Preliminary figures released in June from the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program indicated that in 2001 the Crime Index, comprising murder, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny theft, and motor vehicle theft, increased by 2%. The increase, which was the first of its kind in almost a decade, came after steady inroads had been made against serious crime during the 1990s. While criminologists cautioned against drawing sweeping conclusions about crime trends on the basis of a single year, they emphasized that local police departments were now facing severe resource constraints as they confronted new and complex demands of fighting terrorism together with routine crime. The FBI figures, which excluded offenses arising directly from the events of September 11, showed that among violent crimes robbery had the greatest increase, rising by nearly 4%.

      In Europe a spate of mass shootings and other gun-related crimes caused widespread concern that a problem that had long been viewed mainly as one afflicting only the U.S. was spreading across the Atlantic. On March 27 in the Paris suburb of Nanterre, a disturbed 33-year-old man walked into a municipal council meeting wielding a pair of automatic pistols and shot dead eight councillors and wounded more than a dozen other people. The man was arrested but subsequently jumped to his death while in police custody. On April 26, in one of the worst school shootings ever, 18 people were killed at a school in Erfurt, Ger. The gunman, a 19-year-old student who had recently been expelled, roamed the corridors of the school on a killing spree before taking his own life as police commandos closed in to apprehend him.

      Sniper attacks over a roughly three-week span in October brought normal life to a halt in Washington, D.C., and its surrounding suburbs. Authorities eventually arrested two suspects—41-year-old John Allen Muhammad and his 17-year-old companion, John Lee Malvo—for a shooting spree that claimed the lives of 10 persons and wounded 3 others. The arrests came after a series of critical breaks in the case, which reportedly included a reference that one of the snipers made to police about an earlier crime, a robbery-murder in Montgomery, Ala., in September. The attacks had baffled investigators. Each of the victims had been selected seemingly at random and shot from long range with a high-powered rifle. Several eyewitness accounts proved misleading, and a motive for the crimes was not immediately clear. Muhammad faced a number of federal charges as well as murder prosecutions in Maryland, Virginia, and Alabama. Malvo, though a juvenile, could be executed if found guilty of capital murder in Virginia, where he and Muhammad would be tried first.

White-Collar Crime, Corruption, and Fraud.
      Throughout much of the year, a seemingly endless stream of scandals continued to be uncovered involving some of the largest corporations in the U.S. The scandals shook public confidence in Wall Street and prompted calls for tougher measures to prevent executives from falsifying accounts and plundering company coffers at the expense of shareholders. In an attempt to assuage critics and shame those involved, regulators paraded an array of handcuffed white-collar defendants to the courthouse. These included Andrew S. Fastow, the former chief financial officer of Enron, a firm once ranked as the seventh largest in the U.S. In October Fastow, who had previously been hailed as one of corporate America's most innovative executives, was charged before a federal court in Houston with having engaged in a vast scheme to use off-the-books partnerships fraudulently to disguise the company's financial performance while enriching himself with millions in Enron funds. In a display of bipartisanship in August, the U.S. Congress gave overwhelming support to broad new regulatory measures for businesses and their auditors and enacted stiffer penalties for those who committed financial fraud.

      In April, A. Alfred Taubman, the principal owner and former chairman of Sotheby's, an international auction house, was sentenced by a federal court in New York City to one year in prison and a fine of $7.5 million. Taubman had been convicted in December 2001 of having conducted a price-fixing scheme with rival auction house Christie's and its former head Anthony Tennant. Tennant, who was also indicted for his role in the scheme, refused to leave England in order to face trial in the U.S. In separate proceedings Sotheby's pleaded guilty to price fixing and paid a $45 million fine while both Sotheby's and Christie's also settled a civil suit brought by duped customers by agreeing to pay them more than $512 million. In December a French court convicted American financier George Soros of insider trading and fined him $2.2 million. Greed and dishonesty were in evidence in other area during the year as well. (See Education: Special Report (New Frontiers in Cheating ).)

Law Enforcement.
      In the aftermath of September 11, U.S. law-enforcement and intelligence agencies came under intense scrutiny to determine whether lapses in their counterterrorism activities had allowed al-Qaeda to launch its deadly attack. Hearings were held as part of an aggressive congressional inquiry into intelligence failures, and many concluded that both the FBI and the CIA had missed warning signals of the attack and had focused too much attention on threats overseas rather than upon a terrorist assault on U.S. soil. To prevent failures of this type from occurring in the future, radical changes began to be implemented in the structure, mission, and powers of the FBI and other key law-enforcement bodies in the U.S. In May U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft (see Biographies (Ashcroft, John )) announced comprehensive revisions to the FBI's investigative guidelines. Ashcroft stated that in the future the war against terrorism would represent the central mission and highest priority of the FBI and that there would be early and aggressive investigation where information existed to suggest the possibility of a terrorist threat.

      In June U.S. Pres. George W. Bush, outlining the most ambitious reorganization of the government's national security structure in half a century, urged Congress to create a Department of Homeland Security to coordinate intelligence about terrorism and tighten the nation's domestic defenses. More than a dozen existing federal entities, including the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Customs Service, and the Coast Guard, were to be amalgamated into this new department, whose employee strength would be exceeded only by the Department of Defense and the Department of Veteran Affairs. The president's proposal at first received enthusiastic bipartisan support, but congressional approval was delayed until November. On November 25 President Bush signed the Homeland Security Bill and named Tom Ridge, the White House domestic security adviser, head of the new Department of Homeland Security.

      In May Robert P. Hanssen, considered one of the most damaging spies in U.S. history, was sentenced by a federal court in Alexandria, Va., to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Hanssen, a 25-year veteran counterintelligence agent of the FBI, apologized for 21 years of spying for Moscow. His sentence followed a plea agreement in July 2001 that spared him the death penalty in exchange for his cooperation. Hanssen evaded capture for decades until a defector warned the FBI of a high-level traitor and provided examples of the secrets he had betrayed, which included details of U.S. preparations for nuclear war.

      In July a public inquiry in Britain concluded that Harold Shipman, a family doctor convicted in January 2000 of having killed 15 elderly patients with lethal injections of diamorphine, was in fact responsible for the deaths of at least 215 of his patients. The inquiry, conducted by British High Court Justice Dame Janet Smith, found that Shipman had murdered 171 women and 44 men over a period of 23 years. Smith said that it was deeply disturbing that Shipman's actions did not arouse suspicion for so many years and that the public health and legal systems that should have safeguarded his patients against his misconduct failed to operate satisfactorily. In a second and ongoing phase of the inquiry, a proposal was made to examine how one of the world's most prolific serial killers was able to avoid detection by law-enforcement agencies and what measures could prevent this from happening again.

Duncan Chappell

Prisons and Penology
      The global prison population in 2002 exceeded 8.75 million, with approximately half of these prisoners held in Russia, China, and the U.S. Prison populations rose in 69% of the world's countries, but the prison population rate in China remained stable at 110 per 100,000 inhabitants, while in Russia it was 665, despite the amnesties of more than 100,000 prisoners in recent years. The highest prison population rate in the world was in the U.S.—700 per 100,000 residents—although the 1.1% increase in the prison population during 2001 was the lowest annual increase recorded since 1972. This was due in part to the efforts of Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, the states with the highest rates of incarceration, to limit the growth of their prison populations. In Europe the highest prison population rate for any country was 130 in Portugal, slightly higher than the rate of 125 in Britain, while the Scandinavian countries of Finland (50), Denmark (60), and Sweden (65) had the lowest rates.

      Concerns over prison conditions surfaced around the world. Human rights groups objected to the treatment of al-Qaeda and Taliban detainees at Camp X-Ray at the U.S. naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, after photographs surfaced of blindfolded and shackled detainees kneeling inside wire cages. The U.S. government maintained that the photos were taken as prisoners were being processed and insisted that they were being treated humanely. Prisoners in Turkey continued to protest their conditions; the number of prisoners who had starved to death in hunger strikes during these protests reached 50. The European Union (EU) warned that conditions had to be improved before Turkey could accede to membership. In Sri Lanka 400 prisoners seized control of Tangalla prison for two days, taking at least 10 staff members hostage, to demand better conditions and quicker bail applications. More than 400 prisoners rioted in a juvenile detention centre in Thailand when a protest over conditions at the jail turned violent.

      Violence also occurred in Urso Branco prison in northern Brazil, where at least 27 inmates were killed during fighting between rival gangs within the prison. In Haiti armed supporters of a local leader drove a bulldozer through a prison wall, freeing him and some 150 other inmates. In Scotland a standoff occurred at Shotts prison, during which prisoners caused significant damage after an electrical storm caused a power outage in the prison. Inmates in a high-security jail in Algiers set fire to their mattresses, starting a blaze that killed 14 prisoners.

Death Penalty
      The gradual movement toward worldwide abolition of the death penalty continued during the year. (See Special Report (Death Penalty on Trial ).) A World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, representing many national and international anti- capital punishment organizations, was formally constituted, and the Council of Europe adopted Protocol 13 to the European Convention on Human Rights—the first legally binding international treaty to abolish the death penalty in all circumstances with no exceptions.

      The two republic parliaments of Serbia and Montenegro abolished capital punishment in 2002 to clear the way for Yugoslavia's admittance to the Council of Europe. To increase its chances of joining the EU, Turkey replaced capital punishment with life imprisonment without parole for all peacetime offenses. Taiwan's legislature reduced the scope of the mandatory death penalty, and the Tanzanian president commuted to life imprisonment the death sentences of 100 people. The U.S. Supreme Court held that executing the mentally retarded and any form of sentencing by a judge in capital cases were both unconstitutional. Nearly 800 of the 3,700 death row inmates in the U.S. had been sentenced without the protections extended by the latter decision.

      In contrast to this global trend, the outgoing Hungarian prime minister called for his country to reconsider its ban on capital punishment. In addition, the events of Sept. 11, 2001, led to antiterrorist proposals, including expansion of the death penalty, in several U.S. states, with legislators in two states, Iowa and Wisconsin, proposing reintroduction of capital punishment. Elsewhere, death penalties were imposed for nonviolent offenses; in Saudi Arabia three men were publicly beheaded following convictions for homosexual acts, and in Nigeria a young mother was sentenced to death by stoning for having committed adultery and given birth to a child out of wedlock.

Andrew Rutherford

▪ 2002


International Law
      Throughout 2001 countries continued to work toward a common understanding of international law, particularly on the issue of “universal jurisdiction,” the concept that war criminals may be punished anywhere regardless of where or against whom they committed their crimes. The September terrorist attacks in the United States raised critical questions for international law, including how terrorists should be punished and what the rules were for taking action against countries alleged to have harboured those responsible.

      Peru continued to seek the extradition of former president Alberto Fujimori, who was living in exile in Japan. Fujimori was accused of abandonment of his office, dereliction of duty in the wake of corruption scandals, and failure to appear for court hearings. Japan refused to extradite Fujimori and said the case would be handled according to Japanese domestic law. Chile's former dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet Ugarte, who faced allegations of war crimes committed during his tenure, was found medically unfit to stand trial.

      The collision of a Chinese fighter jet with an American surveillance jet caused the American plane to land on Chinese soil in distress, while the Chinese aircraft was lost at sea. The U.S. questioned whether the Chinese had the right to board the downed American plane, hold its crew, and remove equipment from the plane, all of which the Chinese did. Although there was no international law directly applicable to such a situation, the U.S. raised two legal points: first, the U.S. plane had not overflown China's 19-km (12-mi) recognized territorial seas and therefore did not violate China's sovereignty or break international law, and, second, customary international law recognizes that a ship in distress can enter a harbour unannounced; furthermore, a foreign military ship in port is not subject to the jurisdiction of the port state. These laws could be interpreted to cover aircraft as well as ships. Chinese authorities claimed that since the aircraft had no right to be on Chinese territory, it was not immune to being searched.

The International Court of Justice.
      In July the International Court of Justice (ICJ) found that the U.S. had breached its obligations to Germany under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. Walter LaGrand, a German national, was sentenced to death for his involvement in a 1982 murder in Arizona. The night before the execution, Germany brought suit in the ICJ. Germany argued that LaGrand had not been informed of his rights under the Vienna Convention, under which he could have notified the German consulate of his arrest and incarceration. Despite the ICJ's issuance of a “provisional measure of protection,” LaGrand was executed as scheduled. The court held that the U.S. violated the convention's requirements. It determined that individual rights in one's nation of origin might be invoked in the World Court when the individual was being detained in another country.

      The principality of Liechtenstein brought suit in the ICJ against Germany, claiming that Germany had improperly disposed of property belonging to Liechtenstein. After World War II, Czechoslovakia, one of the Allies, seized property without compensation in defeated Germany, including some objects owned by Liechtensteiners. Subsequently, in 1952 Germany and Liechtenstein agreed that although Germany had given up the right to pursue the recovery of its own goods, those objects belonging to Liechtenstein had been illegally taken by Czechoslovakia. When in 1991 a Czechoslovak museum sent to Germany on loan a painting that was among those claimed by Liechtenstein, that principality's leader, Prince Hans Adam II, sued the Germans, claiming that the painting had been illegally seized in 1945 and that Germany should relinquish it. The German courts disagreed, finding that the painting was properly seized German property; it was later returned to the Czech Republic. The ICJ had not reached a decision as of year's end.

Universal Jurisdiction.
      In June a Belgian jury sentenced two nuns and two men to jail terms from 12 to 20 years for crimes committed during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. A 1993 Belgian law gave its courts jurisdiction over violations of the Geneva Conventions regardless of where the crimes were committed, by whom, or against whom. The Geneva Conventions call for the humane treatment of noncombatants, and they prohibit murder, mutilation, and cruel or degrading treatment. This was the first jury trial to address violations of international humanitarian law that occurred in another country. A Belgian court delayed until November a preliminary hearing to determine whether that country had jurisdiction to bring charges against Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (see Biographies (Sharon, Ariel )) for his role in a 1982 Palestinian massacre. The court's decision to hear arguments on the case prompted outrage from some countries and caused the Belgian government to consider exempting sitting prime ministers and presidents from the reach of the 1993 law. In a similar case, Senegal's high court ruled that it did not have jurisdiction over Chad's exiled president Hissène Habré for crimes he committed while in Chad. Habré's victims spoke of seeking his extradition to Belgium instead. Similarly, a Cuban American group threatened to file suit in Belgian court against Cuban leader Fidel Castro, alleging crimes against humanity.

International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.
      There were several landmark decisions from the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Three ethnic Serbs were convicted on charges of rape and torture for their abuse in 1992 of women in a “rape camp” in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This was the first case to issue convictions for rape as a crime against humanity. In June Serbia surrendered former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic to the ICTY. He would be the first former head of state to stand trial at an international tribunal. Article 7 of the ICTY specifically denies immunity to heads of state. Milosevic was indicted in 1999 on charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes for the killings of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. He was indicted in October for crimes in Croatia in 1991–92 and in November for crimes in Bosnia in 1992–96. Gen. Radislav Krstic was sentenced to 46 years in prison for his role in the execution of 7,000 unarmed Muslim men and boys near the Bosnian town of Srebrenica in 1995. According to the verdict issued in the case, “ethnic cleansing became genocide.” Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and his top general, Ratko Mladic, indicted by the tribunal on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity, were still fugitives, as were many others. In October, after six years of refusing to cooperate, the Bosnian Serb parliament passed a law supporting the ICTY and calling for the arrest of war-crimes suspects living in Republika Srpska (Serb Republic).

      A Scottish court found a Libyan, ʿAbd al-Baset al-Megrahi, guilty of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scot., in 1988. A second Libyan was acquitted, and al-Megrahi planned to appeal. The court placed responsibility for the bombing on Libya but did not specify who might have been involved. An American federal grand jury indicted 14 men (13 Saudi nationals) in connection with the 1996 bombing of the U.S. military barracks in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia protested, claiming that the U.S. did not have the jurisdiction to prosecute a crime that occurred on Saudi territory, nor did it have the right to prosecute Saudi nationals. Although universal jurisdiction had been recognized for war crimes and genocide, it was less accepted for acts of terrorism. The September 11 terrorist attacks in the U.S. could cause that to change, however. On September 28 the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1373, which was legally binding on all members and called for states to take measures to combat terrorism, including bringing terrorists to justice.

      Most international law concerned interstate disputes and had little to do with individuals. Thus, because Osama bin Laden (see Biographies (bin Laden, Osama )), the prime suspect in the terrorist attacks, was not the representative of any state, charges against him could not be brought in the ICJ. The proper forum would have been the International Criminal Court, but the act enabling the ICC had not been ratified by the requisite number of countries— the U.S. being among the nonratifiers. What constituted a legal response to the September attacks was also moot. Were the attacks an act of war? Was a declaration of war required in order to respond with military force?

      On October 18 a New York judge handed down life sentences to three foreigners and a naturalized American found guilty of involvement in the 1998 attacks on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Bin Laden was linked to these attacks as well, but he and 12 others indicted for the bombings remained at large.

Victoria C. Williams

Court Decisions
      Between Oct. 2, 2000, and June 28, 2001, the United States Supreme Court decided 79 cases. While the term would be forever remembered for Bush v. Gore, a number of other significant cases also attracted attention. Statistically, if not rhetorically, the term ranked as the most divisive since the current composition of the court was established in 1994. In one-third of the cases, the court ruled 5–4; in the area of civil rights, the “faction-fraction” rose to two-thirds. Not surprisingly, many of the most divisive cases raised salient constitutional questions, and the court's answers to them clarified not only the tenuous status of individual rights but patterns of judicial decision making as well. This was especially true in the fields of civil rights, civil liberties, and criminal law.

      The cases of Alexander v. Sandoval, Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama v. Garrett, and Easley (formerly Hunt) v. Cromartie exemplified the dividing line in civil rights jurisprudence. In the first pair of cases, the philosophical split was identical: Justices William Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Sandra Day O'Connor, and Clarence Thomas formed the conservative majority, with the more liberal Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, John Paul Stevens, and David Souter constituting the minority.

      Alexander v. Sandoval involved a challenge to Alabama's English-only driver's license examinations. Arguing that Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and related federal regulations prohibiting discrimination in federally funded programs were never intended to permit or award lawsuits filed by private individuals, Scalia held that there is no private cause of action to enforce such regulations. In the second Alabama-based case, the court ruled that the states are immune from lawsuits claiming discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Just as the former case limited the application of federal law owing to a narrow interpretation of congressional intent, the latter restricted congressional authority in the area of equal protection, reaffirming a stellar commitment to a state-centred theory of federalism. The notable exception to this trend was established in the case of PGA Tour, Inc. v. Martin. By a vote of 7–2, the court ruled that Casey Martin, a professional golfer with diminished ambulatory ability, had a legal right under the Disabilities Act to use a golf cart during the Professional Golfers' Association of America (PGA) tour. Despite the PGA's insistence that such a decision would give Martin an unfair advantage, the court ruled that the use of a cart constituted a reasonable accommodation of the petitioner's disability.

      In the area where civil rights, civil liberties, and electoral politics converged, the Supreme Court addressed two important cases. In Easley v. Cromartie, the minority in Alexander and University of Alabama gained the support of Justice O'Connor, producing the one-vote margin necessary to uphold the configuration of North Carolina's 12th Congressional District. In ruling that the district, which was 47% black, was crafted through a bipartisan effort and not according to racial identity, the level of suspicion historically associated with apparently race-based districts was relaxed enough to facilitate a judicial inclusion of intent and method, rather than simply racial composition. The inclusion of O'Connor in this case indicated a unique flexibility in terms of both the law and the justice's own position. Since her appointment O'Connor had been an opponent of presumably race-based districting, and the cases were decided along those relatively rigid lines. By taking into consideration other variables—the source, method, and motives of redistricting—a new jurisprudential flexibility emerged.

      In the related field of campaign finance, the same majority upheld limitations on coordinated campaign expenditures. The court held in Federal Election Commission v. Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee that party expenditures were substantively different from individual expenditures and therefore ineligible for the full First Amendment protection offered to citizens. Also, by rejecting party exemptions, the court avoided setting a standard that could conceivably have facilitated the circumvention of other campaign finance rules and regulations.

      Although political parties were limited in the expression of support they may give, the speech and actions of attorneys employed by a government corporation may not be subjected to congressional restrictions. Compatible with its philosophy of limited congressional authority, the court ruled in the consolidated cases of Legal Services Corporation v. Velazquez and United States v. Velazquez that a 1996 provision limiting various modes of conduct including, but not limited to, lobbying, class-action litigation, immigrant representation, and welfare reform violated the First Amendment rights of the attorneys and their clients.

      In Good News Club v. Milford Central School, the court revisited the controversial issue of speech rights and religious liberty in public schools. Arguing that the school's attempt to deny Christian groups access to facilities for religious instruction amounted to viewpoint discrimination, the court held that public schools must provide the same after-hours privileges for religious organizations as they do for nonreligious organizations. Because the school itself was not sponsoring or requiring religious instruction, the establishment clause was not violated.

      In the area of criminal law, the court decided at least four major Fourth Amendment cases: Illinois v. McArthur, Atwater v. City of Lago Vista, Kyllo v. United States, and Ferguson v. City of Charleston. The Illinois and Atwater cases were similar in that they involved police conduct relating to the execution of warrants and arrests. In Illinois v. McArthur, the court ruled that the Fourth Amendment was not violated when police, while awaiting a warrant to search property for evidence of a controlled dangerous substance, prohibited a man from entering his home. Because police had probable cause to believe the home contained evidence of a crime, because of the reasonable suspicion that such evidence would be destroyed by the suspect if he was allowed to enter the home, and because there was a minimal intrusion into the man's personal privacy, the warrantless seizure was considered constitutionally permissible.

      Atwater v. City of Lago Vista involved the related question of warrantless arrests. Writing for the court, Justice Souter argued that the Fourth Amendment does not forbid warrantless arrests for minor criminal offenses. The offense in this case was the failure of an adult driver to secure herself and her children with safety belts while in an automobile. Despite competing claims regarding the applicability of common-law traditions and the presumed severity of the penalty, there simply is no constitutional prohibition of the legal action in question.

      Kyllo v. United States and Ferguson v. City of Charleston both involved questions of illegal searches—the former involving a home, the latter involving a person. In Kyllo v. United States, the court ruled that police use of thermal imaging devices aimed at a private residence constituted an unconstitutional search of private property. According to Justice Scalia, using the device to detect heat and light necessary for growing marijuana amounted to a search under the Fourth Amendment, which would have required a warrant. In the Ferguson case, the court was asked to determine whether a hospital's policy of testing for drug use and providing such results to police in order to deter pregnant women from using cocaine violated the generally recognized prohibition of warrantless nonconsensual searches. Striking down the law, Stevens wrote that the policy, which emanated from a program designed at the height of the “crack babies” epidemic and ultimately resulted in the use of medical procedures to alert police to criminal conduct, was unconstitutional.

      In Whitman v. American Trucking Associations, Inc., which was proclaimed by the New York Times to be “the most important regulatory ruling” of the term, the court unanimously defended the Clean Air Act against a legal challenge by the ATA. The legal challenge was two-pronged: to argue that the Environmental Protection Agency's power was derived from an unconstitutional delegation of legislative authority to an administrative agency and that cost-benefit analysis should be part of the calculus for developing environmental standards. The court rejected both claims, finding that public-health matters should constitute the sole determinant of new clean-air standards.

      The court's 2001–02 term could well be remembered for the manner in which the institution began its session in October: with the unprecedented necessity of acknowledging the impact of terrorism on American soil in the wake of the September 11 attacks and, for the first time since the completion of the Supreme Court building, holding its session outside the historic structure. The dramatic events relating to war and conflict had an immediate impact on the operation, if not the judgment, of the court—so much so, in fact, that one of the court's first orders of business, upholding the prohibition of former president Bill Clinton's privilege of practicing law before the bench, went largely unnoticed.

Brian Smentkowski


      On Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks of unprecedented savagery and destruction were launched against the United States. In a coordinated assault terrorists simultaneously hijacked four commercial airliners flying from Newark, N.J., Boston, Mass., and Washington, D.C. Two of the planes were then flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center (WTC) in New York City, while a third plowed into the country's military nerve centre, the Pentagon, outside Washington, D.C. The fourth aircraft crashed into a field in Pennsylvania, apparently after passengers struggled to overpower the hijackers following news received over their cell phones of what had just occurred in New York. This aircraft was believed to have been targeted to fly into either the White House or the U.S. Capitol building in Washington. (See Special Report (September 11 ).)

      More than 3,000 persons were thought to have perished during the course of these attacks, most having been buried amid the rubble of the WTC towers, which collapsed about one hour after being struck. The death toll made this the deadliest single day of violent action against the U.S. since the American Civil War, exceeding the 2,403 deaths in Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. In the wake of the September 11 attacks, Pres. George W. Bush declared the U.S. to be “at war” with international terrorism and readied the nation for military retaliation against the perpetrators of the assault. While no terrorist group made immediate claim to have assisted the 19 hijackers identified by the FBI as having been aboard the doomed flights, a massive criminal investigation launched in the U.S. and abroad garnered compelling evidence that the attacks were the work of al-Qaeda (“the Base”), a network of Islamic terrorist organizations led by Saudi-born Osama bin Laden. (See Biographies (bin Laden, Osama ).) Al-Qaeda, according to extensive testimony given at a number of highly publicized terrorist trials in the U.S. during recent years, was a well-organized and sophisticated body that acted as a facilitator and coordinator of terrorist activities in many countries. Al-Qaeda was known to support at least four elite training camps in Afghanistan for its adherents, where instruction was given in bomb making, sabotage, intelligence gathering, abduction, hijacking, and related terrorist activities. When conducting an operation like the attacks upon two U.S. embassies in East Africa in August 1998, al-Qaeda used teams composed of long-term “sleepers,” who had been resident in a country for years, as well as “cleanskins,” who had never been involved in an operation before. It was believed that Bin Laden and his aides adopted a similar strategy when planning and executing the September 11 assault from their shadowy base within Afghanistan, where they continued to be given sanctuary by that nation's extremist Islamic regime, the Taliban. Despite the imposition upon Afghanistan of severe international sanctions and armed intervention by the U.S. and its allies, the Taliban refused to meet demands that they cease their support for al-Qaeda and hand over Bin Laden and his associates to face justice.

      The level of international support and assistance offered to the U.S. in responding to the events of September 11 was demonstrated by NATO, which declared that the attacks were against the alliance as a whole. On October 7 U.S.-led military strikes commenced against a range of targets within Afghanistan, including suspected terrorist bases. Shortly after the attacks began, a prerecorded message from Bin Laden, speaking from an undisclosed location, was broadcast by the Qatar-based satellite TV network Al-Jazeera to millions of television screens around the world. During the broadcast Bin Laden implicitly admitted his involvement in the September 11 assault, called upon Muslims to engage in a holy war against the U.S., and suggested that his actions were in part a response to Israeli reprisals against Palestinians.

Drug Trafficking.
      As required under U.S. law, President Bush delivered to Congress in March a report certifying which governments of the major drug-producing countries and drug-transit countries had cooperated fully with the U.S., or taken adequate steps on their own, to curb drug use and trafficking. Failure to gain certification made a government ineligible for most forms of U.S. assistance. U.S. drug-enforcement officials claimed that the certification process resulted in certain countries' eradicating drug crops, capturing seemingly elusive drug barons, and taking other actions to ensure that they met the deadline set each year to receive a favourable presidential ruling. Two countries, Afghanistan and Myanmar (Burma), were denied certification in 2001. U.S. officials observed that during 2000 the cultivation of the opium poppy in Afghanistan increased by 25% and that the country accounted for about 72% of the global supply. Earlier in the year, however, there had been credible reports of decreased poppy cultivation in Taliban-controlled areas. Large opiate stockpiles remained in the country, and drug trafficking continued unabated from Afghanistan to Europe and other regions of the world.

      On April 20 an American missionary, Veronica Bowers, and her seven-month-old daughter were killed when the light aircraft in which they were flying was shot down by a Peruvian air force fighter plane in the mistaken belief that it was engaged in a drug-trafficking operation. The incident prompted an extensive examination by the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence of a six-year-old agreement between the U.S. and Peru under which U.S. assistance was provided in tracking drug smugglers. At the time of the shooting down of the missionaries' aircraft, it was under the surveillance of a U.S. tracking plane flown under CIA contract. As a result of the mistaken attack, the U.S. suspended all of its drug-surveillance flights in Central and South America while officials reassessed the rules and procedures they followed.

Murder and Other Violence.
      Preliminary figures released in May from the FBI's nationwide Uniform Crime Reporting Program indicated that in 2000 the Crime Index, comprising murder, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, theft, and motor-vehicle theft, remained relatively unchanged from 1999. This was the first time in eight years that a decline had not been reported in the number of serious crimes in the U.S. Experts and law-enforcement officials had long cautioned that the crime rate could not drop indefinitely, and this FBI report tended to confirm that the trend had run its course. In the past a large increase or decrease in homicide, or in crime in the biggest cities, had tended to predict significant fluctuations in general rates of serious crime. No indicators of this type were contained in the 2000 figures.

      On March 5, in a tragic repeat of school shootings in the past several years that had traumatized rural and suburban communities in the U.S., a 15-year-old high-school freshman, Charles Andrew Williams, killed two fellow students and wounded 13 others at Santana High School in Santee, a suburb of San Diego, Calif. The shooting was the worst episode of school violence since the mass slayings in April 1999 at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo.

      On June 8, in an incident that shocked the entire nation of Japan, a knife-wielding man burst into an elementary school in Ikeda and stabbed to death eight children—seven second-grade girls and one first-grade boy—and also seriously wounded six more students and a teacher. Police arrested Mamoru Takuma, a 37-year-old who had a history of mental illness.

War Crimes.
      Slobodan Milosevic, the past president of Yugoslavia, became the first former head of state to sit in a defendant's dock facing charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. On July 3 Milosevic made his initial appearance before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague following his dramatic nighttime transfer from a Belgrade prison on June 28. Milosevic, who had been placed under arrest by the Yugoslav government on April 1 on unrelated corruption charges, remained defiant before the international tribunal and challenged its legitimacy to place him on trial. Experts predicted that the proceedings against Milosevic could last for years and that his testimony could embarrass a number of Western leaders who had negotiated and dealt with him for much of his period in office. By surrendering Milosevic to the international tribunal, the Yugoslav government received immediate pledges of substantial aid from the U.S. and other nations to assist in rebuilding its shattered economy.

White-Collar Crime, Corruption, and Fraud.
      “A worldwide corruption crisis” was identified by Transparency International (TI), a Berlin-based nongovernmental organization established to expose and prevent corruption. Releasing its annual Corruption Perceptions Index in June, TI ranked 91 countries on a 10-point scale. A high score, indicating very low levels of perceived corruption, was obtained by some of the world's richest nations—Finland, Denmark, New Zealand, Iceland, Singapore, and Sweden. In contrast, low scores were recorded by some of the world's poorest countries, with Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Cameroon, Kenya, Indonesia, Uganda, Nigeria, and Bangladesh ranked at the bottom of the list. TI's chairman said that the index illustrated once more “the vicious circle of poverty and corruption” as vast amounts of public funds were squandered and stolen by corrupt governments and their officials.

      In the Philippines in January, a wave of public anger against corruption forced Pres. Joseph Estrada from office in a bloodless coup. In April Estrada became the first Philippine president to be jailed on suspicion of corruption. Prosecutors alleged that he had pocketed more than $76 million in tax money and illegal gambling receipts during his two and a half years in office. If convicted of plunder, the most serious charge against him, Estrada faced the possibility of a death sentence or life imprisonment.

Law Enforcement.
      The FBI came under sustained scrutiny during the year as a result of a number of well-publicized incidents that suggested that failures had occurred in its management and information network. The most damaging and embarrassing revelation came in February when it was announced that a veteran FBI counterintelligence agent, Robert Philip Hanssen, had been arrested and charged with committing espionage by providing highly classified national security information to Russia and the former Soviet Union. At the time of his arrest at a park in Vienna, Va., Hanssen was clandestinely placing a garbage bag containing secret information at a prearranged “dead drop” for pickup by his Russian handlers. Hanssen had previously received large sums of money from the Russians for the information he disclosed to them. In July Hanssen pleaded guilty to 15 counts of having spied for Moscow since 1979. As part of a plea deal, Hanssen was given a sentence of life imprisonment rather than death after he agreed to participate in extensive debriefing with government agents and cooperated truthfully and fully with them. Prosecutors said that Hanssen betrayed nine double agents, including two who were later executed. He also provided Moscow with details of several top-secret communication programs, U.S. nuclear war preparations, and a listening tunnel underneath the Soviet embassy in Washington, D.C. A few weeks before this plea bargain, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft stated that a review would be conducted of the FBI's security program to try to ensure that the lapses that allowed Hanssen to operate as a spy would not happen again.

Duncan Chappell

Prisons and Penology
      In 2001 the prison population throughout the world continued to exceed the eight-million mark. Accounting for a quarter of this total, the U.S. held more of its inhabitants in prison (702 per 100,000 inhabitants) than any other country. Elsewhere, prison population rates declined in Russia and South Africa to 465 and 385, respectively, while the rate for China remained stable at 112. In Europe the prison population rate for England and Wales rose to 128, which made it the highest of any country in the European Union; Portugal's rate remained at 127, while Finland (52), Northern Ireland (60), and Denmark (61) had the lowest rates.

      Various countries announced measures intended to reduce prison numbers. The ruler of Bahrain announced an amnesty for some 400 political prisoners jailed for crimes during the 1990s. Malawi Pres. Bakili Muluzi released 880 prisoners to celebrate nationhood, and 40,000 prisoners were released in Kazakhstan to honour the 10th anniversary of the nation's independence. In Kyrgyzstan an amnesty involving at least 5,000 prisoners was agreed upon. The Russian State Duma approved legislation intended to reduce the prison population by 300,000 through the wider use of bail and settlement colonies.

      Violence, death, and disease continued to surface in prisons around the globe. The most serious disturbances in Brazil's penal history occurred in the state of São Paulo's prison system, with prisoners at 29 institutions across the state taking some 8,000 prisoners, prison guards, and visitors hostage as part of a protest against the removal of gang leaders from one of the prisons. Twenty prisoners were reported killed as paramilitary police secured the release of the hostages and regained control of the prisons. In Chile 26 inmates serving sentences in the Iquique penitentiary were killed in a fire caused by an electrical fault. (See Disasters .) In Mexico a prison governor was shot dead, apparently as a reprisal for a security clampdown recently ordered at his prison. Serious overcrowding and health problems continued to blight many prisons across Africa. In Morocco it was reported that prison regimes were immersed in corruption, violence, and the sexual abuse of children. In Malawi overcrowding and lack of proper sanitation facilities reportedly led to a dramatic rise in the spread of infectious diseases, including scabies and tuberculosis. Eighty-three prisoners died of suffocation, hunger, and thirst in November 2000 in a Mozambique prison where 120 prisoners were held in a cell measuring 21 sq m (226 sq ft). In South Africa poor hygiene and water facilities were cited as the cause of a cholera outbreak that infected 600 prisoners. Problems caused by overcrowding and poor conditions were also experienced in various European countries. In Russia, where some 100,000 prisoners were suffering from tuberculosis, the World Bank announced a $50 million credit to combat the disease and to assist HIV-positive prisoners. In Turkey some 250 prisoners joined a hunger strike (resulting in more than 30 deaths of prisoners and their supporters) to protest the transfer of inmates to new prisons where, it was claimed, conditions breached international standards.

Death Penalty
      A gradual movement toward abolition of capital punishment continued in 2001. Chile, where the last execution took place in 1985, enacted legislation to abolish the death penalty for peacetime offenses. The Lebanese parliament repealed legislation that had sought to expand the scope of the death penalty by abolishing judicial discretion to consider mitigating factors. In Russia, despite renewed calls for the death penalty from many quarters, Pres. Vladimir Putin stated that he favoured abolition and urged upholding a five-year-old moratorium on the practice. Elsewhere, judicial decisions sought to reduce the scope of the death penalty. In a number of eastern Caribbean countries, including Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and Grenada, mandatory death sentences were declared unconstitutional.

      Against this global trend, executions took place for the first time in 17 years in Guinea, 6 years in Indonesia, and 3 years in Bangladesh. The Council of Europe found the treatment of prisoners awaiting execution in Japan to be “inhumane” and drew particular attention to the practice of the condemned persons' being given only one hour's notice of their impending deaths. Japan had, however, refused to abandon executions on the grounds that 80% of its population found the practice to be useful. In April the Chinese government embarked upon a “Strike Hard” anticrime campaign during which hundreds of prisoners were paraded at public rallies prior to their executions. A Western diplomat recorded 801 deaths in China in the final three weeks of April, while Amnesty International reported that 89 people had been executed during a single day. In the U.S. 66 prisoners were put to death during the year—a sharp reduction from the 85 executions that took place in 2000. Those put to death included Timothy McVeigh (see Obituaries (McVeigh, Timothy James )), who had been convicted of having placed a bomb in the federal building in Oklahoma City, Okla., that killed 168 people; he was the first federal prisoner executed in the U.S. in 38 years.

Andrew Rutherford

▪ 2001


International Law
      International law continued to evolve in the areas of human rights, international security, and trade. In addition, the pressures of globalization and the consequences of the expanding web of international agreements shaped state interactions throughout 2000. (See Economic Affairs: Sidebar (Globalization-Why All the Fuss? ).)

International Courts, War Crimes, and Human Rights.
      Caribbean states voted to establish a Caribbean Court of Justice, which would join three existing permanent international courts: the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the European Court of Justice, and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). The ICJ heard cases on India's 1999 downing of a Pakistani aircraft and a request from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) that Uganda withdraw from its territory. The court determined that it had no jurisdiction in the India-Pakistan dispute. In Congo's petition the ICJ bowed to Resolution 1304 of the United Nations Security Council, which demanded that Uganda and others retreat from the DRC.

      The ECHR heard several cases against Turkey concerning its human rights record. The court in 1999 had ruled against Great Britain by declaring a ban on gays in the military a violation of the right to privacy.

      States continued to make amends for World War II-era crimes. Germany established the $4.8 billion Remembrance, Responsibility and the Future Foundation to address all Nazi-era claims against German companies, particularly those that had employed slave labour. Similarly, a Japanese company agreed to establish a fund for descendants of Chinese who had been forced into slave labour during the Japanese occupation. A $1,250,000,000 fund was set up in Switzerland to reimburse people who had lost assets in Swiss banks, had been slave labourers for Swiss companies, or had been refused asylum in Switzerland. The Marshall Islands Nuclear Claims Tribunal granted $341 million to the people of Enewetak atoll, who were displaced from 1947 to 1980 and returned to find vast stretches of their land contaminated. The payment topped a $150 million fund the U.S. provided to settle claims arising from the nuclear-testing program conducted on the islands from 1948 through 1958.

      The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia produced its assessment of the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. It determined that NATO did not cause “excessive” environmental damage and had selected noncivilian targets as much as “reasonably possible.” The tribunal continued to await the arrest of indicted war criminals Radovan Karadzic and Slobodan Milosevic, former leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina and of Yugoslavia, respectively. Dragan Nikolic, commander of the Susica prison camp in Bosnia, was apprehended in April.

      The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) tried six cases and heard two appeals. The appeal of former prime minister Jean Kambanda's 1998 sentence to life in prison was dismissed in October. Georges Ruggiu, a former journalist, pleaded guilty to having incited genocide and received a 12-year sentence.

      In October the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1315, calling for a tribunal to punish Foday Sankoh and his followers for atrocities committed during their continuing rebel campaign in Sierra Leone. A tribunal was also being established for Cambodia. To avoid continued ad hoc international tribunal formation, states had voted in 1998 to establish a permanent International Criminal Court (ICC). By Dec. 31, 2000, 139 states had signed and 27 states had ratified the ICC treaty, which required 60 ratifications before it came into force. On the last day of the year, U.S. Pres. Bill Clinton unexpectedly added the U.S. as a treaty signatory. Although no international tribunal was expected, in mid-December the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor indicted several Indonesians for war crimes.

      A number of former government officials accused of human rights violations in their home countries faced prosecution elsewhere. In 1998 former Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet Ugarte was arrested in Britain on a Spanish warrant. In March 2000 the British ruled that his health made him unfit to stand trial, and he was flown back to Chile. Following a Chilean Supreme Court ruling stripping Pinochet of the prosecutorial immunity he had enjoyed in Chile since 1978, a Chilean court indicted Pinochet on kidnapping charges and placed him under house arrest. The arrest was overturned on the grounds that Pinochet had not been questioned. The court-ordered questioning and mental health evaluation were to begin on Jan. 7, 2001, but the former dictator was refusing to cooperate.

      In February the exiled dictator of Chad, Hissène Habré, was indicted and arrested in Senegal and charged with crimes against humanity. In July the charges were dismissed on the grounds that Senegal was not the proper venue. The dismissal was under appeal, and Chadians brought additional charges against Habré. Spain sought the extradition of Argentine Ricardo Miguel Cavallo, who was accused of torture in Argentina during the military's 1976–83 rule. Cavallo was arrested in Mexico in August.

U.S. Court Cases Relating to International Law.
      American awareness of international law was heightened during the case of Elián González, a Cuban boy rescued from the sea after the boat he was on sank, killing his mother, who had been trying to escape to the United States. Relatives in the U.S. had asked that he be granted asylum, but the court ruled that a six-year-old could not understand the request. Given the boy's close relationship with his father in Cuba and no imminent danger to him if he returned, the court decreed that the U.S. had to abide by the father's wishes and return him to Cuba.

      In Crosby v. National Foreign Trade Council, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower-court ruling that a Massachusetts law forbidding trade with Myanmar (Burma) was unconstitutional under the Supremacy Clause because it interfered with a similar national law.

Other Notable Events and International Legislation.
      The U.S. agreed to normalize trade relations with China permanently upon the latter's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). The U.S. lost two cases brought by the European Union (EU) in the WTO, which illustrated the difficulties of harmonizing national and international laws. The EU imposed sanctions against Austria after a coalition government was formed in February that included Jörg Haider's ultranationalist Freedom Party. The EU lifted sanctions in September but continued to monitor Austrian actions.

      The first cases under the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)'s new Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDNDRP) were settled in 2000, including those brought by the World Wrestling Federation and actress Julia Roberts. President Clinton signed an executive order stating that the U.S. would not enforce intellectual property rights concerning patented AIDS drugs in cases where infringements made the drugs available less expensively in sub-Saharan African nations.

      In January more than 130 countries signed the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, which required notification if any transported material had been genetically modified. Two protocols were added to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The first required states to stop forced recruitment of children under 18 into armed conflict. The second called for states to make child pornography and prostitution criminal offenses.

      In The Netherlands two Libyans went on trial for the 1988 downing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scot. By year's end no decision had been rendered in the largely circumstantial case. Following the October bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen's port of Aden, several suspects were arrested and faced trial in Yemen in January 2001.

Victoria C. Williams

Court Decisions
      The United States courts decided a number of important and controversial cases during 2000, but none that would be recalled with such scrutiny and passion as the ones involving the election of the 43rd American president. The closest U.S. presidential election in modern history, the race between Democrat Al Gore and Republican George W. Bush hinged on the outcome in Florida. With less than 0.5% of the vote separating the candidates, an automatic recount was triggered. As Bush's winning margin dwindled, methods were sought to determine the intent of voters who filed disqualified ballots in a number of traditionally Democratic counties; the Republicans, meanwhile, fought to bar recounts and objected staunchly to any human determination of voters' intentions. There w ere also disputes over the discretionary authority of the Florida secretary of state, and a spate of trial court rulings as well as two decisions by the Florida Supreme Court transferred what would have been political questions into justiciable disputes or, as some would say, politicized Florida's legal system. Finally, in a decision every bit as divided as public opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on December 12 that the manual recount of ballots required by the Florida Supreme Court was unconstitutional, effectively determining the winner. George W. Bush claimed Florida's 25 votes in the Electoral College and the victory in the 2000 election.

      The U.S. Supreme Court also addressed such contentious issues as abortion rights, the First Amendment freedoms of speech and association, church-state relations, and criminal law. To that list the court added a selection of cases dealing with federalism as well as newly ripe issues involving governmental regulation and public health.

      One of the distinguishing characteristics of these cases was that they did not appear to have been selected for the purpose of promulgating doctrinal changes in the law. The Supreme Court's decisions reflected a pattern of predictability and ideological moderation. In the pair of cases involving laws pertaining to abortion, the court expanded procreative freedom on two fronts. By striking down a Nebraska law criminalizing “partial-birth” abortions, the authority of women and their physicians to make procedural decisions free from an undue burden imposed by the state was upheld in Stenberg v. Carhart. Furthering the rights of those seeking to procure an abortion, in Hill v. Colorado the court upheld a law restricting protests in the immediate vicinity of abortion clinics. Balancing the First Amendment rights of protesters and the privacy rights of women, the court reasoned “private citizens have always retained the power to decide for themselves what they wish to read, and within limits, what oral messages they want to consider. This statute simply empowers private citizens entering a health care facility with the ability to prevent a speaker, who is within eight feet and advancing, from communicating a message they do not wish to hear.”

      Falling more squarely under the rubric of association rights were a pair of cases involving the deliberate exclusion of gays from the Boy Scouts and the constitutionality of California's “blanket primary.” The common denominator of these cases was a presumed right to permit organizational exclusivity. In Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, the court ruled 5–4 that application of New Jersey's public accommodations law, designed in part to prohibit discrimination based upon sexual orientation, constituted a violation of the Boy Scouts' freedom of expressive association. Arguing that retaining James Dale—an openly gay Scout leader—would “significantly burden the organization's right to oppose or disfavor homosexual conduct,” Chief Justice William Rehnquist blunted what he called the “severe intrusion” of public law into the private organization's values and rules. In California Democratic Party v. Jones, the court declared unconstitutional Proposition 198, a 1996 law that permitted voters to choose among all candidates regardless of party affiliation in the state's primary election. Rebuking the argument that the law serves the compelling state interest of promoting, inter alia, fairness, participation, choice, and privacy, the court supported the party's right of exclusive association and participation, proffering that “in no area is the political association's right to exclude more important than in the process of selecting its nominee.”

      In another set of First Amendment cases, the court addressed the controversial subject of church-state relations. Forging an accommodationist path in Mitchell v. Helms, the court upheld Chapter 2 of the Education Consolidation and Improvement Act of 1981, which provided equipment and materials funding for public and private schools alike. Reasoning that the law results in neither governmental indoctrination nor decisions made by reference to religion, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that the allocation of funds to parochial schools under Chapter 2 could not be construed as a “law respecting an establishment of religion.” In Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe, which involved the practice of an elected student council chaplain broadcasting over the intercom a prayer at the beginning of every varsity football game, however, the court adopted a separationist position on the establishment clause. In striking down the school district's policy, the court explained that such invocations could not be regarded as “private speech,” and that despite the majoritarian process of electing the student council chaplain, the school's policy “does nothing to protect minority views but rather places the students who hold such views at the mercy of the majority.”

      In the area of criminal law, the court reiterated its objection to enhanced penalties for hate crimes in Apprendi v. New Jersey, prohibited random drug checkpoints in Indianapolis v. Edmond, and, perhaps most significantly, stabilized what appeared to be the eroding foundation of “Miranda warnings”—statement rights guaranteed to the criminally accused—in Dickerson v. United States. Despite a heated dissent from Justice Antonin Scalia, the court ruled that Miranda rights were, in fact, constitutional rights and therefore could not be denied through legislation passed by Congress.

      The court also addressed a number of cases involving federalism and governmental regulation. In two important rulings it limited states' rights. In holding that state law must yield to federal law in the conduct of foreign policy in Crosby v. National Foreign Trade Council, the Supreme Court struck down a Massachusetts law barring state entities from conducting business with Myanmar (Burma) because it conflicted with an act of Congress. In Reno v. Condon, the court upheld the Driver's Privacy Protection Act of 1994, which restricted states from disclosing drivers' personal information without their consent. On regulatory policy, the court addressed what Justice Sandra Day O'Connor called “one of the most troubling public health problems facing our Nation today”—tobacco use. In what would likely become a central case in the field of administrative law, the court in Food and Drug Administration v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. disallowed FDA regulation of tobacco. Because Congress had clearly “precluded the FDA from asserting jurisdiction to regulate tobacco products,” the agency could not, under the rubric of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act, regulate cigarettes as delivery devices for the drug nicotine.

      In the emerging field of “cyberlaw,” the dominant cases addressed by the lower strata of the federal judiciary involved the Microsoft Corp. and Napster, Inc. Concluding that Microsoft violated antitrust laws, District of Columbia District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson called for the divestiture of the software giant, effectively splitting the company's operation in two. On July 26, U.S. Judge Marilyn Hall Patel of the Northern District of California ordered Napster, the Internet start-up company that facilitated free on-line music trading, to shut down its World Wide Web site. A stay of injunction from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals followed two days later. The German-based Bertelsmann AG, which was suing Napster, offered to drop its suit—and encouraged other plaintiffs to do so as well—and merge with Napster to provide a fee-based operation that would solve the company's legal problems through settlement rather than litigation.

Brian Smentkowski


      In its latest review of patterns of global terrorism, the U.S. Department of State in 2000 reported an encouraging and sharp decrease in the number of deaths and injuries caused by terrorist attacks. During 1999, 233 persons were killed and 706 wounded, compared with 741 deaths and 5,952 injuries in 1998. For the first time the review also identified South Asia, in addition to the Middle East, as a major hub of international terrorism. Both Pakistan and Afghanistan were accused of providing continuing support to international terrorists, including the notorious group led by Osama bin Laden, the alleged mastermind behind the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa.

      In the Middle East, in the midst of escalating violence between Israelis and Arabs, suicide bombers carried out a deadly attack on October 12 against a U.S. Navy ship in the Yemeni port of Aden. The USS Cole, a modern missile-armed destroyer, was crippled by an explosion that ripped a huge hole in its hull and left 17 sailors dead and 39 wounded. The suicide mission appeared to have been launched from a small boat. As a massive investigation got under way to identify the attackers, officials stated that no credible claim of responsibility had been made for what was the bloodiest terrorist strike on the U.S. military since the 1996 bombing of U.S. Air Force barracks in Saudi Arabia, which killed 19.

      A spate of bombings and kidnappings in the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia during the year prompted rising concern about the terrorist threat in Southeast Asia and, in particular, from Muslim extremist groups. In April one of those groups, the Abu Sayyaf, seized 21 hostages from a tourist diving resort in Malaysia and then held them captive on the Philippine island of Jolo, 900 km (565 mi) south of Manila in the Sulu Sea. The kidnappers demanded substantial ransoms for their captives, who included a number of foreign tourists. As negotiations continued for the release of the hostages, the Libyan government and others were reported to have paid as much as $15 million to secure the freedom of the foreign captives.

      According to terrorism experts, such kidnappings were part of a growing global industry. An authoritative insurance industry survey reported that in 1999, 1,789 kidnappings for ransom occurred worldwide, almost all in the top 10 high-risk countries, led by Colombia, Mexico, and Brazil.

Drug Trafficking.
      A World Bank study published in June reported that rebel groups involved in conflicts throughout the world were more often motivated by the pursuit of lucrative commodities such as drugs and diamonds than they were by political, religious, or other goals. The study, which reviewed 47 civil wars that took place from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe between 1960 and 1999, found that the single biggest risk factor for the outbreak of conflict was a nation's economic dependence on commodities and an eagerness to profit from them. In Colombia, for example, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the country's largest rebel group, was said in reality to be a huge narcotics organization maintaining a force of 12,000 paid workers and fighters paid for by $700 million in annual drug-trafficking revenues.

      In August, during a brief visit to Colombia, U.S. Pres. Bill Clinton reinforced the commitment of the U.S. to assisting that nation in retaking control of the nearly half of its territory lost to rebel groups such as the FARC. This commitment included $1.3 billion in mostly military aid approved by the U.S. Congress. U.S. officials estimated that 90% of the cocaine and much of the heroin consumed in the U.S. originated in or passed through Colombia.

      Law-enforcement officials in both Europe and North America reported record seizures throughout the year of the so-called mood-enhancing “hug drug” ecstasy, or 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), as it was known scientifically. It was thought that at least 80% of all of the world's ecstasy was produced in clandestine urban laboratories established in The Netherlands. Most of the chemicals required for manufacturing the drug remained controlled under international law, but supplies were believed to be readily available from illicit sources in Eastern Europe.

Murder and Other Violence.
      The violent crime rate declined by more than 10% in the U.S. in 1999, the largest one-year drop reported in the 26-year history of the U.S. Department of Justice's largest crime survey. The survey figures—which were released in August and compiled from interviews with some 77,000 American households as well as from other collected data—confirmed preliminary FBI figures released in May for the same year that revealed a 7% decrease in the violent crime category comprising murder, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. The survey was the broadest measure of crime, as it was compiled from interviews throughout the U.S. with more than 77,000 people and collected data not only on crimes reported to police but also on the large number that went unreported. The FBI data were based on reports made to 17,000 police agencies throughout the U.S. In 1999 only 44% of violent crimes were reported to the police.

      Despite the national traumas of mass shootings in schools, offices, and other public places in recent years, gun control advocates in the U.S. continued to have to battle for tougher laws against an entrenched and still powerful pro-gun lobby in the U.S. Congress. (See Special Report: The U.S. Gun-Control Debate: A Critical Look. (U.S. Gun-Control Debate: A Critical Look )) In May tens of thousands of people marched in Washington, D.C., and other cities across the country to demand that guns be licensed and registered and that their sales be strictly controlled. The march followed several gun-related incidents, including the fatal handgun shooting by a six-year-old boy of a fellow first-grader at an elementary school in a suburb of Flint, Mich., in February and the nonfatal shooting of seven young children at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., in April by a 16-year-old boy armed with a handgun.

      In Uganda authorities struggled to cope with a mass murder investigation involving approximately 900 victims who were members of an obscure religious cult known as the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God. At least 500 members of the apocalyptic sect were found burned to death in a fire at the cult's headquarters in Kanungu on March 17. (See Religion .)

War Crimes.
      Following the historic agreement in 1998 among 120 nations to adopt a treaty establishing an International Criminal Court (ICC) under the auspices of the UN, further consensus was reached among those nations in June on the elements of the crimes and the rules of evidence and procedure to be utilized by the ICC. Under the terms of the treaty, the Rome Statute, the creation of the ICC remained dependent upon its ratification by at least 60 nations. By late 2000 more than 20 ratifications had occurred. If established, the ICC would be a permanent court investigating and bringing to justice individuals who committed the most serious violations of international humanitarian law such as genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. The court would be complementary to national jurisdictions, acting only when national systems were unwilling or unable to carry out the investigation and prosecution of those crimes.

      In March the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia sentenced a former Bosnian Croat general, Tihomir Blaskic, to 45 years in prison for having orchestrated ethnic cleansing during the 1992–95 Bosnian war. The sentence was the most severe punishment imposed by the tribunal to date.

White Collar Crime, Corruption, and Fraud.
      A survey commissioned by Transparency International (TI), a Berlin-based nongovernmental organization established to expose and prevent corruption, found that only 25% of the 779 multinational business executives who were questioned thought that corruption in their country of residence had diminished during the previous five years. The survey findings, released by TI in January, came despite the existence of a 20-year-old U.S. law prohibiting corrupt practices abroad and a new international convention outlawing bribery. The survey also found that government officials were most likely to accept or extort bribes in exchange for contracts in the construction and defense industries. In a separate report published in September, TI named Nigeria as the world's most corrupt country among 90 nations assessed for their levels of administrative probity. The five Nordic countries, led by Finland, along with Singapore, New Zealand, and Canada, were ranked the eight cleanest national administrative environments. The U.S. was ranked 14th.

      In September an Indonesian court dismissed a landmark corruption case brought by that nation's first democratically elected government, led by Pres. Abdurrahman Wahid, against former Indonesian president Suharto. The court ruled that Suharto, 79, was medically unfit to stand trial on charges that he embezzled $570 million in state funds during his 32-year dictatorial rule, which ended in 1998 amid economic collapse and widespread civil unrest. The court ruling, which provoked violent street protests, represented a serious setback for Wahid's government and its efforts to establish the rule of law in a society still riddled with corruption. Suharto, along with his six children, was believed to have stolen billions of dollars from Indonesia through an elaborate network of family-related business arrangements.

      In China an ongoing campaign against corruption at the top levels of the ruling Communist Party resulted in the conviction and execution in March of a senior official for taking bribes worth more than $600,000. The official, Hu Changqing, a former deputy governor of a province, was the highest-ranking person to have been put to death for corruption since the communists seized power in China in 1949.

      In the U.S. a survey conducted by the Computer Security Institute and released in March estimated that computer fraud and theft were responsible for an estimated $10 billion in losses during 1999. This figure, almost double that of the previous year, was said to be a reflection of the vast increase in the use of the Internet.

Law Enforcement.
      In May the highly influential Group of Seven nations, together with Russia, convened the first international gathering of law- enforcement agencies, business leaders, and government officials to combat the problems of computer crime. The meeting followed the release on May 4 of a computer virus, dubbed the Love Bug, that crippled e-mail systems around the globe and other high-profile on-line frauds that demonstrated both the technical flaws of the Internet and the legal vacuum in which it still operated. Critics claimed that computer crime could be fought more effectively by technical innovation, education of users about security risks, and better use of existing laws.

      Federal law-enforcement officials in the U.S. came under sustained criticism during the year for their handling of the controversial investigation and prosecution of a Taiwanese American scientist, Wen Ho Lee, who was accused of having stolen secrets from the Los Alamos (N.M.) National Laboratory, where he worked. Lee, who was arrested and indicted in December 1999 on 59 felony counts of mishandling classified information, was held in harsh conditions under solitary confinement and without bail until his release in September following his agreement with prosecutors to plead guilty to just one of those counts. Justifying the plea bargain, FBI Director Louis Freeh testified before Congress that national security concerns prompted the agreement, preventing sensitive information about nuclear secrets from being disclosed in open court and securing Lee's cooperation in revealing what had happened to the material he had downloaded at work onto a portable computer.

      In Great Britain a nearly four-month-long sensational trial and subsequent conviction of the nation's most prolific serial killer raised serious concerns about the handling of the case by local police and medical authorities. In January Harold Shipman, a well-respected general practitioner, was sentenced to life imprisonment for having murdered 15 elderly women patients by injecting them with fatal doses of morphine. Following the conviction, the Greater Manchester Police disclosed that they had investigated a total of 136 suspicious deaths involving Shipman's patients during a 15-year period. It was also revealed that despite warnings from survivors and other physicians about the striking rate of deaths among Shipman's patients, neither the medical establishment nor the police had detected the murders for years. In response, the British health secretary announced an investigation in February into the case that was aimed at restoring the “bond of trust” between patients and their doctors.

      In Brazil human rights groups claimed in February that civil and military police in Latin America's most populous nation had participated in at least 2,500 killings since 1997. Most of those killed were thieves or drug dealers, and many had been tortured or mutilated before being shot in the head at close range. The allegations drew renewed attention to a long-standing problem in Brazil, where corrupt police preyed on impoverished communities, often in collaboration with politicians and businessmen who used the poorly trained and low-paid officers as neighbourhood vigilantes or enforcers in drug trafficking. (See also Social Protection: Slavery in the 21st Century (Slavery in the 21st Century ).)

Duncan Chappell

Prisons and Penology
      The prison populations of most countries continued to rise in 2000. Of the worldwide total of 8.6 million persons who were either untried or not yet sentenced, approximately half was accounted for by the United States, Russia, and China. Although the U.S. total exceeded two million for the first time, the 3.4% rate of growth during 1999 was half the annual average achieved during the previous 10 years. Only the U.S. and Russia had prison population rates of about 700 per 100,000 inhabitants. England and Wales were at the midpoint on the world list with rates of 125, while China's rate was 110. One-third of the countries had rates of 150 or higher, and almost all of them were in southern Africa, the Caribbean, former Soviet Central Asia, and Central and Eastern Europe.

      In May, Russian authorities, celebrating the 55th anniversary of the defeat of Germany, authorized the release of 120,000 prisoners. This measure, however, provided only marginal and temporary relief for the crowded conditions (Butyrsky Prison in Moscow, two centuries old, held 5,500 persons in cells designed for 2,500) and for the tuberculosis epidemic among the nation's prisoners, described by Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) as a threat to world health. In South Korea 3,586 prisoners were released to mark the anniversary of liberation from Japan's colonial rule in 1945, and in Pakistan, 20,000 persons were released. Amnesties were also under consideration in Belarus, Uzbekistan, and Italy. Pope John Paul II stated in a message to governments across the world: “A reduction, even a modest one, of the term of punishment would be for prisoners a clear sign of sensitivity to their condition.”

      In many parts of the world, prison conditions reached new depths of degradation and despair. In South Africa (where the rise in untried prisoners was especially sharp), many prisons, including juvenile institutions, remained grossly overcrowded. In Thailand 200,000 persons were being held in facilities designed for 80,000, and severe overcrowding and explosive conditions were reported across much of Latin America. In the Czech Republic, with 24,000 prisoners held in facilities designed for 19,500, a widespread hunger strike drew attention to deteriorating conditions. In Brazil troops put down a riot at the juvenile Tauape Detention Centre in May, and in the following months at a prison in Curitiba, guards were taken hostage during two riots that focused on crowded conditions. At Lurigancho, Peru's largest prison, five prisoners were killed in a riot during which court delays and crowding (6,000 persons against a capacity of 1,500) were cited as aggravating issues. The U.S. Department of Justice found that there had been beatings and other forms of abuse of inmates by guards at the Jena Juvenile Justice Center in Louisiana; it was run by the Wackenhut Corrections Corp., which managed penal institutions with a total of almost 41,000 beds in North America, Europe, Australia, and Africa.

Death Penalty
      By mid-2000, 108 countries, more than half the world's total, had abolished the death penalty in law or practice; 87 countries retained the death penalty for ordinary crimes and 12 for crimes under military law or for crimes committed in exceptional circumstances. Four abolitionist countries had reintroduced the death penalty since 1985, but by 2000 only one of those, the Philippines, had carried out executions. The UN's Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (which provides for the total abolition of the death penalty) had by 2000 been ratified by 43 member states and signed by 7 others. The U.S., which had ratified the Covenant but with reservations in regard to the death penalty provisions, seemed likely to find itself under increasing international pressure on that issue. In April the UN Commission on Human Rights voted 27–13 (countries voting against included China, the U.S., Cuba, Rwanda, Indonesia, Pakistan, India, and Japan) to condemn capital punishment.

      Executions were resumed in Qatar after a 12-year lull. The number of executions was greatest in China (where over 1,000 took place in 1999, more than the combined figure for the rest of the world), Saudi Arabia, Iran, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the U.S. (where 85 persons—13 fewer than in 1999—were executed in 2000). Anxieties that innocent people had received the death penalty led the governor of Illinois in January to declare a moratorium on executions in the state until he could be sure that no innocent person would meet that fate.

Andrew Rutherford

▪ 2000


      The impact of international jurisdiction in human rights law was increasingly felt throughout 1999. The battle between global jurisdiction and state sovereignty complicated the matter, and state sovereignty was frequently cited by countries with bad human rights records as an argument against international intervention in internal affairs. Pressure was increased on rogue states to accept key international human rights legal documents, which carried reporting obligations as well as international monitoring and enforcement mechanisms. Diplomatic initiatives coupled with incentives promising better aid, trade, and investment were made to help achieve this goal.

      Some countries, particularly China, continued to resist the development of universal jurisdiction where serious human rights abuses were concerned. As China celebrated the 50th anniversary of communist rule and the world noted the 10th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown, the Beijing regime continued a campaign of harsh oppression against pro-independence “dissidents,” particularly the Uygur population in the Xinjiang autonomous region and Tibetan activists. Freedom of religion also came under attack as a new campaign was launched against Li Hongzhi (see Biographies (Li Hongzhi )) and followers of the Falun Gong, a populist spiritual movement. Widespread arrests and prosecution of group members followed a government ban in July. (See World Affairs: China .)

      Progress was made in establishing an International Criminal Court to try war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. The Rome Statute, which was initialed in 1998 for the creation of such a court, was signed by 89 states and ratified by four as of October 1999. The statute required ratification by 60 states before the court could be established. This positive momentum was tempered by the efforts of some nations to weaken the eventual influence of the court, however. Most notable was the U.S., which manifested its resistance by approaching several states and asking them not to surrender to the International Criminal Court U.S. nationals charged with genocide, war crimes, or crimes against humanity. Attempts to exclude the U.S. from the developing authority of international justice were criticized by human rights organizations, including the New York-based Human Rights Watch.

      The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) took the long-awaited step of indicting Pres. Slobodan Milosevic of Yugoslavia (see Biographies (Milosevic, Slobodan )) along with four other Serb leaders. The move lent support to juridical developments seen in the case of former Chilean leader Gen. Augusto Pinochet Ugarte; the main issue in his case concerned the immunity of heads of state accused of crimes against humanity.

      The ICTY, however, risked being the target of accusations that hinted of a double standard—Croatian Pres. Franjo Tudjman (see Obituaries (Tudjman, Franjo ))and some senior Croatian military figures continued to evade any form of sanction, despite the existence of well-documented reports of atrocities committed by Croatian forces during the war in former Yugoslavia and in the 1995 “Flash” and “Storm” offensives, in which Serb residents were driven from Croatia. By year's end the ICTY had brought charges against a total of 63 persons.

      Other developments in the Balkans raised questions about the limits of the jurisdiction of international tribunals and pointed up the evolutionary state of international law in this area. Lawyers from several countries appealed to the ICTY to consider prosecuting NATO for war crimes committed during military attacks against Yugoslavia, begging an inclusive definition of the term war crimes.

      The violence in both Kosovo, a province of Serbia, and East Timor, a province of Indonesia, resulted in widespread and severe human rights abuses, which led to further calls for the prosecution of war crimes and crimes against humanity in appropriate international forums—the ICTY for Kosovo and a new tribunal to be established for East Timor.

      Discussion also continued at the United Nations regarding the establishment of a UN tribunal to deal with crimes committed during 1975–79 by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. Human rights organizations called for any such tribunal to be purely international in character; they rejected a mixed panel comprising foreign and Cambodian judges, as proposed by the UN, and insisted that the tribunal be located outside of Cambodia.

      The seesaw of legal developments in the case of Pinochet reflected tension within national legal systems as they struggled to implement a more dynamic version of international human rights law. In 1998 the British courts ruled that Pinochet, the former president of Chile, could be extradited to Spain to face charges of crimes against Spanish citizens during his rule. The decision, supporting the principle that a former head of state should not be allowed immunity for “crimes against humanity,” was set aside after it was discovered that one of the judges had a connection with Amnesty International. In March 1999 a reconstituted court broadly reiterated support for the principle but watered down the earlier decision by ruling that Pinochet could be extradited only for acts of torture committed after December 1988, when the 1984 International Convention Against Torture was directly implemented in British law. At a later extradition hearing in September, a judge reconfirmed the wider ambit of the 1998 judgment, and Pinochet came a step closer to extradition to Spain. The final outcome of the case was pending at year's end.

      In a sign of increasing tolerance, the Supreme Court of Israel reversed its earlier decision to sanction “moderate physical pressure” during the interrogation of suspected Palestinian terrorists. The practice was considered torture in international law and had been widely condemned.

Anne McMillan

Court Decisions
      In the United States during 1999, several noteworthy court decisions were handed down concerning, at least indirectly, the rights of consumers. In one case, an antitrust case brought by the U.S. Department of Justice, District Court Judge Thomas P. Jackson released a 207-page findings of fact in which he determined that Microsoft Corp. was a monopoly. (See Computers and Information Systems. (Computers and Information Systems )) The importance of the case could be recognized by the fact that only two other antitrust cases in the 20th century, those concerning the Standard Oil Co. and AT&T, involved the monetary impact of the Microsoft decision. It is not illegal, in and of itself, to be a monopoly, but it becomes illegal if that status is used to stifle competition and thereby seriously injure consumers by depriving them of innovations that otherwise might have been developed by competitors.

      In an unusual move the court did not rule on the legal aspects of the case but left the case open to settlement. At the end of the year, in a startling development, it decided that the Justice Department and Microsoft should come to some mutual agreement and appointed Richard Posner, a federal appellate judge, to mediate the dispute. In his earlier writings as a law professor and subsequently his decisions as a judge, Posner had been somewhat skeptical of traditional antitrust remedies. In a lead editorial The Wall Street Journal opined that by these developments the trial judge had extended “a golden invitation” to Microsoft to settle. The newspaper had been critical of Microsoft's defense, which it regarded as relying too heavily on “semantic diffusion.” In its editorial it stated that Judge Posner would be serving “in a purely private capacity. But it might not be too much to see him as a de facto court-appointed attorney for Microsoft, one whom Judge Jackson hopes will do a better job for the company than the company's own lawyers have done.”

      In another important case, the U.S. Supreme Court sharply limited a corporation's power to settle massive class-action lawsuits. The case involved a $1.5 billion settlement for asbestos health-related damage claims asserted by 186,000 different people. A Texas court had approved the settlement, as did a federal appellate court, binding all the plaintiffs. The Supreme Court overturned these decisions, stating it might not result in fair compensation to all the victims. It stated that a settlement of massive claims on a mandatory basis can be confirmed only if strict standards are applied.

      For perhaps the first time, a federal judge interpreted the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It held that the amendment gives individuals and not just militia the right to bear arms. The Second Amendment provides that: “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” The decision set off a furious debate, mainly among law professors, as to the meaning of the amendment. Fifty-two of them filed a brief supporting gun control, which they felt was at stake in the case. Others supported the decision. The case was viewed by many commentators as having substantial political significance for the 2000 presidential election.

      Another case of important political significance for the next election of members of the U.S. House of Representatives concerned the way the year 2000 decennial census was to be conducted. Under the Constitution, the House of Representatives is apportioned among the states according to the “actual enumeration of the population” that is to be made every 10 years. Democrats, by and large, have construed this language to authorize “statistical sampling” in calculating the “real” population, because in their view “actual enumeration,” advocated by most Republicans, results in the undercounting of minorities. The Supreme Court's decision prohibited the use of statistical sampling in calculating population for purposes of congressional apportionment and stated that an actual head count is required.

      In other cases in the U.S., Linda Tripp was tried on felony counts that she had illegally taped several conversations with Monica Lewinsky in late 1997 that later figured in the impeachment trial of U.S. Pres. Bill Clinton, even after an attorney allegedly had told her it was illegal to do so; the New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously issued a ruling that Boy Scouts cannot exclude, and therefore discriminate against, homosexuals; and the U.S. Supreme Court held that the doctrine of sovereign immunity shields the states from private lawsuits seeking to enforce federal laws regulating the workplace.

      Two cases decided by the Supreme Court of Israel attracted attention in the United States and other parts of the world. In the first case an American Jew, after allegedly having committed a murder in the U.S., fled to Israel and claimed citizenship there. The court held that he was an Israeli citizen and thus was immune from extradition to the U.S. Instead, he was tried in Israel, found guilty, and sentenced to 24 years in prison, with eligibility for parole after 14 years served. The leniency of this sentence, relative to what he would have received if found guilty of murder in the U.S., was widely criticized there.

      The result of the other case was better received by the American public. In it the Supreme Court of Israel banned the use of torture in the interrogation of prisoners. The court found it necessary to balance basic human rights, on the one hand, against the protection of citizens against terrorism, on the other.

      In other noteworthy cases, a French judge ruled that speed, alcohol, and drugs were the primary agents that resulted in the death of Diana, princess of Wales (along with her companion, Dodi al-Fayed, and their car's driver), dismissing all charges against others implicated in the 1997 accident, including nine photographers, another car, and members of the press. The Supreme Court of Belgium sentenced Willy Claes, a prominent socialist and former secretary-general of NATO, to three years' imprisonment and banned him from holding office for five years, for corruption involved in taking a bribe. The Russian Constitutional Court ruled that there was no uncertainty as to the meaning of relevant provisions of the constitution and therefore declined to decide whether a person who held the post of president could be a candidate for that position in the next presidential election. The International Court of Justice ruled that it had no jurisdiction to entertain an action brought by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia challenging the legality of the use of force against it by the United Kingdom in the Kosovo armed engagement; in a related case the court extended the time limit for Yugoslavia to file a rejoinder to an action brought against it largely by members of the NATO forces concerning the crime of genocide.

      The Italian Court of Cassation, in a highly controversial case that gained great notoriety in Italy, held that a woman wearing tight jeans could not be raped, since her cooperation would be necessary for the jeans to be pulled off; the court dismissed the contention that such cooperation could have been the result of fear. Canada, on the other hand, seemingly reached a contrary result, deciding that the doctrine of “implied consent,” while found to be important in other aspects of the law, had no place where rape or sexual assault was involved.

William D. Hawkland


      During 1999 experts warned of a growing threat posed by a new breed of terrorists who were willing to employ nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons to inflict massive casualties. In May the International Institute of Strategic Studies, a London-based think tank, reported that the “complex and murky” world of modern terrorism was populated increasingly by loners or small cells of activists driven by fanatic beliefs or single issues. The new terrorists, loosely organized and disciplined, were more dangerous owing to their extreme beliefs, which made them less likely to exercise restraint in pursuit of their goals. Cited as an example was the informal terrorist network operated by Osama bin Laden, the alleged mastermind behind the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

      A U.S. State Department report revealed that there were no acts of international terrorism in the U.S. in 1998, and although worldwide there were 273 terrorist attacks, it was the lowest annual total since 1971. The number of persons killed (741) or wounded (5,952), however, was the highest on record; most of the casualties resulted from the embassy bombings in East Africa. The search for those responsible for the bombings continued, with the U.S. seeking the immediate apprehension and removal of bin Laden from sanctuary in Afghanistan.In November, following a unanimous vote in the Security Council, the UN imposed sanctions that would freeze the ruling Islamic Taliban's economic assets abroad and curtail international flights by the national airline if bin Laden and one of his chief aides were not handed over.

      In a daring raid in February, Turkish security forces snatched Abdullah Ocalan, the long-feared and durable leader of the Kurdish independence movement, from his hiding place in the Greek embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. Ocalan—accused of being responsible for a violent separatist campaign that had claimed up to 30,000 lives in Turkey and involved killings, kidnappings, bombings, and crimes in other countries—was flown drugged, bound, and blindfolded back to Turkey to stand trial. His capture prompted immediate and violent demonstrations by Kurdish groups in many parts of the world. In June a Turkish security court sentenced Ocalan to death for treason. The verdict was appealed but the sentence was upheld.

      In April Libya finally surrendered to UN officials in Tripoli two defendants accused in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scot., which killed 270 people and led to UN sanctions that isolated Libya from the West for seven years. The surrender of ʿAbd al-Baset al-Megrahi and Lamin Khalifa Fhimah meant that the two alleged former Libyan intelligence agents could be tried in The Netherlands under Scottish law on charges of having planted the suitcase bomb that blew up the plane. In March a special antiterrorist court in Paris convicted in absentia and sentenced to life in prison six Libyan officials, including Abdullah Senoussi, the brother-in-law of Libyan leader Col. Muammar al-Qaddafi, in the 1989 bombing of a French passenger jet over the Niger desert. All 170 passengers and crew aboard UTA Flight 772 were killed in the explosion.

      In Russia shockwaves of terror swept across Moscow in September as a series of powerful bombs demolished apartment buildings there. In five separate explosions over a period of less than two weeks, at least 293 people were killed and dozens more wounded. Meanwhile, as massive security operations fanned out to check the safety of more than 30,000 apartment blocks across the city, Russian Pres. Boris Yeltsin said terrorists were trying to demoralize the state, and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin accused separatists in the republic of Chechnya of bombing and supporting those terrorists.

      On December 24 five Urdu-speaking terrorists hijacked an Indian Airlines jet after takeoff from Kathmandu, Nepal, en route to New Delhi. The plane was flown across India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Oman, stopping several times. After refueling the plane at a military airfield in Dubayy, U.A.E., where a few passengers were released, the hijackers returned to Afghanistan and landed at Kandahar. Finally on December 31 negotiations involving India, the Taliban, and the hijackers won the freedom of the more than 150 hostages in exchange for the release from Indian jails of three militant Pakistani Muslims and a 10-hour head start for the terrorists to flee Afghanistan. Their identities and nationalities were not known at year's end.

Drug Trafficking.
      The United Nations' Vienna-based International Narcotics Control Board reported that during 1998 the rising purity levels of heroin available in North America had led to an increase in heroin smoking, especially among young people. In a report released in February 1999, the UN drug-control agency said that heroin originating in Latin America was continuing to displace heroin from Southeast Asia in the illicit marketplace. Efforts made by government and international groups in Latin America had resulted in a decrease in the areas under coca bush cultivation and the production of coca leaf, the main illicit crop in the region. New cultivation sites, however, rapidly compensated for these reductions. In Europe there were indications that the clandestine manufacture of synthetic drugs, such as “ecstasy,” was increasing and that the products were trafficked worldwide. The UN report also expressed concern over the proliferation of do-it-yourself guides on the Internet that enabled users to prepare and abuse controlled substances.

      In October the director of the U.S. White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, Gen. Barry McCaffrey, warned the European Union (EU) not to be complacent about the spread of the use of cocaine. He noted that while the U.S. had a serious drug problem that was getting better, the Europeans had a similar problem that was getting worse, partly because of increased tolerance in EU countries for drugs like cocaine and ecstasy. Data released by McCaffrey indicated that more cocaine was being seized by European police forces than had been confiscated along the entire southwestern border of the U.S. In Europe 57% of cocaine shipments from Latin America reportedly entered through Spain or Portugal, whereas heroin came almost entirely from Afghanistan and Pakistan.

      Despite McCaffrey's optimism about the situation in the U.S., critics of the nation's so-called war on drugs claimed that the initiative had been a costly failure. Surveys showed that the use of crack cocaine had not changed in 10 years, nor had the general level of illegal drug use.

Murder and Other Violence.
      In 1998, for the seventh consecutive year, the overall rate of serious crime in the U.S. fell. Crime rates reportedly declined 6%, and property crime rates also fell 6% from 1997 to 1998. The rates were the lowest recorded since 1973.

      These encouraging figures were marred by a series of bloody massacres during the year in such unlikely and supposedly safe locations as schools, offices, a summer camp, and a church. On April 20 in Littleton, Colo., two students cloaked in black trench coats and armed with guns and bombs opened fire at Columbine High School, killing 13 people and wounding more than 30 before taking their own lives. The killers in this, the worst school shooting in U.S. history, were identified as Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Both were said to have been members of an outcast group of about a dozen high-school students known as the Trench Coat Mafia, the members of which often wore trench coats and had German slogans and swastikas emblazoned on their clothes. The Columbine tragedy, which followed closely a number of similar deadly incidents of school violence, prompted renewed debate in the U.S. about gun control and the need to make schools weapon-free zones.

      In October Luis Alfredo Garavito, who had been in police custody since April, confessed to having raped, tortured, and then beheaded 140 children during a five-year killing spree in Colombia. Authorities had launched a nationwide manhunt in 1997 following the discovery of 36 decomposing corpses of children found in shallow graves near the city of Pereira. An equally horrific case came to an end on December 30 when Javed Iqbal, a well-to-do and methodical man, turned himself in to a newspaper office in Lahore, Pak., after suffocating 100 boys over a six-month period and disposing of their bodies in a vat of acid. The mad spree was apparently an act of retribution for a slight Iqbal had suffered months before at the hands of the police.

      In what was widely considered to have been the most important criminal verdict in modern Mexican history, Raúl Salinas de Gortari, the brother of former president Carlos Salinas de Gortari, was convicted in Mexico City in January of having ordered the assassination of a prominent politician in 1994; he was sentenced to 50 years in prison. It was the first time in Mexico that a close relative of a powerful figure had faced punishment for a serious crime. The verdict was appealed but gave a much-needed boost to the credibility of the Mexican justice system.

      In Pretoria, S.Af., the trial commenced in October of Wouter Basson, a former government chemical-warfare scientist. An army brigadier and heart surgeon, Basson faced 30 murder counts involving more than 200 deaths, including those of Namibian guerrillas captured during South Africa's apartheid era. Basson allegedly injected the captives with toxins as part of gruesome medical experiments. He was also charged with the theft of more than $13 million of government funds and with the illegal manufacture of drugs.

White-Collar Crime, Corruption, and Fraud.
      A new Bribe Payers Index (BPI), published by Transparency International, a Berlin-based global anticorruption organization, ranked China, South Korea, Taiwan, and Italy among the 19 leading exporting countries most involved in paying bribes to senior public officials. The BPI ranked Sweden, Australia, Canada, and Austria among the nations least involved in such bribery. The organization's annual Corruption Perception Index listed Cameroon, Nigeria, Indonesia, and Azerbaijan as the world's most corrupt countries.

      In March all 20 members of the EU's powerful executive commission resigned in the face of a corruption scandal. Following months of allegations of cronyism and mismanagement, an independent panel issued a damning report that criticized the conduct of the commission as a whole. The report revealed that no commissioner had profited personally, but the implication was that friends and family might have. Also in March, in an unprecedented move, the International Olympic Committee voted in Lausanne, Switz., to expel six of its members for having accepted payments and other inducements from officials involved in the successful bid by Salt Lake City, Utah, to be the host of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. (See Sports and Games: Sidebar (An Olympic-Sized Scandal ).)

      In August U.S. federal law-enforcement officials announced an ongoing investigation into what was believed to be a major money- laundering operation by Russian organized crime through the Bank of New York. Investigators said that as much as $10 billion could have flowed through the bank in the previous year. Indictments against three Russian immigrants and some of the companies involved were handed down in October. Meanwhile, as speculation continued about whether the money could have included millions of dollars in International Monetary Fund loans to Russia being skimmed off by Russian politicians, U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright urged President Yeltsin in September to make fighting corruption a top priority.

      In October, after a four-year trial in Palermo, Sicily, Italy's foremost post-World War II politician, former seven-time prime minister Giulio Andreotti, was acquitted on charges of associating with the Mafia.

Law Enforcement
      Claims of mismanagement surrounded a lengthy FBI investigation into highly publicized allegations that a Chinese spy had stolen design secrets about the most advanced U.S. nuclear weapon, the submarine-launched W-88 warhead. The investigation, which began in 1996, had focused only on Wen-ho Lee, a former Los Alamos (N.M.) National Laboratory nuclear scientist. Lee, a naturalized American from Taiwan who had worked for 20 years at the nuclear weapons facility in New Mexico, was dismissed from his post in March but not charged with any crime. In a dramatic shift in the investigation, the FBI announced in September that it proposed to restart the inquiry by examining more than 500 potential suspects at scores of sites across the country. Lee was indicted in December on charges of mishandling classified data. The embarrassing announcement came at a time when the FBI was confronting new allegations that it had attempted to cover up circumstances surrounding the 1993 fatal fire that ended the 51-day siege of the Branch Davidian complex near Waco, Texas.

      Forensic scientists in the U.S. announced in March that they were seeking to develop a device that could produce a unique genetic profile quickly from DNA in blood, saliva, or semen at a crime scene. The idea was to provide police on the beat with a handheld reusable “lab” on a microchip that could prepare the sample in two minutes and then submit it via a laptop computer and modem to a central computer for matching. (See Sidebar (DNA-the Forensic Tool of the '90s ).)

      EU leaders met in October in Tampere, Fin., to discuss how to set up a common judicial area to match the EU's single market for goods, services, capital, and people. The aim was to establish a common approach to judicial questions ranging from immigration to money laundering. The existing situation included a jumble of different legal systems, and no fewer than 120 separate police forces made it very difficult to tackle problems such as the smuggling of illegal immigrants and trafficking in humans, which was said to net organized gangs more money than that procured from drug dealing.

      A scathing report released in February by the British government about London's Metropolitan Police Force concluded that the force was ridden with “institutional racism.” The impetus for the report was the botched police investigation into the murder of an 18-year-old black student, Stephen Lawrence, who in 1993 was stabbed to death in south London by a group of white youths who directed a racial epithet at him. The investigation of the Lawrence case failed to find sufficient evidence to bring anyone to trial even though numerous informants identified five young white men as the likely murderers. British Home Secretary Jack Straw rejected calls for the resignation of Metropolitan police commissioner Sir Paul Condon but promised sweeping reforms to combat racism.

      In a watershed ruling in September, the Israeli Supreme Court unexpectedly banned several of the techniques admitted to have been used by security service members to obtain information from suspected terrorists, including violently shaking suspects' upper torsos, forcing them to crouch like frogs, and shackling them in contorted positions with opaque sacks over their heads.

      In South Africa the Truth and Reconciliation Commission refused in January to grant amnesty to a former police officer, Gideon Nieuwoudt, who said he helped four colleagues tackle the anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko and smash his head against a wall while Biko was being held in custody in 1977.

Duncan Chappell

Prisons and Penology
      The number of untried and sentenced prisoners continued to rise in many countries in 1999, with the worldwide total exceeding eight million. More than half of these prisoners were in the United States (where the total was approaching two million), China, and Russia. Other countries with high prison population rates included Belarus (505 per 100,000 citizens), Kazakstan (495), Belize (490), and Singapore (465). Among European Union countries Portugal had the highest rate (145), with the United Kingdom second (125).

      In attempting to ease prison population pressures, several countries resorted to amnesties and other early-release mechanisms. In Rwanda plans for the release of 10,000 genocide suspects were announced. On the accession of King Muhammad VI in Morocco, almost 8,000 prisoners were released and 38,000 had their sentences commuted, which thereby eased crowding levels. In England and Wales the introduction of an electronic tagging scheme resulted in almost 2,000 offenders' being placed under home-detention curfews within six months, a total less than half that anticipated by the authorities.

      Throughout the world many deaths in prisons resulted from preventable or treatable diseases, with tuberculosis being the most serious health problem in prisons in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Overcrowding was also a serious problem. In the Nizhny Novgorod region of Russia, the Pre-Trial Detention Centre was housing some 5,000 prisoners in a space designed for 1,200. According to Human Rights Watch, human rights abuses were committed daily in Brazil's penal institutions, and many thousands of people were affected. In South Korea some 70,000 prisoners were crammed into facilities with a capacity of only 56,000, and the Roman Catholic Church's Human Rights Commission alleged that prisoners suffered poor conditions, inadequate medical care, and systematic beatings. Many of the most severely crowded conditions were to be found in Africa, with, for example, more than 7,000 persons held in facilities designed for 5,500 in Malawi and 146,300 in space designed for 100,000 in South Africa. In Britain an official inspection found the largest young-offender institution, at Feltham, to be “rotten to the core,” with conditions described as unacceptable in a civilized society.

      Amnesty International reported a persistent and widespread pattern of human rights violations in the United States, where inmates were “physically and sexually abused by other inmates and by guards in overcrowded and understaffed prisons.” Attention was drawn to the indiscriminate use of restraints (including leg irons, restraint poles, and electroshock equipment), which resulted in unnecessary pain, injury, or even death.

Death Penalty.
      In 1999, 105 countries had abolished the death penalty, either by law or by practice. During the year Bulgaria, Canada, and Lithuania abolished the death penalty for all crimes; this brought to 67 the number of totally abolitionist countries. Lithuania took a further step toward abolition by overwhelmingly ratifying Protocol No. 6 to the European Convention on Human Rights. Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan instituted moratoriums on executions, and in Nepal the death penalty was formally abolished for all crimes. At the UN Commission on Human Rights in April, a European Union resolution was carried by 27–13 (with 13 abstentions) backing a worldwide ban on executions called on nations that retain capital punishment to establish a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty completely. The United States and China voted against the motion, along with 11 other members of the commission, namely Bangladesh, Botswana, Cuba, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Morocco, Pakistan, Qatar, Rwanda, and The Sudan.

      Ninety countries retained the death penalty in 1999, and 37 of these carried out executions in 1998. In China, with at least 2,000 executions annually, death sentences were often carried out at public rallies. In the Philippines, where the death penalty was reintroduced in 1993, more than 900 people had since been sentenced to death. In Cuba the death penalty was extended to include serious involvement in drug trafficking, corruption of minors, and armed robbery. In the U.S. 98 people were executed in 1999, 30 more than in 1998.

      The countries that since 1990 had executed individuals for crimes committed when they were juveniles included Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the U.S., and Yemen. Since 1997 the four people known to have been executed for crimes committed when they were under 18 were all put to death in the U.S. In July 1999, however, the Florida Supreme Court outlawed the state's use of the death penalty against 16-year-olds, and Montana abolished the death penalty for those who were under 18 at the time of their crimes.

Andrew Rutherford

▪ 1999


      Not only was 1998 notable as the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but it also marked the conclusion of a landmark agreement to establish an international criminal court to try war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity. This agreement, by 120 nations, reflected an increasing tendency to view human rights as a corollary to regional stability. This trend was also noticeable in ongoing efforts by the international community in former Yugoslavia, with the province of Kosovo presenting the latest challenge.

      Contrasting with these positive developments, limited international resolve and comparatively scant resources were dedicated to problems far from Europe, such as Rwanda and the surrounding African countries. Major human rights violations in countries where civilians continued to suffer the aftereffects of conflict and associated human rights abuses, such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Congo [Kinshasa]), Algeria, and Indonesia, were given only cursory attention at the annual UN Human Rights Commission meeting. In June U.S. Pres. Bill Clinton's visit to China, where a policy of detention of dissidents continued, was notable for its low-key approach to human rights issues.

International Criminal Court.
      On July 17 in Rome, after discussions that lasted four years, a group of interested countries agreed by an overwhelming majority—120 in favour, 21 abstaining, and 7 against—to establish by treaty an international criminal court. The U.S. drew widespread criticism from human rights organizations by attempting to introduce amendments that would have considerably weakened the eventual powers of the court. It finally voted against the treaty, along with such unlikely bedfellows as Iraq, Libya, The Sudan, and China.

      Crimes covered by the treaty included genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes; such contentious issues as terrorism and drug trafficking were not included. The court was not intended to be a substitute for a national judicial system and would intervene only when the national system did not investigate a possible crime or was "unable or unwilling" to do so. The real impact of the treaty was not expected to be felt for some time, as it required ratification by 60 nations before it came into force, a process that could take several years.

      The decision by British courts to allow the extradition of Gen. Augusto Pinochet Ugarte to Spain for crimes committed against Spanish citizens in Chile while president of that nation from 1973 to 1990 demonstrated a more robust approach to the issue of universal jurisdiction. The decision not to allow immunity for former heads of state for "crimes against humanity" revealed growing support for the legal enforcement of international human rights law but marked the beginning of a protracted legal battle over Pinochet's extradition.

      The UN Security Council's role in the process of initiating investigations was limited by the treaty in favour of an independent and unfettered prosecutor. The power of the prosecutor to initiate an independent investigation was affirmed in the statute that established the court and was subject only to judicial approval prior to instituting a prosecution.

UN War Crimes Tribunals.
      The first verdict by the UN-established International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) was handed down on September 4. Jean Kambanda, former prime minister of Rwanda during the genocide there in 1994, was found guilty. Cooperation by the states of former Yugoslavia with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) continued to be unsatisfactory, and both tribunals were hampered by a lack of resources.

      War crimes trials by national courts in both former Yugoslavia and Rwanda often suffered from procedural deficiencies indicative of ethnic biases. Trials by the national courts in Rwanda resulted in the public execution of 22 persons in April for participation in the genocide, despite serious procedural inadequacies in the hearings. An estimated 130,000 persons detained in Rwandan prisons awaited trial.

Ethnic Conflict.
      Ethnic conflict continued to produce a cycle of revenge in Africa and former Yugoslavia. Despite a general return to stability in former Yugoslavia, substantial return of refugees did not occur and ethnic discrimination and isolation continued to typify the climate in the region. At the end of February, the tension in the 90% ethnic Albanian province of Kosovo in Serbia finally led to the outbreak of a long-anticipated armed conflict between the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and Serbian security forces. The civilian population suffered massive forced displacement, extrajudicial execution, torture, and the deliberate destruction of property reminiscent of the war in former Yugoslavia. The KLA also carried out human rights abuses against the native Serb population, albeit on a smaller scale. Serbia refused to accept ICTY jurisdiction for war crimes in Kosovo despite affirmation by the UN Security Council.

      The conflict continued throughout the spring and summer as the international community sought a diplomatic solution. In October Serbian Pres. Slobodan Milosevic agreed under threat of NATO air strikes to allow in large numbers of unarmed representatives from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to monitor the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions providing for the withdrawal of Serbian forces from Kosovo and the return of the displaced population. Late in the year sporadic fighting continued in some areas, and the situation remained unstable.

      Chaos continued to reign in the aftermath of the conflict in Rwanda. In Congo (Kinshasa), Pres. Laurent Kabila refused repeated requests by the UN and human rights groups to send missions to monitor the situation. Twenty-four soldiers were executed in Sierra Leone in October for treason following trial by a military tribunal. The executions were widely criticized by human rights organizations, in particular because of the lack of the right to appeal the death sentences.

Human Rights.
      Elections held in Cambodia on July 26 highlighted the limited success of the costly 1993 UN operation, when the first democratic election was held in that country. In the weeks preceding the 1998 vote, violence and intimidation encompassing illegal detention, torture, and extrajudicial killings increased. International observers pronounced the elections basically fair, which caused protests from human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and the main opposition groups, Funcinpec and the Sam Rainsy Party. They alleged fraud and threatened to boycott the new National Assembly. In September demonstrations in Phnom Penh, resulting from the postelection suppression of opposition parties, provoked a clampdown by the authorities, which led to further injuries and killings. In an anticlimactic episode in April, Pol Pot died in a jungle village near the Thai-Cambodian border, amid a growing clamour to establish an international tribunal to try Khmer Rouge leaders responsible for the 1979 genocide. The cause of his death was unverified but was said to have been a heart attack. (See OBITUARIES (Pol Pot ).)

      The death of Nigerian leader Gen. Sani Abacha in June (see OBITUARIES (Abacha, Sani )) heralded positive changes in Nigeria's human rights climate. His successor, Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar (see BIOGRAPHIES (Abubakar, Abdulsalam )), released several prominent political detainees, introduced economic reforms, and initiated steps for Nigeria's readmission to the Commonwealth. A presidential election was scheduled for May 1999, marking the beginning of Nigeria's shift toward a more democratic system.

      Changes in the political landscape in Iran indicated moves toward a more moderate policy by the regime. Rapprochement between Iran and the U.S. revealed the softening stance of the more liberal elements, represented by Pres. Mohammad Khatami. The internal struggle with the conservative Iranian religious establishment continued, however. Political repression was still commonplace, but the political shift gave new hope for the overall human rights environment.

      Human Rights Watch reported in November on mass killings of 2,000 civilians by Afghanistan's ruling Taliban in the northern city of Mazar-e Sharif during fighting earlier in the year. Widespread repression of women living under the Taliban regime continued, including denial of education, employment, and freedom of movement; transgressors suffered beatings.

      A peace deal concluded in Northern Ireland provided hope for a decrease in human rights abuses caused by the conflict. In the Middle East the peace process staggered along at a painfully slow pace threatened by continuing violence on both sides. The ultimate success of the negotiated agreements in both regions remained unclear.


Court Decisions.
      The controversy involving U.S. President Clinton (see BIOGRAPHIES (Clinton, Bill )) dominated the American news media during the year and spawned several legal decisions handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court. The alleged wrongdoing that caused his troubles started in Arkansas while Clinton was governor there and involved a failed land deal, called "Whitewater," in which he and his wife, Hillary, were involved. Troubles continued for Clinton after he was elected president. In this connection one matter that later became important concerned the wholesale dismissal of White House travel office employees, allegedly done so that Clinton, through friends and colleagues, could take over this lucrative business. In view of these events and the charges and countercharges that they engendered in the media and the political arena, the Department of Justice appointed a special prosecutor, Kenneth Starr (see BIOGRAPHIES (Starr, Kenneth W. )) to investigate the president's role in some of these activities.

      Meanwhile, an employee of the state of Arkansas named Paula Jones brought an action in Arkansas charging Clinton with sexual harassment, allegedly committed while he was governor. As part of her proof, she sought to establish that Clinton had sexual affairs with many women and that this pattern of conduct was ongoing. In this connection Jones alleged that Clinton had engaged in sex with a young White House intern named Monica Lewinsky. In a deposition taken in the Jones case, Clinton denied under oath that he had a sexual relationship with Lewinsky.

      Special Prosecutor Starr added the Lewinsky matter to his portfolio. His inquiry into this and the other charges falling within his jurisdiction went slowly, and he came under personal attack and was accused of delaying his work for reasons of personal political gain. In response he asserted that his investigation had been impeded by the refusal of Clinton and his staff to cooperate. Clinton replied that he was cooperating fully, but that many persons whom the special prosecutor wanted to interview or take before a grand jury were protected by various legal privileges that allowed them to refuse to give evidence. Starr then brought appropriate legal action to compel this testimony. It was this legal action and not the underlying facts or allegations making up the controversy that excited American legal scholars and produced two landmark decisions by the Supreme Court.

      The first case involved the travel office dismissals. A deputy White House counsel, Vincent Foster, met with an "outside [the White House] attorney" to seek legal representation concerning the investigation of that matter. The outside attorney took three pages of handwritten notes of the meeting. Nine days later Foster committed suicide. Starr, through a grand jury subpoena, directed the outside counsel to produce the notes, but he refused. The Supreme Court held that the notes were protected by the attorney-client privilege, which survived Foster's death, and therefore could not be used in the ongoing investigation.

      In a subsequent case, however, the Supreme Court limited the interpretation that some legal scholars were putting on the Foster decision. It let stand a lower court decision that Bruce Lindsey, a White House counsel, could not invoke the attorney-client privilege to refuse to testify before a grand jury regarding his conversations and other dealings with President Clinton. In that decision the court also held that Clinton had no "protective-function" privilege that would prevent his bodyguards from giving testimony to a grand jury concerning his activities.

      At the same time, President Clinton agreed to testify before a grand jury empaneled by Starr, and his testimony given by video transmission from the White House was later telecast to the nation. This testimony was given under oath, and Starr subsequently alleged that some of it, particularly portions pertaining to Lewinsky, was untruthful and thus perjurious. Clinton denied the charge, but some Clinton supporters said that, even if it were true, no major importance should be attached to it, because most men deny sexual peccadilloes in an effort to protect their marriages and families. The Supreme Court may have taken note of this defense, endorsed widely by the news media, by seemingly going out of its way in an unrelated case to state that "witnesses appearing before a grand jury under oath are, likewise, required to testify truthfully on pain of being prosecuted for perjury. . . . The predicament of being forced to choose between incriminatory truth and falsehood does not justify perjury."

      By the year's end two important developments involving the Clinton controversy had occurred. Initially, the Jones case was settled out of court for $850,000 paid to her by Clinton with the explicit understanding that he had done no wrong. Second, Starr released his findings to Congress, and the House of Representatives impeached President Clinton.

      The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that an employer's refusal to allow travel concessions given by it to members of the opposite sex living with one another in a stable relationship could be denied to lesbians, even though they were living together in a meaningful relationship. The U.S. Supreme Court, perhaps, took a different view, holding that a same-sex harassment in the workplace was actionable under a federal statute prohibiting sexual harassment. Additionally, the court showed its propensity to protect homosexuals by ruling that an employer of a person who sexually harassed a fellow employee could be held liable for that act without a showing of negligence.

      In South Africa the abortion rights adherents gained a significant victory when the Transvaal division of the High Court ruled that a fetus is not a legal person under the constitution and therefore is not protected by its "right-to-life" provisions. The question arose in a lawsuit brought by pro-life adherents in which it was alleged that the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1966, which allowed abortion, was contrary to the right-to-life provisions of the constitution.

      The Supreme Court of Canada resolved a case that attracted national attention by holding that First Nations could sustain their claim to 58,000 sq km (22,400 sq mi) of land in northern British Columbia through proof of title by adducing oral history and tradition. They did not have to abide by common-law rules that allegedly had been made part of the basic law of Canada by an English Royal Proclamation of 1763.

      The Supreme Court of the U.S. let stand a decision from the Supreme Court of Wisconsin that a school vouchers program did not violate the Constitution. School vouchers made government money available to economically disadvantaged students to attend private schools, including those affiliated with a religion. This program had been a key plank in the Republican Party's agenda and had been strongly opposed by advocates of public education, including teachers unions, most members of the Democratic Party, and President Clinton.

      In 1998 Arizona, by means of a statewide initiative, amended its constitution to make "English the official language of the State of Arizona." The amendment further provided that the state and all its political subdivisions "shall act in English and no other language." This amendment, quite obviously aimed at a substantially large Spanish-speaking population in the state, was declared unconstitutional by the Arizona Supreme Court as a violation of the First Amendment of the federal Constitution, which preempts the constitutions of the various states.

      A major dispute between the U.K. and Spain concerned General Pinochet, a former president of Chile in Great Britain for medical treatment. The Spanish government wanted to extradite him and prosecute him for the alleged serious violations of human rights he committed when he was president of Chile. His supporters claimed that he suppressed communism in Chile and left the country, after his resignation, incomparably better off than the one he had inherited. Early in December a British court granted Spain its request of extradition but later voided it and scheduled a new hearing in 1999.

      The ICTY sentenced Drazen Erdemovic to five years in prison for his part in an execution squad that allegedly murdered many Bosnian Muslims. It was alleged that Erdemovic himself had murdered 100 persons.

      The European Court of Human Rights (ECH) held that a decision by the Constitutional Court of Turkey dissolving the Communist Party of Turkey was in violation of the Convention of the ECH. The International Court of Justice determined that it had jurisdiction to deal with the merits of a case brought by Libya against the U.K. concerning Pan Am Flight 103; two Libyan nationals were suspected of having caused the destruction of the airplane and the death of its 270 passengers and crew members over Lockerbie, Scot., in 1988.

      The constitution of Denmark sharply limited the right of a government to cede sovereignty to international organizations. Using this provision as their base, a number of citizens of Denmark sued their prime minister for signing the Treaty on European Unity in 1991. The Supreme Court of Denmark found no conflict between the constitution and the treaty but observed that if such a conflict should develop in the future, the Danish constitution would take precedence.

      In India, in what the media considered a landmark decision, the Supreme Court held that courts are competent, in the absence of controlling legislation, to make law on the particular point in question. The decision was based on Article 142 of India's constitution to the effect that courts are required to do "complete justice" in cases they resolve. "Justice," the court said, must represent the will of the people on the particular matter in question, and the court opined that any court-made law would therefore be valid only until such time as the legislature passed legislation on the point in question.

      The High Court of Australia decided an important case during the year involving secretly recorded evidence affecting the outcome of a criminal trial. The case had important implications for Australia's strict adherence to principles of human rights, including the right of one accused of a crime to remain silent. In the case at hand, the accused voluntarily admitted to a police officer, without knowledge that the confession was being tape-recorded, that he had committed the crime for which he was subsequently charged. When interrogated, he had not refused to answer questions or asserted any privilege in that regard. In a far-reaching decision the court ultimately resolved the matter by giving the trial court substantial discretion to admit or deny the confession into evidence. This discretion, however, was limited by a three-pronged test: (1) Was the confession voluntarily made? (2) Did the accused refuse to answer questions or stand on his right to remain silent? (3) Was the confession reliable or "bought at a price" that is unacceptable under contemporary community standards?



      On Aug. 7, 1998, terrorists launched coordinated and devastating attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. In the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, a massive truck bomb blast killed 257 people, 12 of them Americans, and left more than 5,000 persons wounded. An almost simultaneous blast in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania's capital, killed 11 people and injured hundreds more. The blasts provided a tragic reminder of just how vulnerable even the world's sole superpower remained to attacks of this type. They also precipitated an immediate and massive FBI investigation into the bombings, which were believed to have been committed by an Islamic terrorist network associated with Osama bin Laden, a wealthy Saudi businessman said to be living in Afghanistan. (See BIOGRAPHIES. (Bin Laden, Osama )) On August 20 U.S. military forces, utilizing cruise missiles, delivered powerful surprise attacks against a number of sites in Afghanistan in an effort to destroy key bases used by the Islamic terrorists claimed to have been involved in the bombings. An attack was also made upon an alleged chemical weapons factory located in Khartoum, the capital of The Sudan.

      The military strikes, which were condemned by Russia and a number of other nations, were said to have signaled a shift to more aggressive counterterrorist tactics by the U.S. in order to respond to a new phenomenon, the privatization of terrorism, in which individuals such as bin Laden replaced government-sponsored terrorism groups. Bin Laden appeared to have survived the cruise missile strikes and remained at large, but the ongoing investigation resulted in a number of arrests of bombing suspects associated with his far-flung network. A reward of up to $2 million was also offered by the U.S. for information leading to the arrest of Haroun Fazil, a native of Comoros, who allegedly had played a leading role in the Nairobi attack.

      In October U.S. federal authorities announced that they had charged Eric Robert Rudolph, one of the FBI's 10 most-wanted fugitives, with the long-unsolved bombing at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Ga., in which one person died and more than 100 were injured. A reward of $1 million had already been posted in May for information assisting with Rudolph's capture on charges involving a bombing of an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Ala., on Jan. 29, 1998, that killed one person. Final closure came in May in another long-running U.S. bombing investigation and prosecution when Theodore Kaczynski, the so-called Unabomber, who killed 3 people and injured 22 in 16 attacks between 1979 and 1995, was sentenced to four terms of life in prison without parole. The sentence was part of a plea bargain that Kaczynski, 55, made in January to avoid the death sentence.

      In Patterns of Global Terrorism, the U.S. Department of State reported 13 international terrorist incidents in the U.S. during 1997, 12 involving letter bombs sent from the Middle East. None of the letter bombs detonated. Worldwide, 304 acts of international terrorism were recorded, one of the lowest annual totals since 1971. The number of casualties remained large, however, with 221 deaths and 693 nonfatal woundings reported. Seven U.S. citizens died, and 21 were wounded in 1997, compared with 23 dead and 516 wounded during the previous year. Approximately one-third of all international terrorist attacks were against U.S. targets, and most consisted of bombings of business-related targets such as oil pipelines and communication facilities.

      A historic but fragile peace accord reached in April between Protestant and Catholic factions in the British province of Northern Ireland was placed in jeopardy on August 15 when a massive car bomb exploded in the centre of the town of Omagh, killing at least 28 people and injuring 220. The blast was the deadliest single atrocity in almost three decades of bloody conflict in Northern Ireland. Responsibility for the bombing was claimed by a hard-line terrorist splinter group, the Real Irish Republican Army, which had rejected the cease-fire announced during 1997 by the mainstream Irish Republican Army (IRA). In the wake of the Omagh bombing, both the Irish and the British governments introduced legislation giving new and wide-ranging powers to police to arrest, detain, question, stop, and search terrorist suspects.

      On September 16 the Spanish Basque terrorist organization Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) announced an indefinite cease-fire after 30 years of guerrilla attacks that were blamed for 800 deaths. Spanish political leaders in Madrid suggested that the cease-fire was the result of pressure on ETA from police arrests, large public street demonstrations demanding peace, and inspiration drawn from the peace accord reached in Northern Ireland.

War Crimes.
      In April, following the longest trial in French legal history, a jury in Bordeaux found Maurice Papon guilty of complicity in Nazi crimes against humanity while he was an administrator in German-occupied France during World War II. Papon, who was the highest-ranking French civilian official ever to be tried on war crimes charges, was held responsible for the handing over to the Germans of more than 1,500 Jews in occupied Bordeaux. Following his conviction Papon was sentenced to 10 years in prison and deprived of his civil rights.

      On April 15 Pol Pot, the leader of the radical communist Khmer Rouge and one of the most reviled figures of the 20th century, died in Cambodia. From 1975 to 1979 he presided over the party and regime whose paranoia and brutality resulted in the deaths of as many as two million Cambodians. (See OBITUARIES (Pol Pot ).) Despite the horrors inflicted by the Khmer Rouge, Pol Pot and his close colleagues in the party were never made accountable for their crimes. Pol Pot's death provided a stark reminder of the helplessness of the international community to try those accused of crimes against humanity in the face of the failure of a national criminal jurisdiction to protect its own people. In July the international community took a historic step toward redressing this situation when 120 countries voted in favour of a draft treaty setting out the fundamentals for an international court to prosecute war criminals and tyrants like Pol Pot. Though the conference approved the draft treaty, its implementation remained dependent upon ratification by at least 60 nations.

      Meanwhile, the existing special tribunals set up by the UN to deal with crimes committed in former Yugoslavia and in Rwanda continued their work. In Arusha, Tanz., the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda handed down a landmark decision on September 2 finding Jean Paul Akayesu, a former mayor of a small commune in Rwanda, guilty of nine counts of genocide and crimes against humanity. The verdict was the first of its kind, following a full trial, for the crime of genocide under international law. Akayesu, who was subsequently sentenced to the maximum penalty of life in prison for these crimes, was found by the court to have ordered fellow members of the Hutu tribe to kill their Tutsi neighbours, including children. He also encouraged and ordered the rape and murder of Tutsi women. In making rape part of Akayesu's genocide conviction, the tribunal's decision advanced the definition and punishment of sexual violence within the context of international law.

      On October 16 British police arrested the former Chilean president, General Pinochet, who was in London seeking medical treatment. Pinochet's arrest was made at the request of a Spanish judge who sought Pinochet's extradition as part of an investigation into atrocities committed in the "dirty wars" in Latin America in the 1970s and 1980s. The Spanish authorities held Pinochet responsible for the deaths of more than 3,000 people, including Spaniards, Britons, Chileans, and other Latin Americans. (See Law, above.)

Drug Trafficking.
      In February, as part of the annual antinarcotics certification process first required by the U.S. Congress in 1986, President Clinton's administration announced it had decided to waive economic sanctions imposed two years earlier against Colombia because of that nation's poor performance in combating drug trafficking. Although Colombia remained the world's leading producer and distributor of cocaine and a major supplier of heroin and marijuana, officials said the decision was based in part on the emergence of the Colombian national police as an effective force against narcotics. In addition to Colombia, Pakistan and Cambodia also received sanction waivers despite their poor records in dealing with the trade in narcotics. Critics of the certification process suggested that it was a clumsy tool for encouraging better narcotics enforcement, forcing the U.S. into difficult choices between papering over problems or offending otherwise friendly countries. Many of the nations subject to the evaluation also claimed that it was counterproductive. The root cause of the drug problem was, they said, the insatiable demand for narcotics in the U.S. and not lax enforcement by source countries.

      In October retired general Barry McCaffrey, President Clinton's national drug policy director, warned on a visit to Haiti that the country had become the fastest-growing transit point for U.S.-bound cocaine shipments. Colombian and Dominican drug traffickers, sensing an opportunity in a nation weakened by a paralyzed government and an inexperienced police force, were said to be moving through Haiti up to 15% of all the cocaine consumed in the U.S., about four tons a month.

Murder and Other Violence.
      For the sixth consecutive year, the overall rate of serious crime in the U.S. fell in 1997, according to the FBI's annual survey of law-enforcement agencies. Murder and robbery showed the greatest decline, each down 9% from 1996. Serious crime also continued to fall in all of the largest cities, although a little more slowly than in 1996. A comparative study of crime and justice in the U.S. and the U.K., published in October by the U.S. Bureau of Justice, revealed that serious crimes rates were in general no higher in the U.S. than in the U.K. The major exception to the pattern was murder, with the U.S. murder rate in 1996 nearly six times higher than that of the U.K.

      Americans were shocked in March by the bloody ambush killings of four young students and a teacher by a 13-year-old boy and his 11-year-old cousin outside the Westside Middle School in the small Arkansas town of Jonesboro. It was the fourth multiple shooting in less than six months at an American school by a person under the age of 17, and it prompted immediate debate about school safety and the pervasiveness of guns in U.S. homes. Some of the high-powered weapons used by the two boys were said to have been taken from the home of the grandfather of the 11-year-old suspect. In August, on his 14th birthday, Mitchell Johnson pleaded guilty, and Andrew Golden, 12, was found guilty at their trial on charges relating to the killing of four of their schoolmates and a teacher and the wounding of 10 others during the ambush. They were sentenced to be confined by state juvenile authorities until they turned 21, the maximum punishment available for children of their age. (See Special Report (Children Killing Children ).)

      The Vatican was stunned in May by the slaying of the commander of the Swiss Guard, the Holy See's private army, shortly after the pope had appointed Col. Alois Estermann to lead the 100-strong force. Estermann's corpse, together with that of his wife, Gladys Meza Romero, and a vice corporal in the Swiss Guard, Cedric Tornay, were found in the commander's apartment on May 4. It seemed that, in what a Vatican spokesman claimed was "a moment of madness," Estermann and his wife had been shot dead by Tornay, who then took his own life, after Tornay had received an official reprimand in February for breaking the Guard's midnight curfew. Tornay had also just learned that he was not to receive a medal he had anticipated being awarded.

      One of Russia's most admired and courageous advocates of democracy, Galina Starovoytova, was assassinated in St. Petersburg on November 20. A potential presidential candidate and virulent anticommunist critic, Starovoytova was gunned down as she climbed the stairs to her apartment with an aide, who was critically wounded in the attack. A liberal deputy in the State Duma (parliament), Starovoytova was the seventh deputy to be murdered since 1993 and the first woman. She had received threats from political enemies and was said to have prepared a dossier of evidence pointing to corruption in the Communist Party, which she was expected to have tabled shortly in the Duma. Her death came at a time when the Russian general prosecutor's office reported an increase of almost 18% in murder, rape, and other serious crimes in the first nine months of the year.

White Collar Crime, Corruption, and Fraud.
      The annual Corruption Perception Index (CPI), published by the Berlin-based global anticorruption organization Transparency International, ranked Colombia, Indonesia, and Nigeria as the world's most corrupt large countries. The CPI, a poll drawing upon many surveys of expert and general public views of the extent of corruption in 85 nations, listed Denmark, Finland, Sweden, New Zealand, and Canada among the least corrupt.

      With billions of dollars' worth of foreign aid and investment in Asia disappearing as part of the economic collapse in the region, many countries began to deal with the rampant corruption that had fueled the crisis. In Vietnam in January three former businessmen convicted of corruption were executed in front of thousands of witnesses on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City. In China the government's policy of promoting capitalist economic reform without comparable change in the nation's closed political system was said by Western experts to be responsible for an epidemic of corruption among public officials, including the military. In July Chinese Pres. Jiang Zemin and Prime Minister Zhu Rongji unveiled plans to prosecute corrupt Communist Party, law-enforcement, and military officials and to create a national antismuggling force. China's military was mentioned as being heavily involved in smuggling activities, which were estimated to cost the government at least $12 billion each year in lost tax revenue.

Law Enforcement
       Policing experts remained uncertain about the role played by law enforcement in reducing rates of serious crime in the U.S. over recent years. The FBI admitted it could not readily explain why rates were falling so fast, and senior police officials expressed concern that the sharp drop in crime had produced new pressure on police departments to show ever-decreasing crime figures. Several charges of falsely reporting crime statistics led to the resignation or demotion of high-ranking police commanders, including the head of the New York City Police Department (NYPD) Transportation Bureau, who presided over an elaborate scheme to reclassify incidents on the city's subway as street crimes. The scheme underestimated crime in the subway by as much as 20%.

      Despite such practices, other experts attributed the national decline in crime to the new "zero-tolerance" policing policies of the type adopted in New York City by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. This concept was based on a theory, advanced by two criminologists in the 1980s, that authorities could create a climate in which serious crime would find it impossible to flourish if they refused to tolerate minor infractions of the law, such as painting graffiti on walls or dropping litter on the sidewalk. The criminologists termed this the "broken window" phenomenon—if one window in a building was broken, all the others would soon suffer a similar fate. If, however, one fixed the broken window rapidly, the situation would not deteriorate. In New York, Mayor Giuliani ordered crackdowns not only on graffiti writers and litterers but also on windshield cleaners, people who urinated in public, and jaywalkers. The policy seemed to work, as crime rates in the city dropped. Not everyone agreed that this was the reason for the fall in crime, however, and many critics suggested that zero-tolerance policing policies often resulted in the abuse of civil liberties.

      Former NYPD police commissioner William Bratton attributed the declining crime rates to a revitalized police department with better weapons and new personnel-deployment policies. Officers were removed from desk jobs and put back on the streets with increased discretionary powers. Precinct commanders were made personally responsible for reducing crime in their own areas, and those who failed were fired. Such policies were not unique to New York City. In most U.S. cities the number of police officers had increased during recent years, and in many locations officers were encouraged to work with the community to prevent crime and apprehend criminals. This community-policing philosophy was matched in many departments by the use of sophisticated computer mapping and intelligence systems to target high-crime areas.

      In October the FBI opened a national computerized DNA database that, its proponents said, would help reduce rape and serious crimes by catching repeat offenders more rapidly. Similar to a database already in operation in the U.K., the FBI's new investigative aid allowed comparisons of a DNA sample from one state in the U.S. with all others in the system. From only a few cells, enough DNA could be obtained to identify the owner.

      On October 1 Europe's cross-border police force, Europol, officially began operations with ambitious plans to target the illegal drug trade and terrorism across 15 European Union nations. Europol had worked in a more restricted capacity since 1995 as the European Drugs Unit. In this capacity, with only 155 staff members based in The Hague, it had assisted national police forces in combating illegal immigration networks, vehicle theft, and trafficking in nuclear and radioactive materials. After scandals in Belgium in 1996 concerning pedophilia and child murder, it was given additional responsibility for monitoring sexual exploitation, including trafficking in humans. It also collated information about money laundering. With this new role, Europol's staff was scheduled to rise to 350 by 2000.

      The International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) announced in January that it had brought its technological capabilities up to date, streamlined its operations, and tightened its security. More than 150 of the organization's 177 member nations were now linked by computer to the world's most extensive law-enforcement communications network.


Prisons and Penology
      Hardening political and public attitudes on crime and punishment continued to be reflected by the rising numbers of untried and sentenced prisoners in many parts of the world in 1998. In this respect Russia and the United States held the lead with incarceration rates of approximately 690 and 645 prisoners per 100,000 population, respectively. Whereas the Russian figures declined slightly during the year, this was not the case in the U.S., where there had been an annual growth rate of about 6% since 1990. With the probable exception of China (where data were unavailable), reliance elsewhere upon imprisonment was mostly some 50-75% lower. Although the overall pattern was one of steady growth in the incarceration rate, there were a few indications of reductions in Eastern and Central Europe, notably in Poland.

      Excessively crowded conditions, dismal standards of sanitation, and a shortage of basic medical resources remained the norm for many prison systems. The conditions endured by prisoners awaiting trial remained especially abysmal. In South Africa the number of children sentenced and remanded to prison had doubled since 1996, with many of them held 50 to a cell designed for half that number. In Russian prisons the rate of infection of tuberculosis was estimated to be 20-60% higher than the rate in the general community. Widespread deaths from infectious diseases were also reported among prisoners in Kenya and Uganda, and in Cambodia inmates frequently died of untreated diseases, exacerbated by malnutrition and overcrowding. In Venezuela, where 75% of prisoners were awaiting trial, 24,000 were held in facilities designed for 15,000. At the New-Bell prison in Douala, Cameroon, some 1,900 persons were crammed into a facility designed for 800. Severely crowded conditions were also by no means unknown to countries with more advanced economies. In Italy the Naples prison was housing twice its capacity, but even it compared favourably with Portugal's Oporto prison, which was designed for 500 prisoners but held 1,350.

      Extensive prison-building programs were under way in the U.S., The Netherlands, and elsewhere but with problematic results. In England and Wales, where the prison population had risen from 42,000 to 66,000 since 1993, a huge capital investment in prisons was achieved in part at the expense of education and other services. Despite an expansion of the prison system in New York state, it was decided (contrary to the standards laid down by the American Corrections Association) to place two prisoners in cells measuring 4.2 sq m (45 sq ft) that had been designed for one person, a determination made necessary by cuts in staffing levels.

      Elsewhere, imprisonment was made especially unpleasant as an explicit matter of public policy. It was reported in Chad that prisoners were bound with chains for the first three months of their detention. In China torture and ill-treatment of inmates remained widespread. With prisoners often denied protection from extreme temperatures, torture was also reported to be routine in Saudi Arabia. Torture and ill-treatment, including incidents of flogging and amputations, were widespread in prisons operated by the Taliban in Afghanistan. Deaths in custody remained widely reported by Amnesty International and other human rights organizations.

      Prison riots and other serious incidents occurred in a number of countries. Sixteen prisoners died in a fire at the severely crowded Sabaneta prison in Venezuela, and seven inmates were killed during rioting at the Lurigancho prison in Peru, which at the time held 6,000 (mostly pretrial detainees) in 1,500 places. Riots were also reported in Saint Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, Mexico, and Jamaica. At the Soracaba prison near São Paulo, Braz., prisoners took 650 hostages, mostly visitors, in a protest against overcrowding that ended peacefully. Also in Brazil, at the Linhares prison eight inmates died when fighting erupted.

      As a result of increased prison populations, many commercial firms were becoming interested in the management of prisons. By 1998 such "private prisons" had been established in the U.S., the U.K., and Australia, with developments under consideration by governments in Canada and South Africa. The largest operator, Corrections Corp. of America, was responsible for some 62,500 prison beds worldwide.

Death Penalty.
      According to Amnesty International, 104 countries had by 1998 abolished the death penalty in law or practice. In 63 countries abolition was for all crimes, in 16 it was for all but exceptional crimes, and in 25 abolition was a matter of practice rather than law. In 91 other countries the death penalty was retained. Since 1976 each year an average of two countries had abolished the death penalty, and most recently the abolitionist majority was joined by Georgia and Poland.

      Against this worldwide abolitionist trend, the scope of the death penalty was extended in 1998 by a number of countries. In Pakistan it covered gang rape. In Singapore it included the crime of trafficking in more than 250 g (8.8 oz) of crystal methamphetamine (during the first half of the year, at least six people were executed for drug offenses). It was reported in Tajikistan that the death penalty had been extended to cover "hooliganism." Executions for theft were reported under China's "Strike Hard" anticrime campaign.

      In April the United Nations Commission for Human Rights strengthened its call for a moratorium on executions. A UN official also declared that capital punishment in the U.S. violated international law. He concluded that "race, ethnic origin and economic status appeared to be key determinants of who would and would not receive a sentence of death." There were 68 executions in the U.S. during 1998. The number of death sentences carried out seemed likely to increase under the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Statute, which imposed strict time limits on appeals, restricted access of prisoners to the federal courts, and empowered state courts to redress any constitutional violations.

      Worldwide, at least 2,375 persons in 40 countries were known to have been executed during 1997. Of these, 1,644 were in China, 143 in Iran (which included 3 persons stoned to death), 122 in Saudi Arabia, and 33 in Nigeria. In South Korea 23 persons were reported to have been hanged in a single day.


▪ 1998


      The tendency, increasingly visible in previous years, for international law to change from a set of rules governing relations between sovereign nations (and relevant only to those nations) into a framework for joint action on matters that directly affect individual citizens became even more pronounced in 1997. This was reflected in two aspects of the conduct of nations. The first of these was their increasing recourse to international legislation (treaties and multilateral conventions) in order to develop their own laws in collaboration with other nations, and the second was the increasing subordination of national action to international adjudication that was being undertaken by the growing number of international courts and tribunals.

International Courts and Tribunals.
      During the year nearly all the major international courts set up Web sites on the Internet. In addition, at least two law schools (Cornell in the United States and Düsseldorf in Germany) created Web sites that provided hyperlink access to some or all of those courts. The sites contained information about the court and its activities, usually the full text of recent judgments, and sometimes a calendar of future hearings.

      The newest international court, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), spent the year working on its rules of procedure and its internal organization into chambers: the main Seabed Disputes Chamber, a Chamber of Summary Procedure, a Chamber on Fisheries Matters, and a Chamber on the Marine Environment. On November 13 ITLOS received its first case, brought by St.Vincent and the Grenadines against Guinea in relation to the seizure by the latter of a ship off the coast of West Africa.

      At the same time as that court became operational, the preparations for yet another reached culmination. The UN General Assembly, by a resolution of Jan. 16, 1997, reapproved the timetable of the Preparatory Committee on the establishment of a permanent international criminal court. Subsequently, the committee met in February, August, and December to prepare the way for a final meeting in March 1998 and a diplomatic conference in Rome in June-July 1998 to adopt a convention. The work of the committee covered the definition of the crimes to be subject to the new court's jurisdiction (within the broad range of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity), the applicable principles of law, the jurisdictional relationship with national courts, procedure, and penalties.

      In France on January 16, the Supreme Court produced an important definition of the concept of "crimes against humanity" that was based on Article 6 of the Nürnberg Charter, during the trial of Maurice Papon. The defendant was accused of having participated, as an official in the Vichy government of Nazi-occupied France, in the deportation of some 2,000 Jews between 1942 and 1944.

      A third "new" international court was foreshadowed by the entry into force on October 1 of the 11th Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights. As a result of this protocol, a completely new European Court of Human Rights, resulting from the merger of the existing court and the Commission of Human Rights, would come into existence on Nov. 1, 1998.

      The existing courts continued to develop and expand their practices. In December 1996 the World Trade Organization (WTO) Appellate Body adopted Rules of Conduct that supplemented the existing Understanding on Dispute Settlement Procedure and the Working Procedures on Appellate Review. As a result, the Appellate Body had a full set of working texts, and during 1997 it decided several appeals from WTO (formerly the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) panel reports. These included the controversial condemnation (upholding the panel report) of the European Union's (EU's) inclusion of bananas in its common agricultural policy (U.S. and others v. EU), which resulted in discrimination in favour of imports from EU-related countries in the Caribbean.

      The bringing before a WTO panel of EU v. U.S.—a case involving the disputed exercise by the U.S. of extraterritorial jurisdiction against trade with Cuba, Iran, and Libya through the Helms-Burton Act and the Iran and Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA)—was instrumental in settling the dispute. Under an EU-U.S. memorandum of understanding of April 11, the U.S. agreed to continue suspension of Title III of the former and the nonapplication of Title IV and of ILSA to EU nationals in return for EU withdrawal of its complaint from the WTO panel.

      The International Court of Justice (ICJ) delivered judgment on a preliminary point in Iran v. U.S. on Dec. 12, 1996, holding (against the preliminary objection raised by the U.S.) that, on the basis of Article XXI(2) of the Iran/U.S. Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations, and Consular Rights of Aug. 15, 1955, it did have jurisdiction to consider Iran's complaint of breach of the treaty following the destruction by the U.S. Navy of three Iranian oil complexes in the Persian Gulf in 1987 and 1988. Argument on the merits of the case would then follow.

      On September 26 the ICJ delivered judgment in Hungary v. Slovakia concerning the Gabcikovo-Nagymaros Project for the damming and hydroelectric diversion of the Danube River. In this difficult case Hungary had intended in 1989 to terminate a 1977 Hungary-Czechoslovakia treaty because of the adverse environmental consequences of the dam, a consideration that had not applied in 1977; Slovakia thereupon carried out an alternative operation on its territory that affected Hungary's access to Danube waters. The court held that Hungary was not entitled to denounce the treaty or suspend its share of the works under it, that Slovakia was not entitled to operate its own solution, that Slovakia succeeded to Czechoslovakia as party to the 1977 treaty, and that the two parties had to compensate each other for their respective breaches and negotiate in good faith to achieve the objectives of the 1977 treaty in the light of the prevailing situation.

      The function of the ICJ, which was the subject of a probing scrutiny by the British Institute of International and Comparative Law in 1996, was considered in a thoughtful and challenging article in April. The article concluded that the court did have the power in certain circumstances to declare UN Security Council decisions invalid, both in advisory opinions and in contentious cases in which a Security Council resolution formed part of the applicable law.

      In spite of all the above, press attention concentrated on the two war crimes tribunals: the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) at The Hague and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) at Arusha, Tanz. Whereas in the previous year there had been some despondency about the ICTY, in view of the seeming difficulty in obtaining physical custody of indicted suspects, 1997 saw the situation change radically. This was illustrated by two developments. First, the ICTY concluded its first contested full trial (a conviction in 1996 had followed a plea of guilty) with the conviction of Dusan Tadic on May 7; the ICTY found him guilty on 10 counts of having beaten Muslim prisoners in various Serb detention camps in Bosnia and Herzegovina and on one count of having participated in the persecution of Muslim civilians; both, according to the ICTY, constituted crimes against humanity (on other counts, including rape and murder, he was found not guilty). In its 301-page judgment of first impression, the ICTY considered for the first time fundamental questions of its jurisdiction and of the laws of war (the existence of an international armed conflict), as well as the nature of a crime against humanity and of individual responsibility.

      The second important development was the start of the trial on March 10 of four defendants who were either Croat or Muslim and whose victims were Bosnian Serbs, the defendants being Esad Landzo, Zejnil Delalic, Zdravko Mucic, and Hazim Delic. The multiethnic character of the ICTY was thus established by its second contested case, which also had to consider for the first time fundamental issues of command responsibility (Articles 86 and 87 of Protocol 1 of 1977 additional to the Geneva Conventions) and of rape and sexual assault. It was also the ICTY's first multidefendant trial.

      In addition to these two substantive trials, there was a marked, though still slow, increase in the number of accused held in custody by the ICTY as the governments of Croatia and of Bosnia and Herzegovina (but not of Republika Srpska) began to cooperate in extraditing their nationals; for example, 10 Croats were surrendered and charged in October. On May 20 the UN General Assembly elected or reelected the 11 judges of the ICTY to serve for four years beginning November 17.

      The sister ICTR, sitting in Arusha, opened its first trial in January, against Jean-Paul Akayesu, charged with genocide, but had to adjourn it almost immediately because witnesses failed to appear. A second trial, against Georges Anderson Rutaganda, was postponed in March at the request of the prosecution. Of the three foreign countries in which accused suspects were being held, two (Cameroon and Switzerland) authorized their transfer to the ICTR's custody in Arusha; the U.S., however, released a suspect, Elizaphan Ntakirutimana, on the order (Dec. 17, 1996) of a federal judge. The judge based his decision on the grounds that extradition must be based on an agreement with another nation and not with an international organization or tribunal. The ICTR's difficulties were highlighted by an internal UN inquiry, which in February issued a severely critical report that resulted soon afterward in the dismissal by the UN secretary-general of two top officials of the ICTR.

International Legislation.
      Perhaps the most important legislative event of the year was the entry into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention on April 29, by which time it had been ratified by 81 of its 165 signatories. Its implementation was to be supervised by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, based in The Hague. Of almost equal importance was the adoption in Oslo on September 18 of the UN Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and on Their Destruction and its opening for signature in Ottawa on December 3. This treaty had been opposed by powerful military and commercial interests but benefited from an unrelenting worldwide pressure in its behalf.

      Other significant legislation, mainly affecting the private sphere, included treaties on private employment agencies, bribery of foreign public officials in business transactions, biomedicine and human rights, human cloning, international digital trade, electronic commerce, model law on cross-border insolvency, telecommunications, trade in information technology products, copyright and performers' rights, and civil liability for nuclear damage. In addition, the UN adopted in May an important convention on nonnavigational uses of international watercourses and agreed in March to establish a relationship with the International Seabed Authority.

      This article updates legal profession.

Court Decisions.
      During 1997 a number of decisions having jurisprudential or newsworthy importance or both were handed down by the courts of the various countries. In the United States Clinton v. Jones was a case that attracted national and international attention because it involved the current president of the United States. Jones sued him, alleging that while Clinton was governor of Arkansas he made "abhorrent" sexual advances to her. Clinton urged the district court to defer the action until his presidential term ended, and the court agreed. The U.S. Supreme Court was, however, of a different opinion. It held that the district court had abused its discretion, because nothing in the Constitution requires that civil damages litigation against the president be deferred until his term has ended. It ordered the trial to proceed in a normal manner. Washington v. Glucksberg sustained the validity of a Washington state statute that provided that a person who knowingly causes or helps another to attempt suicide is guilty of a felony. The Supreme Court said this statute did not violate the due process clause of the Constitution. Chandler v. Miller held unconstitutional a Georgia statute requiring candidates for designated state offices to certify that they had taken a urinalysis drug test and that the test result was negative. The Supreme Court opined that this statute offended the Constitution's Fourth Amendment, which prohibits the government from undertaking a search or seizure if there is no reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing. Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union ruled unconstitutional the Communications Decency Act (1996), which prohibited the knowing transmission to minors of indecent or patently offensive communications. The court held that the statute abridged the right to free speech. This case excited national attention and resulted in many newspaper editorials, mostly of a critical nature, because the condemned statute was aimed at Internet pornography.

      Another American case of great interest and importance was handed down by a federal appeals court. Coalition for Economic Equity v. Pete Wilson sustained the validity of an amendment to the constitution of the state of California that provided that the "state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education or public contracting." This amendment was the result of a referendum, called Proposition 209, that opponents claimed was aimed at ending affirmative action. The U.S. Supreme Court, acting without an opinion or other comment, let stand this decision. Though this action set no national precedent, it was viewed by many to encourage voters in other states to adopt similar measures and thus signaled a possible end to affirmative action in the U.S.

      In Australia in Applicant A v. Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, the High Court denied asylum to a Chinese couple who claimed that because of China's one-child-only policy, they would be sterilized if forced to return there. The court said the applicants did not fit into any group protected by its laws of asylum.

      In Belgium the Dutroux case, involving a pedophile who killed several children, attracted worldwide attention and later made headlines when a judge involved in the case was dismissed on the ground that he lacked impartiality because he had accepted a modest token at a fund-raising dinner sponsored by the families of the victims. The judge contended that taking this small token did not violate the rules of the European Convention on Human Rights, but the Cour de Cassation said this fact was irrelevant because Belgium was entitled to apply higher standards. Under those standards the judge was dismissed.

      The case of Illman v. The Queen in Canada clarified the exclusionary rules of sec. 7 (security of the person) and 8 (unreasonable seizure) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In this case the accused was charged with murder. For purposes of DNA testing, samples of his hair and a dental impression were taken from him without his consent and, indeed, despite advice of counsel that he should not consent. The Supreme Court of Canada held that these seizures violated sec. 7 and 8 of the Charter and could not be used in evidence against him. In R. v. Noble the Supreme Court ruled that a judge cannot draw inferences adverse to a person charged with a crime because of his or her failure to testify. The case seemed to expand the protection of criminally accused persons. Well-established Canadian doctrine precludes the use of statements made involuntarily by one accused of crime, and the presumption of innocence is a constitutional right. The court said these principles should be extended to allow an accused person to remain silent with impunity.

      According to newspaper reports, the French public in 1997 was intensely interested in the right of the government to deport "undesirable" aliens and to exclude permanently other "objectionable" persons. Two cases handed down during the year on those matters, therefore, excited much interest. The first, H.L.R. v. France, was decided by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR); it involved a Colombian national whom a French court had convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to permanent exclusion from France. The ECHR sustained this sentence despite the applicant's complaint that he would be subject to treatment forbidden by the European Convention on Human Rights if forced to return to Colombia. The second case was resolved by the Conseil d'État, which held that a foreign national who had committed violent crimes in France could not be expelled. The person involved in the case had been born in France and had lived there all his life, along with his parents and siblings. The court said that expulsion is an extreme remedy aimed at protecting the public order. In this case, the court ruled, expulsion went beyond protecting the public order and interfered with the applicant's right to family and private life, in violation of art. 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

      In Germany a case of little jurisprudential significance but wide public interest involved Peter Graf, father of the international tennis star Steffi Graf. He was convicted of tax fraud and sentenced to three years and nine months in prison. Another case of interest was the opinion of the Federal Constitutional Court that a federal act requiring the labeling of tobacco products did not violate the free-speech rights of the tobacco companies.

      In Britain The Matter of Serafinowicz concerned the first war crimes prosecution in that nation. The accused, Szymon Serafinowicz, was the police chief of Belorussia (Belarus) during World War II. He was charged with having played a leading role in the murder of some 2,000 Jews. The case was dismissed after a jury decided that Serafinowicz, who was 86 years old, was unfit to stand trial. In R. v. Shaw the Court of Appeal held that a defendant who insisted on, and indulged in, sexual intercourse without protection was guilty of rape when the woman did not consent to this activity unless and until the man provided the proper protection. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison by the trial court. Upon appeal and in view of his medical condition, the sentence was reduced to eight years.

      In D. v. United Kingdom the ECHR, on a vote of 11-7, found that the U.K. had violated art. 3 (inhuman activities prohibited) of the European Convention on Human Rights in ordering an applicant deported to St. Kitts. The applicant, domiciled in St. Kitts, was arrested when he arrived in London in possession of a substantial quantity of cocaine. While he was in prison, it was discovered that he had AIDS and that his physical condition was rapidly deteriorating. Under these circumstances the British authorities ordered him deported to the Caribbean island. The applicant contended that he had no family in St. Kitts, no means of support there, and no place to live. The court found that under these circumstances his deportation would amount to inhuman treatment in violation of art. 3.

      In Tsirlis and Kouloumpas v. Greece, the ECHR applied art. 5(1) (liberty of person) and 5(5) (compensation for unlawful detention) to protect two Jehovah's Witnesses' ministers from improper action by the Greek government. The two ministers claimed exemption from military service on religious grounds. The Greek authorities denied the exemption and imprisoned the ministers for refusing to serve in the military. The ministers applied for relief to the ECHR. The court held that the refusal to grant the applicants an exemption from military service violated art. 5(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights and that, under art. 5(5) of the convention, they were entitled to compensation for wrongful imprisonment.

      In M.C. Mehta v. Union of India, the Supreme Court of India ordered that all coke- and coal-consuming industries in the Taj Mahal area, demarcated "Taj Trapezium," be closed because air pollution generated by them was damaging the Taj irreversibly. In PUCL v. Union of India, the Supreme Court held that telephone tapping violates a citizen's right to privacy. In so ruling the court said that art. 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 and art. 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966 should be read into Indian domestic law.

      The Constitutional Court in Italy delivered an important judgment invalidating the use of "reiteration" of government decrees. The Italian constitution allows the government in emergency situations to issue decrees that have immediate effect but become invalid unless converted into legislation within 60 days. In actuality, the government was using this procedure frequently. Under the government's interpretation, when a decree cannot be converted in time, the government can simply "reiterate" it, keeping it in force until the legislature finally acts. The court said the constitution did not authorize this practice.

      In Tala v. Sweden the United Nations Committee Against Torture held that an Iranian political activist opposing the present government of Iran should not be deported to Iran, where, in the opinion of the committee, he was bound to be tortured.

      See also World Affairs: Multinational and Regional Organizations ; United Nations .

      This article updates constitutional law.


      On June 2, 1997, a jury in Denver, Colo., did much to restore confidence in a tarnished U.S. criminal justice system when it reached a unanimous finding that Timothy McVeigh was guilty of 11 murder and conspiracy counts relating to the 1995 bombing of a federal government office building in Oklahoma City, Okla. The blast, the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history, had resulted in the loss of 169 lives and had injured some 850 people. A jury-sanctioned penalty of death was imposed on McVeigh in August, but any execution was likely to be delayed for at least five years while he appealed his conviction. Meanwhile, an accused accomplice of McVeigh's in the bombing, Terry Nichols, went on trial in Denver in September on murder and conspiracy charges identical to those laid against McVeigh. In late December Nichols was acquitted of the murder charges but convicted of conspiracy (a capital crime) and involuntary manslaughter. Sentencing was expected early in 1998.

      The alleged mastermind behind the terrorist bombing of the World Trade Center in New York City in February 1993, Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, went on trial in New York in August. Yousef, who was arrested in Pakistan in 1995, was said to have admitted to a federal agent that he had hoped that the blast, which killed 6 people and injured more than 1,000, would topple one of the Trade Center towers and kill as many as 250,000 Americans. The attack was conducted in retaliation for U.S. aid to Israel. On November 12 Yousef and Eyad Ismoil, who was accused of having driven the van that carried the bomb into the Trade Center's garage, were found guilty; both faced life in prison.

      The U.S. State Department's 1997 report Patterns of Global Terrorism said that no international terrorist attacks took place in the U.S. during 1996. Worldwide, 296 acts of international terrorism were recorded, the lowest annual total in 25 years. In contrast, the number of casualties was one of the highest ever, with 311 persons killed and more than 2,600 injured. The report noted that a growing policy of zero tolerance for terrorism had resulted in a decline in state- sponsored acts of terror, although Iran, the primary state sponsor, had not been deterred. Reflecting this situation, American and Saudi Arabian intelligence authorities claimed in April to have linked a senior Iranian government official to a group of Shiˋite Muslims suspected of having bombed a U.S. military compound in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, in June 1996. That blast killed 19 servicemen and wounded more than 500. Also in April a German court ruled that the highest levels of the Iranian government had ordered the assassination of four people in Berlin in 1992. It was the first time that a Western court had directly implicated Iran's fundamentalist leaders in the killing of Iranian dissidents in Europe. Following the court's ruling, the European Union ordered a mass recall of ambassadors from Tehran and also suspended an ongoing critical dialogue with Iran that had been maintained despite vigorous pressure from the U.S.

      On April 22 a 126-day standoff between the Peruvian government and 14 leftist guerrillas holding 72 hostages in the Japanese ambassador's residence in Lima came to a violent end. More than 600 hostages, many of them diplomats, had originally been seized on Dec. 17, 1996, when members of the Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement stormed a diplomatic reception at the residence. Most of these hostages were subsequently released as protracted negotiations continued in search of a peaceful solution to the international crisis. The guerrillas demanded the release of 400 of their imprisoned comrades—a demand refused by the government, which was prepared only to offer the hostage takers safe passage to asylum in Cuba. After more than four months of discussion, Peruvian Pres. Alberto Fujimori ordered a rescue mission by an elite 140-person military-police team. The team blasted its way into the residence, freeing all of the hostages. One hostage, a Peruvian Supreme Court justice, and two army officers died in the attack, along with all of the guerrillas.

      The Israeli government suffered a major embarrassment in September when two suspected members of Mossad, its intelligence agency, were arrested in Amman, Jordan, following an attempt to assassinate Khaled Meshal, a political leader of the Islamic militant movement Hamas. The Israelis sprayed a lethal nerve toxin into Meshal's ear, and only the supply by Israel of an antidote, demanded by Jordanian and U.S. officials after the arrest of the two suspects, saved Meshal's life. The decision to attack Meshal was believed to have been authorized by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after two Hamas suicide bombers killed 13 Israelis in the Mahane Yehuda produce market in Jerusalem on July 30. In the wake of the botched assassination attempt, Israel agreed to hand over between 40 and 50 Palestinian and Jordanian prisoners in exchange for their captured agents.

War Crimes.
      In July the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague sentenced a former Bosnian Serb café owner, Dusan Tadic, to 20 years in prison for his role in the "ethnic cleansing" of Bosnian Muslims and Croats during the conflict in former Yugoslavia. The verdict, which followed a seven-month trial in The Hague, was the first of its kind since the end of World War II. (See Law, above.) Also in Bosnia, NATO-led troops from the Stabilization Force (SFOR), deployed under the terms of the Dayton Peace Agreement in former Yugoslavia, conducted a raid in Prijedor to arrest two Bosnian Serbs secretly indicted by the tribunal as war criminals. Simo Drljaca, the police chief of Prijedor, was shot dead while resisting arrest by the troops, whereas Milan Kovacevic, the director of the Prijedor hospital, was seized and taken to The Hague to face trial by the tribunal. Both men, like Tadic, were said to have been implicated in the savage ill-treatment of prisoners at Omarska and other notorious detention camps that were set up in the Prijedor region during the conflict.

      A curious development in the United States had an impact on the working of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanz. A Hutu Seventh-day Adventist clergyman, Elizaphan Ntakirutimana, escaped from Rwanda and made his way to Texas, where he was arrested by federal marshals in 1996 on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. On Dec. 17, 1997, however, Marcel C. Notzon, a federal magistrate-judge in Laredo, Texas, found the relationship between the U.S. and the tribunal to be unconstitutional, declined to turn Ntakirutimana over to trial, and freed the pastor. He apparently went into hiding.

      In October in Bordeaux, France, the trial of 87-year-old Maurice Papon began on charges of complicity in Nazi crimes against humanity by ordering the deportation to death camps of more than 1,500 Jews during World War II. Papon, the highest-ranking official from the period of the German occupation of France to go on trial for such crimes and only the second French citizen to be tried on such charges since the war, had first been indicted in 1983.

Drug Trafficking.
      The 1997 World Drug Report, compiled by the UN International Drug Control Program (UNDCP), estimated that the annual turnover in drugs was $400 billion, or about 8% of total international trade. The UNDCP report said that the world's drug trade, which grew dramatically during the past decade, exceeded the international trade in iron, steel, and motor vehicles. World production of coca leaf, the raw material for cocaine, more than doubled between 1985 and 1996, and opium production more than tripled. Although drug seizures also increased, a drop in the retail price of narcotics indicated that consumers were receiving even more supplies.

      In the U.S., the nation with the highest drug-consumption rate, a report published in February by the General Accounting Office (GAO), a research agency for the U.S. Congress, stated that despite a $20 billion prevention effort over a decade, supplies of cocaine and heroin continued to flood into the country at a level more than adequate to meet the demand of American drug users. The GAO report also noted that in 1995 only about 230 of the 780 metric tons of cocaine produced around the world were seized and about 32 of some 300 metric tons of heroin. U.S. antidrug efforts were said to rely heavily on the ability of foreign governments to reduce the amount of drugs by eradication and crop-substitution programs and by prosecuting major traffickers. Regrettably, the antidrug programs of those governments were often corrupted by bribes made possible by the enormous profits generated by the drug trade.

      A graphic example of such corruption occurred in February with the arrest by Mexican authorities of that nation's top antidrug official, Gen. Jesus Gutiérrez Rebollo, a 42-year army veteran. Gutiérrez was alleged to have collaborated with one of Mexico's most notorious drug barons, Amado Carrillo Fuentes, who later died while undergoing plastic surgery to change his appearance. The arrest, which U.S Pres. Bill Clinton called "deeply troubling," stunned U.S. law-enforcement officials, who had publicly praised Gutiérrez's appointment and shared with him highly sensitive information about covert measures taken to combat drug trafficking.

Murder and Other Violence.
      For the fifth consecutive year, the overall rate of serious crime in the U.S. fell in 1996, according to the FBI's annual survey of law-enforcement agencies, with the violent crime rate dropping 6% from the previous year and the murder rate by 9%. The murder rate in 1996, 7.4 incidences for every 100,000 people, was lower than at any other point since the late 1960s. Criminologists and law-enforcement officials believed that the continuing decline in crime could be the result of several converging trends, including the aging of a large segment of the population, improved police efficiency, and more severe prison sentences. This good news was tempered by the release in February of a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Ga., which found that the U.S. had the highest rates of childhood homicide, suicide, and firearms-related deaths of any of the world's 26 richest nations. Three-quarters of all the murders of children in the industrialized world occurred in the U.S.

      A shooting spree on February 23 by a gunman on the 86th-floor observation deck of the Empire State Building in New York City illustrated how easy it still was to obtain a handgun in the U.S. The gunman, Ali Abu Kamal, killed a Danish tourist and wounded six persons in the attack before taking his own life. Kamal, a Palestinian schoolteacher on a visit to the U.S., had purchased the 14-shot semiautomatic handgun in a Florida gun shop after having established local residency by staying briefly in a motel.

      Gun control in the U.S. suffered a setback in June when the nation's Supreme Court found unconstitutional the central part of the Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act, the law, passed by Congress in 1993, requiring checks on the criminal and mental history of gun buyers. The court ruled, in a 5-4 verdict, that it is unlawful for the federal government to require local police to check the backgrounds of people applying to buy guns. Meanwhile, in May Britain's newly elected Labour Party government announced that it would impose an outright prohibition of handguns, toughening what were already some of the most stringent gun-control laws in any Western democracy.

      The world of international fashion was shocked on July 15 when Italian designer Gianni Versace was shot to death outside his mansion in Miami Beach, Fla. ) (Versace, Gianni ) The slaying prompted a massive search for his murderer, who was believed to be Andrew Cunanan, a probable spree killer on the FBI's most-wanted list. On July 23, following a five-hour siege, police stormed aboard a houseboat moored just five kilometres (three miles) from the murdered designer's home. Inside the houseboat, police found the body of Cunanan, who had taken his own life. A handgun discovered near the body was later established to be the one that had been used to shoot Versace and two of Cunanan's four other victims.

      A contentious verdict in a televised jury trial provoked strong community reactions on both sides of the Atlantic in November when Louise Woodward, a 19-year-old British au pair, was convicted in a Massachusetts court of the second-degree murder of an eight-month-old child in her care. Woodward, who was sentenced to a mandatory term of life imprisonment with no possibility of parole for 15 years, denied the prosecution's charge that she had shaken the infant violently and slammed his head against a hard surface.

      The verdict was said to have divided British and Americans almost as deeply as the O.J. Simpson trial had divided whites and blacks. In the U.K. the convicted teenager was portrayed as a naive small-town English girl accused of a vicious crime in a big American city. The murder charge and sentence were also viewed as unduly harsh by European standards. The judge in the case then created further controversy by overturning the jury's verdict, ruling that Woodward was guilty of involuntary manslaughter and sentencing her to the time that she had already served.

      In Santa Monica, Calif., in February a civil jury, by unanimous verdict, found O.J. Simpson responsible for the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman and ordered him to pay a total of $33.5 million in damages to the victims' relatives. The verdict came 16 months after a criminal jury had acquitted Simpson of the murders of his former wife and her friend.

White-Collar Crime, Corruption, and Fraud.
      In May a study sponsored by the European Commission reported that cross-border fraud in the European Union could cost at least $68 billion a year and fraud within individual countries probably double that total. The study estimated that most of this international fraud, ranging from illegal credit-card use and mobile-phone cloning to passing counterfeit banknotes, had a direct impact on businesses and individual citizens rather than on governments. The study said that with the opening up of Europe's internal frontiers and also because of technological developments, organized criminals were devoting increased attention to fraud.

      In September the World Bank unveiled new anticorruption guidelines for its operations. The move reflected a significant change in the attitude taken toward corruption by international lenders. For example, the International Monetary Fund took the unprecedented step on July 31 of suspending $200 million in loans and credits to Kenya because the government of that nation had failed to tackle massive high-level corruption and mismanagement.

      In June a court in Seoul, S.Kor., sentenced Chung Tae Soo, the patriarch of one of the nation's largest business conglomerates and a former Cabinet member, together with eight business colleagues and politicians, to prison terms on various bribery charges. Chung received a 15-year sentence relating to payoffs totaling millions of dollars to bankers and senior lawmakers in exchange for loans to support his failing Hanbo business empire. In Japan prosecutors laid a series of charges during the year against the executives of some of the nation's largest brokerage firms and other major corporations, alleging that they had paid gangsters known as sokaiya large sums to buy their silence at annual shareholder meetings. Sokaiya traditionally extorted these payments by purchasing shares in companies and then threatening to disrupt shareholder meetings and reveal damaging corporate information. As the scandal continued to unfold, it rocked the Japanese financial industry and highlighted the ties between big business and organized crime in Japan.

      This article updates criminal law.

Law Enforcement
      In April the U.S. Justice Department's inspector general, Michael Bromwich, released the findings of an 18-month investigation into the FBI's crime laboratory. Bromwich announced that he had uncovered “extremely serious and significant problems” at the laboratory, which, since the founding of the bureau by J. Edgar Hoover in 1932, had been one of the symbols of the FBI's leadership in forensic science. The investigation revealed that the laboratory's explosives, chemistry, toxicology, and materials analysis units all demonstrated substandard performance. The findings forced FBI officials to review several hundred past and present cases to determine how many of them might have been prejudiced by the faulty work. The inspector general said he had not found any cases in which laboratory examiners had committed a crime or had intentionally faked forensic evidence, obstructed justice, or lied about their findings in court. Still, the report represented a significant blow to the reputation of the FBI.

      Testifying before the U.S. Congress in May, the director of the FBI, Louis Freeh, said that the agency's counterterrorism efforts had been tripled over the past three years and that 2,600 officers were now dedicated to that aspect of law enforcement. The acting director of the CIA, George Tenet, told the same congressional hearings that the CIA had created a new Terrorism Warning Group whose mission it was to ensure that civilian and military leaders were alerted to specific terrorist threats. He said that in cooperation with the FBI and the U.S. State Department, the group had averted bombings at two American embassies. Appearing before another congressional hearing in October, Freeh said that U.S. law-enforcement agencies were taking seriously the possibility that nuclear weapons could fall into the hands of Russian criminal gangs. He said that the Russian syndicates were conducting the most sophisticated criminal operations ever seen in the U.S., based on their access to expertise in computer technology, encryption techniques, and money laundering.

      The findings of the most comprehensive study ever conducted of U.S. crime-prevention programs were released in April. The study, undertaken by criminologists at the University of Maryland, showed that some of the most favoured programs, including boot camps, midnight basketball, neighbourhood watches, and drug-education classes in schools had little impact. The effectiveness of the huge prison-construction program during the past two decades was also questioned. The study, ordered by Congress in 1996, did find promising results from initiatives such as intensified police patrols in high-crime areas, drug treatment in prisons, and home visits by nurses, social workers, and others for infants in troubled families.

      Following a global manhunt, an FBI undercover mission resulted in the arrest in June of Mir Aimal Kansi, who was alleged to have been responsible for the murder of two CIA employees in 1993. Kansi's arrest took place in a small Pakistani town near the border with Afghanistan. To facilitate the arrest and Kansi's immediate transfer back to the United States, the U.S. State Department was said to have negotiated an extraordinary diplomatic agreement with Pakistan that allowed the FBI to operate on foreign soil. On November 10 Kansi was convicted; two days later four American oil company employees were shot and killed in Karachi, Pak., in an apparent revenge attack for the conviction.

      Italian law-enforcement officials claimed a major victory in their fight to curb the power of the Mafia when in September a court in Caltanissetta, Sicily, convicted 24 top Mafia leaders and sentenced them to life imprisonment for the 1992 bomb attack in Sicily that killed Italy's top anti-Mafia prosecutor, Giovanni Falcone. The defendants in the trial, which had begun on May 2, 1995, constituted virtually the entire ruling council of the Cosa Nostra.

      Police violence and brutality came under strong condemnation in Brazil following the March national television airing of two secretly taped videos that showed police robbing, torturing, and extorting money from citizens. One of the tapes also showed a policeman killing a passenger in a stopped car. Shortly after the release of the videos, Human Rights Watch/Americas published a report on police violence in Brazil that concluded that officers in major urban areas often killed without justification and that the failure to curb these abuses further encouraged the police in their illegal actions. Brazilian Pres. Fernando Henrique Cardoso had sought in 1996 to introduce certain human rights reforms designed to reduce police violence, including stripping military courts of jurisdiction over police killings and allowing federal prosecutions of serious human rights crimes. Few of these proposals had become law, but after the televising of the videos, the legislature passed a law criminalizing torture.

Duncan Chappell

Prisons and Penology
      The general toughening of penal policy continued to be evident in many parts of the world during 1997. A consequence of the policy that was of particular concern was the sharp rise in the number of people held within prison systems, often in desperately crowded conditions characterized by violence and disease. A U.S. government study estimated, on the basis of 1991 figures, that one in every 20 persons would serve a sentence in federal or state prison during his or her lifetime. The rate of 615 prisoners per 100,000 of the population in the U.S. was one of the highest in the world. It was, however, exceeded by a rate of 710 in Russia, where in August Pres. Boris Yeltsin urged that there be an amnesty for some 500,000 Russian prisoners (almost half the total) in order to bring prison conditions "in line with universally recognized standards." Comparatively high rates were also reported for several countries that were once part of the Soviet Union, including Belarus (505), Ukraine (390), Latvia (375), Lithuania (360), and Estonia (270). Elsewhere in Europe the highest rates were found in Romania (200), the Czech Republic (190), Poland (170), and Portugal (140).

      Confronted by appalling conditions, many governments were nonetheless not acting urgently to remedy them. For example, the first-ever pan-African seminar on prison conditions in Africa noted the low public concern for prisoners, a situation exemplified in Togo, where 50 prisoners died as a result of the extreme heat within their cells. In Pakistan, where fully 70% of the prisoners were awaiting trial, the total number of prisoners was more than double the rated capacity of the prison system, and in some prisons people had to take turns in order to have a place to lie down. About 800 inmates rioted at the vastly overcrowded Sorocaba prison in Brazil on December 28, taking some 600 hostages; at least three people were dead by year's end. Serious prison riots involving fatalities were reported in several other countries as well, including Jessore prison in Bangladesh, Oaxaca prison in Mexico, St. Catherine's prison in Jamaica, El Dorado prison in Venezuela, and Modelo prison in Colombia.

      Crowded and dangerous conditions were not confined to prisons in less-developed countries. In Spain there was severe overcrowding at the Modelo prison in Barcelona and at the women's prison in Madrid. Severe levels of crowding continued in Romania, although reform measures were put into effect in some facilities. In Great Britain a ship to house 400 prisoners was purchased from the U.S. The new Labour government also proceeded with contracts for new prisons with the private sector, part of an increasing trend in many nations. At the end of 1996, there were 132 privately operated adult prisons in the U.S., Britain, and Australia.

      International agencies and conventions continued to help enhance human rights and improve general conditions within prisons. Much of this activity was generated by the UN, but an especially instructive model for international inspection of places of custody was the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT), which had jurisdiction within the 33 countries that had ratified the European Convention on Human Rights. For example, in March the Bulgarian government, responding to a CPT visit, stated that efforts were being made to reduce overcrowding and that there had been instructions that verbal or other degrading abuse of prisoners by staff would be dealt with "most severely."

      The trends within many prison systems were taking place at a time of generally hardening political climates. In the United States, which continued to exercise enormous influence on penal policy elsewhere, the Supreme Court ruled in June that sex offenders may be held for life in psychiatric hospitals after they have been released from prison. Furthermore, there were legislative proposals to use federal funds as an inducement to states to process increasing numbers of children through adult rather than juvenile courts.

      American courts were also turning to a variety of shaming penalties that were intended to draw public attention to the offender and his or her offense. Along with the use of chain gangs in at least six American states, a county in Maryland instead decided to fit prisoners working on outdoor projects with "stun belts." By means of a battery and a receiver with electric prongs, a guard from a distance of up to 90 m (300 ft) would be able to detonate an eight-second burst of 50,000 volts of electricity that would disable an individual for about 10 minutes. Elsewhere, courts in several Caribbean countries reinstated flogging. In July a court in St. Vincent ruled that keeping a prisoner continually in iron leggings and handcuffs and then subjecting him to a whipping was unconstitutional.

      Trends counter to these punitive policies were much less discernible. In Greece prisoners, with the exception of those serving life sentences, were granted the right to vote in general elections. A new penal code in Spain reduced maximum sentence lengths to 20 years (up to 30 years in exceptional circumstances) and permitted community service as an option for those convicted of defaulting on fines. An extended use of required community service as an alternative to prison was also under way in several countries, including France, Jamaica, and Zimbabwe.

Death Penalty.
      Ninety-eight countries had by August 1997 abolished the death penalty in law or practice. Of the 95 countries retaining the penalty, executions were carried out in 39 during 1996. International treaties (global and regional) outlawing the death penalty were playing an increasingly important role in 1997. With the addition of Colombia in August, 30 nations had ratified the appropriate protocol of the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

      According to Amnesty International, there were at least 5,100 persons executed during 1996, with a small number of countries accounting for the great majority of cases. There were 4,376 reported executions in China, 167 in Ukraine, 140 in Russia, and 110 in Iran. There were unconfirmed reports of 123 executions in Turkmenistan, and, although exact figures were unavailable, numerous cases in Iraq. In the U.S., where 38 of the 50 states provided for the death penalty, there were 45 executions during 1996 and an additional 74 in 1997.

      The conditions experienced by many prisoners on death row continued often to be a matter of grave concern. At Hattieville prison in Belize, visiting lawyers found a "total disregard for humanity and basic human rights." In the medieval castle at Minsk, prisoners awaited execution for several months below ground in unfurnished cells that were poorly lit and ventilated. At the Lahore Central prison in Pakistan, some 250 prisoners were being held on death row, four to five to a cell, and were barred from visits or other contact with their families.

      This article updates crime and punishment (crime).

▪ 1997


      As the sovereignty of nation-states was increasingly diluted by their inability to act on international issues without taking into account the views and possible reactions of the world and regional communities, international law continued to reflect this change. The emphasis on the judicialization of interstate relations and the structural politicization of those relations within regional and global organizations was a clear feature of international law in 1996 as it slowly took on a strong resemblance to constitutional law.

International Adjudication.
      The success of the International Court of Justice in attracting a wider clientele raised the question of how it would cope with the increased caseload. This issue was discussed at a seminar arranged by the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL) in February, attended by the court's president, its vice president, and several of its judges. The discussion, based on a report of the BIICL on the weaknesses in the court's procedure, revealed the court's unpreparedness and, indeed, its unwillingness to change from a highly academic and high-quality but leisurely solver of diplomatic disputes into a more practical workaday tribunal with a clientele extending beyond the chanceries and foreign ministries of the nations.

      Two elements in particular were potentially fatal to the court's acceptance of a wider role, whether as a supervisory "supreme court" overseeing the newly proliferating international tribunals or in handling a wider variety of legal issues. These elements were: (1) the pitifully small size of the court's secretariat (and budget), which was already overstretched, and (2) the psychology of the judges in refusing to accept the idea that they should aim to produce more than about two final judgments per year. The caseload of about a dozen at the end of 1996 was, therefore, a cause for concern rather than for satisfaction.

      On a request by the UN General Assembly, the court delivered an advisory opinion on July 8 in which it held, by the casting vote of the president, that while in principle the use or threat of nuclear weapons would be contrary to the laws of war, in the present state of international law the court could not definitively hold that such use in the extreme circumstance of self-defense would be illegal. On the same day, the court refused to answer a second request, this time from the World Health Organization (WHO), for an advisory opinion on the legality of the use of nuclear weapons on the ground that the subject matter of the request did not fall within the competence of WHO, which was concerned only with the effects on health and not with the legality of the acts that produced those effects. During these proceedings argument was heard from 43 nations in writing and 22 at the oral hearings.

      On July 11 the court delivered a judgment rejecting Yugoslavia's preliminary objections to the court's jurisdiction in the genocide case Bosnia & Herzegovina v. Yugoslavia and gave Yugoslavia 12 months in which to file its response to the decision. Disposal in February of the action concerning the Aerial Incident of July 3, 1988, Iran v. USA, illustrated a new interconnectedness between proceedings in different international tribunals. The incident, the shooting down by the U.S. of an Iranian civil airliner, led to claims by Iran before both the court and (as regards certain banking matters) the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal. The U.S. disputed the jurisdiction of the court, but before pleadings had been completed on that preliminary objection, the two parties began negotiations that resulted in a settlement whereby, basically, the U.S. would pay compensation to all victims of the incident. Thereupon, the actions before the court and before the tribunal were withdrawn on the same day. In March the court ordered provisional measures regarding the land-boundary dispute Cameroon v. Nigeria, and in September it held hearings in the oil platforms case Iran v. USA. In May Botswana and Namibia submitted their boundary dispute to the court under a Special Agreement of the previous February.

      Two important new international tribunals began operations in 1996. The World Trade Organizations's (WTO's) Appellate Body, appointed to hear appeals against WTO panel reports, adopted its rules of procedure in February and delivered its first judgment in April. In Venezuela and Brazil v. USA (Standards for Reformulated and Conventional Gasoline), the tribunal found that there were errors of law in the report but that, nonetheless, the U.S. had infringed Article XX of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). The Appellate Body's second judgment was delivered in November; in EC, Canada & USA v. Japan (Taxes on Alcoholic Beverages), it upheld the panel's findings that Japan had infringed Article III of GATT. The 21 judges of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea were appointed in August, and the tribunal held its inaugural meeting in Hamburg, Ger., in October.

      The Iran-United States Claims Tribunal, having resolved nearly all the claims before it except for several by the Iranian government, was reaching the end of its life. Its last surviving original member, Judge George H. Aldridge, analyzed its accomplishments in The Jurisprudence of the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal, published in October.

      The International Criminal Tribunal (ICT) for former Yugoslavia acquired a new set of rules of procedure in April in the form of a consolidation in Revision 8. This included a new Rule 40bis that instituted a system of provisional detention of suspects in the tribunal's detention unit. The tribunal's special prosecutor, Richard Goldstone, retired from the post (to take up a seat on the South African Constitutional Court) and was replaced on October 1 by Louise Arbour (formerly judge of the Court of Appeal of Ontario). The tribunal's first actual trial began in May.

      The ICT for Rwanda, also with Arbour as special prosecutor as of October 1, was to have begun its first trial (of Jean-Paul Akayesu) in Tanzania in September, but after arraignment of the accused the trial was reluctantly postponed at the insistence of the prosecutor and the defense and had not begun by the year's end. On the other hand, the first of a series of Rwandan genocide tribunals began the trial of Deo Bizimana and Egide Gatanazi on December 27 at Kibungu. Two more genocide trials began at a second tribunal at Kigali on December 30.

      The UN Preparatory Committee on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, set up pursuant to a General Assembly resolution of December 1995, continued preparing a workable text for a statute for the court, aiming to have it ready by April 1998. At its second session the committee recommended the convening of a diplomatic conference to adopt a convention on the court in late 1998.

      The long-established European courts also experienced winds of change. The procedures of the European Court of Justice (ECJ), which in spite of a number of earlier reforms was still finding it difficult to cope with a rising caseload and an output of some 200 cases each year, were the subject of an in-depth analysis by the BIICL, which, however, made only minor recommendations for change. At the same time, the ECJ came under sustained attack by a group of British nationalist members of Parliament, an attack that was adopted (in milder form) by the British government in its proposals for reform of the court presented to the intergovernmental conference (IGC) on reform of the European Union (EU). Opinion 2/94 by the ECJ concluded that the Maastricht Treaty did not give the EU the power to adhere to the European Convention on Human Rights.

      A positive development for the European courts was the appearance of two major books at the year's end. One was an exhaustive practitioner treatise on the procedures of the ECJ, the Court of First Instance, and the European Free Trade Association Court (European Courts: Practice and Precedents by Richard Plender), and the other was a descriptive analysis of those courts plus the European Commission and Court of Human Rights as working institutions (The European Courts by Neville March Hunnings).

International Organizations.
      New regional organizations included the Arctic Council, which was inaugurated in September and comprised Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Russia, and the U.S.; the Inuit Circumpolar Conference, the Saami Council, and the Russian Association of Indigenous Minorities of the North, Siberia, and the Far East were named as "permanent participants." The council planned to meet biennially at the ministerial level to oversee such matters as environmental protection of the region, economic and social development, improved health conditions, and cultural well-being. It was especially significant because of the special status accorded to nonstate nations, a phenomenon that was also to be found in a diluted form in the EU's Committee of the Regions and that foreshadowed an important likely development of classical international law away from its exclusive concern with nation-states. (See Fourth World: Resurgent Nations in the New Europe .)

      Portugal and six of its former colonies (Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, and São Tomé and Príncipe) formed the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries in June, modeled after the Commonwealth of Nations and La Francophonie (association of French-speaking nations). Chile and Canada signed a free-trade agreement in November that was to enter into force in July 1997 and prepare the way for Chile to join the North American Free Trade Agreement; Chile had already signed a similar agreement with Mexico. In June the three Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) signed a free-trade agreement for agricultural goods. The South Pacific Forum, which expelled France in 1995 following the latter's nuclear tests in the Pacific, readmitted it in September. The heads of state and government of the Andean Pact countries in March decided to convert the pact into an Andean Community along the lines of the EU.

      The Arab League summit meeting in Cairo in June resolved to establish a Code of Conduct for Arab Security and Cooperation and to set up the Mechanism for the Prevention, Management, and Resolution of Conflicts Among Arab States and also to request the league to establish a Greater Arab Free Trade Area. The WTO began a series of interorganization linkups by signing a cooperation agreement with the International Monetary Fund in December and discussing the forms of future cooperation with the UN Conference on Trade and Development. It also held its first general meeting, in Singapore in December, with ministerial delegations from 128 countries in attendance.


Court Decisions.
      During 1996 a number of important decisions concerning human rights were handed down by courts throughout the world. These cases may be classified in two major categories: (1) age, race, and sex discrimination; and (2) other civil rights.

      In United States v. Virginia the Supreme Court of the United States held that the admission policy of Virginia Military Institute (VMI) violated the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. VMI, a state-supported college, was founded and operated as an all-male institution with a mission of producing citizen-soldiers who were prepared for leadership in civilian and military life. Its educational program placed emphasis on physical rigour, absence of privacy, mental stress, and close regulation of personal behaviour. On the assumption that this program was incompatible with the abilities and special needs of women, VMI refused to matriculate females. The court ruled that no state-supported institution could discriminate in this way, and it held that Virginia's proposed remedy of establishing a separate women's institution to be run on parallel lines to that of VMI did not cure the constitutional violation.

      In Italy the Constitutional Court ruled unconstitutional the electoral laws that established quotas for candidates based on sex. In those laws a percentage of candidate places were reserved for women only. The court said that such reservations were contrary to notions of equality and that sex must be treated as irrelevant when selecting candidates for election.

      In 1992 Colorado adopted a constitutional amendment prohibiting the state from enacting or enforcing any statute whereby homosexual orientation could entitle any person to quota preference or claim to minority or protected status. In 1996, however, the U.S. Supreme Court in Romer v. Evans held that this amendment violated the equal protection clause of the federal constitution. The court maintained that the Colorado amendment put homosexuals in a solitary class and denied them, and only them, specific legal protection.

      The Italian Constitutional Court struck down as unconstitutional a provision in the Criminal Code providing for a compulsory postponement of the incarceration of any person affected by HIV, the virus associated with AIDS. The code rule was based on the idea that jail detention of individuals having AIDS was incompatible with that person's health and, perhaps more important, with the safety of other prisoners. The court said that though these concerns had merit, the judge should not be barred from imposing a prison sentence in all cases involving persons with HIV but should be free to consider each case on its merits.

      In the U.S. the 435 seats in the House of Representatives are allocated among the states in accordance with population, and, therefore, the census taken every 10 years is a matter of major importance to the body politic. When a state's population becomes relatively greater or smaller, it will gain or lose a seat or seats in the House, and this calls for it to reapportion its congressional districts. Two major cases involving these phenomena as a result of the 1990 census came before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1996. Wisconsin v. City of New York involved the charge that the 1990 census had undercounted the population of the state of New York by not including some individuals, essentially members of certain minority groups. This undercount, it was alleged, benefited the state of Wisconsin. The U.S. secretary of commerce, to whom matters involving the census have been delegated, refused to employ any method of statistical adjustment to change the count. The Supreme Court sustained his decision, stating that it was consonant with the text and history of the federal constitution.

      Because of the 1990 census, North Carolina was required to reapportion its congressional districts. In doing so, it established a district in which the majority of residents were African-Americans. This district, highly irregular in shape and geographically noncompact, was designed to give African-Americans voting strength and possibly assure them a "safe" seat in the House of Representatives. In Shaw v. Hunt the Supreme Court declared that the redistricting plan violated the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. In Bush v. Vera a similar fate befell the state of Texas in its efforts to give African-Americans and Hispanics assured voting strength.

      Several cases in 1996 involved the death penalty. In Reckley v. Minister of Public Safety, the Privy Council held that under the constitution of The Bahamas the exercise of the prerogative of mercy could not be challenged legally. The person sentenced to death has no voice in determining whether the minister of public safety will invoke, or not invoke, his discretion as to whether the death sentence should be carried out.

      In the U.S. a federal appellate court held in Fierro v. Gomez that the use of cyanide gas to carry out a death sentence imposes cruel and unusual punishment on the prisoner in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the federal constitution. In this connection the court found that the pain caused by cyanide gas is intense and continues for several minutes.

      The U.S. Supreme Court in Loving v. The United States sustained the power of the president to prescribe the factors to be taken into account for a court-martial to sentence a member of the armed forces to death. The contention, which the court rejected, was that only Congress had that authority.

      Many countries had by 1996 enacted forfeiture laws, largely to deter the smuggling of drugs and to make that business less profitable. Under these laws the vehicle used for the illegal activity could be seized and forfeited to the state. Legal questions arising from the use of these laws usually involved a determination of the property that could be seized and the rights of innocent co-owners of that property. These questions arose in two cases during the year. The first, from Canada, Joys v. Minister of National Revenue, concerned the seizure and forfeiture of a fishing boat that had been used to smuggle narcotics and of the fishing license required for using the vessel to fish. The court held that the boat could be legally seized and forfeited but that the fishing license could not. The court opined that the license was necessary to fish but not to smuggle and that it, therefore, had an insufficient relationship to that activity to permit forfeiture. The second case, from the U.S., Bennis v. Michigan, did not involve drugs but concerned the forfeiture as a public nuisance of an automobile used by its co-owner as the site of assignation with a prostitute. The wife of the guilty party was the co-owner of the automobile and asserted that her interest in the car should not be seized because of her lack of knowledge that her husband would use it to violate the state's indecency laws. In spite of this assertion, the Michigan court held that her interest could be seized legally without compensation. The U.S. Supreme Court, in a sharply divided opinion, affirmed this ruling.

      Conceptually, a state's taking of property as a direct or indirect result of legislation or administrative regulation is a form of forfeiture, but in many countries it requires the state to compensate the owner for any loss. This matter arose in France during the year. An appropriate administrator refused to allow the owner of a van Gogh painting to remove it from France for the purpose of selling it abroad. The ruling was predicated on the ground that the painting was a historic monument, which the owner denied. The Cour de Cassation ruled the administrator had the authority to prohibit the exportation of the painting but decreed that the owner was to be compensated for his loss. The loss, in this regard, was the difference between the price he could obtain in France and the price he could reasonably expect to receive on the international market.

      In Goodwin v. United Kingdom the European Court of Human Rights handed down an important decision under Article 10(1) of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights, which guarantees freedom of expression. The case involved a British journalist, William Goodwin, who was called by an informant and given unsolicited information about the finances of a certain company. Goodwin proposed to publish the information and called the company in question, asking it to verify the correctness of his proposed draft and to offer comments about it. The company immediately sought and obtained an injunction prohibiting the publication of the draft and a ruling requiring Goodwin to reveal his sources. Pursuant to the injunction, Goodwin did not publish the article, but he refused to reveal the source of his information and was fined £ 5,000 for contempt. He then filed a complaint with the European Commission of Human Rights on the grounds that his freedom of expression guaranteed by Article 10 had been abridged. The Court of Human Rights agreed in part. It ruled that the injunction against publication was properly within the discretion of the English court but that its additional disclosure order went too far.

      The U.S. Supreme Court held in Jaffee v. Redmond that confidential communications between a patient and a psychotherapist, including a licensed social worker, in the course of psychotherapy were privileged and could not be required to be disclosed. In a dissent Justice Antonin Scalia pointed out that the majority of the court had concentrated only on the benefit that would be achieved by the creation of the evidentiary privilege, namely the encouragement of psychotherapeutic counseling. "It has not mentioned the purchase price: occasional injustice. That is the cost of every rule which excludes reliable and probative evidence."

      The Supreme Court of Canada, in R. v. O'Connor, seemed to take the same position as Justice Scalia, at least in a criminal case. The case involved the effort of a person charged with sexual assault to obtain the medical and psychological records of the victim. In a 5-4 decision the majority held that it was necessary for the accused to have these records in order to ensure a fair trial. The minority expressed concerns about the privacy of the victim. Almost echoing Justice Scalia, the majority said those concerns were too great a price to pay when the criminal liability of the accused was at stake. Priority must be given to the right of the accused to a fair trial.

      The Federal Court of Canada ruled that certain applications of the Canadian Immigration Act violated freedom of association guaranteed by section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights. The case, Yamani v. Canada, involved an effort to exclude a Palestinian, Yamani, because of his membership in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), an association that engaged in both violent and nonviolent activities. There was no evidence that Yamani was personally involved in the functions of the PFLP or was a danger to the lives or safety of persons in Canada. Under these circumstances, an order excluding him violated his right to freedom of association. (WILLIAM D. HAWKLAND)

      See also World Affairs: Multinational and Regional Organizations ; United Nations .

      This updates the articles constitutional law; international law.


      On July 27, 1996, the detonation of a single homemade pipe bomb reverberated around the world as the scourge of terrorism struck the Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta, Ga. The crude device, left in a knapsack in a park near the main Olympic sites, exploded amid tens of thousands of people. One person was killed by the blast, and a photojournalist died of a heart attack while running to cover it; 111 were injured. The bombing was the first such attack against the Olympics since the 1972 Games in Munich, Ger., when Palestinian terrorists killed 11 Israeli team members.

      The attack in Atlanta occurred despite the mounting of the most extensive peacetime security operation in U.S. history to protect the world's premier sporting event, and it took place only days after Americans had been stunned by the loss of a Trans World Airlines (TWA) jumbo jet, which was at first widely presumed to have been destroyed by a terrorist bomb or missile. On July 17 TWA Flight 800, en route to Paris from New York City, crashed into the sea following a fiery midair explosion shortly after takeoff. All 230 persons aboard the 747 aircraft perished.

      Law-enforcement officials investigating the Atlanta attack pinpointed U.S. citizens rather than international terrorist groups as the most likely suspects, with initial suspicion falling on a security guard, Richard Jewell, who had originally alerted police to the presence of the knapsack containing the bomb. In late October Jewell was officially exonerated of any involvement in the bombing. A multiagency task force, headed by the FBI, continued to investigate the attack.

      A massive investigation involving the National Transportation Safety Board, the FBI, and other agencies also continued into the causes of the TWA crash. With more than 90% of the plane recovered from the ocean and after extensive scientific testing of the wreckage, it seemed likely that the jet plunged into the Atlantic Ocean as a result of a mechanical malfunction.

      In September U.S. Pres. Bill Clinton said he would request $1 billion from Congress to place bomb-detection devices in airports and to bolster FBI efforts to fight terrorism. Earlier, Clinton had sought greater cooperation from the world's major powers to carry out new international agreements on more effective ways of preventing, investigating, and prosecuting terrorism. In June at the annual meeting in Lyons, Fr., of the leaders of the Group of Seven—the world's seven richest industrial democracies—Clinton advanced a 40-point list of recommendations to combat terrorism, including the imposition of sanctions on Iran, Libya, and other countries the U.S. accused of backing terrorist attacks.

      On December 17 about 20 members of Peru's left-wing Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement seized the residence of the Japanese ambassador in Lima during a party attended by nearly 500 guests, including many high officials. They held the guests hostage, demanding that their jailed comrades be freed before any hostages would be released. Pres. Alberto Fujimori of Peru refused to accept their demands, and a standoff resulted. By the year's end the rebels had released many of the hostages but continued to hold 83.

      The U.S. State Department's 1996 report Patterns of Global Terrorism said that Iran remained the "premier state sponsor of international terrorism and is deeply involved in the planning and execution of terrorist acts." The report also noted that in 1995 the level of international terrorism in most countries continued a downward trend of recent years, with the number of fatalities worldwide declining from 314 in 1994 to 165 in 1995 but the number of persons injured increasing substantially.

      In the Middle East a series of murderous attacks by extremist groups in Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia took a heavy toll in human life. The radical Islamic resistance movement Hamas claimed responsibility for four suicide bombings in Israel that killed 60 people, including the terrorists, during nine days in February and March. The bombings were said to be in revenge for the assassination of a Hamas bomb maker, Yahya Ayyash, who was killed by a remote-controlled booby-trapped cellular telephone in Gaza on January 5. Israeli secret service agents were believed responsible for Ayyash's death.

      On June 25 a powerful truck bomb exploded outside a military dormitory at King Abdul Aziz Air Base near the eastern Saudi Arabian Gulf city of Dhahran. The blast, which killed 19 U.S. servicemen and wounded hundreds of other people, followed the public beheading on May 31 of four Islamic militants who were convicted in the car bombing of a U.S. military installation in Riyadh in November 1995. In September an official U.S. inquiry into the Dhahran bombing blamed the U.S. Defense Department and the field commander in the Gulf for having placed U.S. troops at risk in the dormitory despite clear warnings about their vulnerability to terrorist attack. In October it was disclosed that Saudi authorities had arrested six persons suspected of having carried out the bombing.

      A 17-month cease-fire in the long-standing conflict in Northern Ireland was shattered on February 9 in London's Canary Wharf in the Docklands area by a huge bomb explosion that killed 2 people, injured more than 100, and caused up to $250 million in property damage. The Irish Republican Army (IRA) claimed responsibility for this and several more bomb blasts during the year, including an October 7 attack on the British army's headquarters near Belfast, N.Ire., that left one soldier dead and 30 people injured.

War Crimes.
      In July the UN war crimes tribunal for former Yugoslavia issued international arrest warrants against the Bosnian Serb political leader, Radovan Karadzic (see BIOGRAPHIES (Karadzic, Radovan )), and his military commander, Gen. Ratko Mladic. The two men were accused of responsibility for genocide and war crimes during the 43-month Balkan conflict, including the siege of Sarajevo, where more than 12,000 civilians died, and the attack on the "UN safe area" of Srebrenica, where more than 6,000 Muslims disappeared after a Bosnian Serb assault. Meanwhile, an ethnic Croat soldier, Drazen Erdemovic, became the first person convicted by the tribunal following his confession in June of having participated in the murder of at least 1,200 Muslim civilians after the fall of Srebrenica in July 1995. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Drug Trafficking.
      Drug law-enforcement officials expressed concern about the resurgence of drug trafficking into the U.S. and other countries via Caribbean routes. Drugs were often brought into the islands in the eastern Caribbean by planes or ships that dropped their cargo in the sea, where it was picked up by small high-speed boats and taken to safe houses. The drugs were then delivered to Puerto Rico, which officials said was becoming the centre for the Caribbean flow of drugs to the U.S. mainland, Canada, and Europe. Puerto Rico was also said to be an island under siege by the problems of drug trafficking, including being afflicted by the highest per capita murder rate in the U.S. In 1995 more than 65% of the 850 murders in Puerto Rico were drug related.

      Mexico also continued to be a major conduit for drugs entering the U.S., as well as a centre for money laundering for the drug trade. Pres. Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León of Mexico labeled drug smuggling as the biggest threat to the country's national security, citing drug-related killings across the nation, including the assassination of seven federal prosecutors in Tijuana, allegedly by members of the local drug cartel. The president said some successes had been achieved in arresting major drug dealers. These included Juan García Abrego, a fugitive on the FBI's 10-most-wanted list, who was captured by Mexican drug agents in January in northern Mexico and immediately deported to the U.S. to face a 20-count indictment on charges including drug trafficking, money laundering, and murder. Abrego, the head of the Gulf drug cartel based in the border city of Matamoros, was believed to have been responsible for the shipment of perhaps a third of the cocaine consumed in the U.S. during the past decade.

Murder and Other Violence.
      The crime rate in the U.S. fell in 1995 to its lowest level in a decade, according to the FBI's annual survey of law-enforcement agencies, with the violent crime rate in 1995 dropping 4% from the previous year. The survey showed that every region of the U.S., with the exception of the West, had lower levels of crime. The reduction in violent crime was marked by an 8% decrease from the previous year in the rate of murders, 21,597 of which were reported to the police nationwide during 1995. Smaller reductions were recorded in robberies and aggravated assaults. Criminologists suggested that the continuing drop in crime could be the result of a number of factors, including the aging of the population, with baby boomers reaching middle age and now well beyond their most crime-prone years; more aggressive and imaginative police tactics; a tripling of the nation's prison population over the past 15 years; new gun-control laws; and the increasing use of new crime-prevention measures with young people. Experts also cautioned that the figures might still mask a continuing rise in violent crime among young people and that a rapid future escalation might occur in crime rates because the number of teenagers in the population was expected to grow by 20% during the next decade.

      Community concerns about crime, and especially violent crime, were not limited to the U.S. In Japan polls suggested that many Japanese no longer felt safe, at least partly because they had been exposed to massive media publicity about criminal cases like the nerve-gas attack launched on the Tokyo subway in 1995. Despite these fears, the statistics showed that the risks of becoming the victim of a violent crime in Japan were still extremely low. In 1995, for example, there were 32 gun murders in all of Japan, compared with more than 15,000 in the U.S., although the population of the U.S. is only a little over twice that of Japan. Most of those slain with guns in Japan were gangsters shot by other gangsters. Public anxiety about these gun-related murders was sufficient to lead the Japanese government to further tighten restrictions on gun ownership, which were already among the most stringent in the world.

      Gun control dominated community debate about crime in the United Kingdom and Australia during 1996 following two horrific mass killings. On March 13 Thomas Hamilton, a social misfit with a passion for guns, walked into a primary school in the Scottish town of Dunblane. Armed with four legally possessed handguns and more than 700 rounds of ammunition, he opened fire with a 9-mm Browning semiautomatic pistol, killing a teacher and 16 children and wounding another 12 pupils and two teachers before taking his own life. The killings sparked national outrage and a call for much tougher gun laws. In October, after receiving the report of an official inquiry into the incident, the British government proposed outlawing almost all private possession of handguns.

      On April 28 a lone gunman, armed with military-style semiautomatic weapons, went on a shooting spree at the quiet tourist resort of Port Arthur in the Australian island state of Tasmania. Before being captured alive by police after a 16-hour siege, the alleged gunman, Martin Bryant, a psychologically disturbed and unemployed Tasmanian resident, killed 35 people and wounded another 19. The shooting, the worst peacetime massacre by a single gunman in recent history, shocked Australians and resulted in almost immediate bipartisan political support for the introduction of new national gun-control laws designed to outlaw most semiautomatic weapons and to put in place uniform requirements for the possession, registration, sale, and security of all firearms.

      The first World Congress Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children met in Stockholm in August. The head of UNICEF told the delegates from 126 countries that sexual exploitation of children had become a global multi-billion-dollar industry and that no part of the world could claim to be immune.

White Collar Crime and Theft.
      In June the giant Japanese company Sumitomo revealed that its chief copper trader, Yasuo Hamanaka, had caused losses of $1.8 billion accumulated over a 10-year period of unauthorized transactions. This disclosure of one of the world's largest financial trading losses rocked the London Metal Exchange, the dominant international copper market, and prompted an immediate investigation into the scandal by Britain's Serious Fraud Office. Sumitomo fired Hamanaka after announcing the losses, and Japanese prosecutors ordered a special task force to examine whether to file criminal breach-of-trust charges against the trader. The Sumitomo case was the third in 16 months in which the actions of individual traders like Hamanaka had created enormous financial losses for multinational corporations and came only eight months after another Japanese giant, the Daiwa Bank, had admitted that a senior trader in its New York City office had caused $1.1 billion in losses over an 11-year period through unauthorized trades on the bond markets. Both the Sumitomo and Daiwa cases raised critical questions about the adequacy of the internal and external controls maintained over Japanese corporations.

      In an attempt to stem the booming trade in stolen art, cultural groups, law-enforcement agencies, and insurance experts joined forces to develop a new standard system to help trace lost works. The proposal was coordinated by the Los Angeles foundation the J. Paul Getty Trust, which in a 1995 survey of 107 art organizations in 42 countries found wide variations in how information on their collections was maintained and transmitted.

      Two U.S. government officials were arrested late in the year and charged with espionage. Harold Nicholson of the CIA was accused in November of having spied for Russia from 1994 to 1996, for which, prosecutors said, he was paid $180,000. In December Earl Pitts, an FBI supervisor, was accused of having sold classified information to Moscow in return for payments of $224,000. The FBI was most concerned about 1987-89, when Pitts was assigned to sensitive counterintelligence operations.

      The FBI revealed plans in 1996 to double its presence in other nations by opening new offices in 23 cities outside the U.S. The expansion was intended to cope with the increasing demands of investigating international terrorism, organized crime, and drug trafficking affecting U.S. citizens. Some critics suggested that it might detract from the FBI's main role as a domestic federal law-enforcement agency and could lead to duplication of the work already being carried out by the CIA and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Congress, however, remained sympathetic to the proposal and approved the opening of the first of the new offices in Beijing, Cairo, Islamabad, Pak., and Tel Aviv, Israel.

      An accelerated use of electronic surveillance was reported by U.S. federal law-enforcement agencies in 1996. This surveillance was said to be a particularly effective tool in pursuing drug dealers. In one recent case, code named Zorro II, investigators set up more than 90 separate wiretaps in a number of major U.S. cities as they built up evidence against 130 suspected cocaine importers, shippers, and distributors. The entire drug network was subsequently destroyed as a result of the accumulated wiretap information made available. Electronic surveillance remained, however, an expensive and labour-intensive investigative technique, but the DEA was reported to be carrying out a $33 million program to replace single-line wiretapping equipment with new technology that could monitor 40 wires simultaneously and process the intercepts by computer.

      An 18-year search by the FBI for the so-called Unabomber, the person responsible for a mail-bomb terror campaign that left 3 people dead and 23 injured, ended in April with the arrest of a suspect, Theodore Kaczynski. The likely bomber was identified to the FBI by his brother, David, who made a connection between published Unabomber documents and Kaczynski's writings. Kaczynski, a recluse who formerly had been a university mathematics professor, was captured in a remote cabin in Montana, where he had lived for 25 years.

      The dramatic capture in May of one of the most powerful and ruthless Mafia bosses, Giovanni Brusca, gave fresh hope and impetus to the bitter struggle by Italian law-enforcement authorities to curb the power of organized crime in that country. As many as 400 police were involved in the operation that led to Brusca's arrest at a house in Cannatello, near Agrigento on Sicily's southern coast. Brusca was believed responsible for the assassination in May 1992 of Giovanni Falcone, Italy's main prosecutor of the Mafia, as well as for leading the group that planted car bombs in 1993 that did great damage to the world-famous Uffizi Gallery in Florence and to other historic buildings in Rome and Milan. Prosecutors said these bombings were in retaliation for the arrest of Salvatore Riina, the Mafia's "boss of bosses" and as a response to the pope's denunciation that year of the Cosa Nostra.

      After a 19-month trial in Pretoria, S.Af., a former police colonel, Eugene de Kock, was convicted in August on 89 charges including 6 relating to murders he committed during South Africa's apartheid era. De Kock, who once called himself the nation's most efficient assassin, was commander of a police unit based at a farm outside Pretoria where apartheid activists were alleged to have been tortured and killed. In a presentence hearing De Kock made a number of dramatic allegations about the complicity of senior leaders of the former apartheid regime, including former president Pieter W. Botha. De Kock also claimed that a South African police spy, Craig Williamson, had been involved in the assassination in 1986 of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme. The assassination, which until now had remained one of Europe's most perplexing unsolved murder cases, was said to have been part of Operation Long Reach, a secret program carried out by the apartheid government to harass or silence its opponents overseas. Palme was a committed foe of apartheid and had close ties to African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela. De Kock's allegations were later denied by Williamson, who said he would soon be testifying about his involvement in Operation Long Reach before South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which began a series of hearings in April. De Kock was also expected to testify before the commission. (DUNCAN CHAPPELL)

      With a few notable exceptions, the trend toward a tougher criminal policy throughout the world resulted in an increased reliance upon imprisonment in 1996. Prison conditions in many countries deteriorated; almost invariably, untried persons were held under the worst circumstances. Prisoners in Russia, for example, suffered high mortality rates and a prevalence of tuberculosis that was 40 times higher than in the general population. The Russian prison population grew, on average, by 3,500-4,000 per month, reaching an incarceration rate of 570 prisoners per 100,000 inhabitants. This rate was similar to those of some other former Soviet republics, such as Kazakstan and Belarus. Such was the pressure of numbers in Turkmenistan that several people suffocated in overcrowded cells.

      Russia and the United States were among the countries with the highest proportions of their inhabitants in prison. In the U.S., where in 1996 more than 1.5 million were held in federal, state, and local facilities, the indications were that recent "three strikes and you're out" measures of mandatory prison sentences enacted by several states and the federal government would lead to further huge increases. The National Council on Crime and Delinquency, an independent agency, estimated that the nation's total prison population could rise to as high as 7.5 million if legislative and other proposals were acted upon.

      Concerns increasingly were being raised that some European countries were on track to follow the U.S. example. In Italy, for example, the prison population doubled between 1990 and 1995, with 52,000 people held in 33,000 places. The prison population in England and Wales increased by 40% between 1992 and 1996, and was forecast to grow at an even faster rate if the government's mandatory minimum sentencing proposals were put into effect.

      Appalling prison conditions were reported in many other parts of the world. In Nigeria an average of 10 people each week died, many of malnutrition, in two of the main prisons in Lagos. A total of 35,000 prisoners were awaiting trial, some after as long as 10 years. In Kenya, where the prison population increased from 13,000 to 40,000 between 1963 and 1995, more than 800 prisoners died during 1995, mostly as a result of the spread of malaria, dysentery, tuberculosis, and AIDS. Elsewhere in Africa the situation was even more grim. In Rwanda severe overcrowding resulted in prisoners' being held in food warehouses and in tents. The situation in some parts of Latin America also worsened. El Salvador's 16 prisons operated at three times their capacity. Space was at such a premium that prisoners were forced to sleep in a sitting position. Overcrowding was also considered a factor in the deaths of 25 inmates in a Caracas, Venez., prison during a fire.

      High levels of crowding and declining conditions were associated with serious riots in several prisons. In April a riot at the prison near Goiania, Brazil (where 5,000 prisoners shared 100 cells), was followed by the escape of 30 prisoners. In the Dominican Republic six prisoners were killed at San Cristobel prison in May during rioting that was touched off by crowded conditions. Riots also occurred in 20 prisons in Argentina in April amid concerns about the length of time people were held before trial. Serious rioting took place in March 1996 at five Greek prisons, and in July 12 prisoners in Turkey died during a hunger strike.

      A few countries took steps intended to reduce the use of imprisonment. The new Czech penal code took effect in January, enabling the courts to make use of community service as an alternative to prison sentences of five years or less. In the Canadian province of Quebec, the Ministry of Public Security declared that in contrast to the trend sweeping across North America, "Quebec has decided to turn its back on the repressive model" and adopt a system based on "prevention, resolution of conflict and the use of incarceration only for individuals who pose a threat to the population's security." By contrast, the Dutch government announced measures aimed at ensuring tougher sentences for drug traffickers. By 1996 two U.S. states—Florida and Arizona—were using chain gangs. Alabama, however, discontinued their use.

      In March 1996 Amnesty International reported that in regard to the death penalty, 100 of the world's nations could be described as abolitionist either in law or in practice and that 94 retained it. During 1995 South Africa, Moldova, and Mauritius were added to the list of countries that had abolished the death penalty. Although regarded as an underestimate by Amnesty International, there were 2,931 persons known to have been executed during 1995 in 41 countries. Of this total, 2,190 were carried out in China, 192 in Saudi Arabia, and more than 100 in Nigeria. Large numbers of executions also occurred in Iraq, but exact figures were not available. In Russia there were 710 persons on death row, and at least 16 were executed (although Amnesty International independently confirmed that 28 executions took place). At least 30 persons were executed in Kyrgyzstan and at least 63 in Kazakstan. In the U.S. in 1996 (where 39 states had restored the death penalty since 1976), 45 executions took place, and more than 3,150 persons were held on death row, including 47 juveniles. Federal funding was removed from the legal aid centres that represented defendants and appellants in capital cases, and in Texas it was decreed that family members of the victim were to be invited to view the execution. Although there were no executions in Ghana, some prisoners in that nation had been on death row for up to 13 years in conditions described by a human rights group as "excruciating." (ANDREW RUTHERFORD)

      See also World Affairs: Multinational and Regional Organizations ; United Nations .

      This article updates constitutional law; crime and punishment (crime); international law; police.

▪ 1996


      There were two dominant themes in international law in 1995: adjudication and the United Nations. In the background was the steady development of regional economic organizations, as well as treaties containing laws governing the conduct of private parties. In spite of the occasional eruption of violence between nations and the insistent refusal of the U.S. to subordinate itself to international structures or to external adjudication, a powerful impression was emerging that the old sovereign separateness of the members of the family of nations, on which classic international law had been based, was being diluted as part of the process of constructing a genuine world order. In addition, international law was altering its character to become more of a mix of public and private law, matching the change in international conflict from military to political-economic.

International Adjudication.
      By mid-1995 the International Court of Justice had a load of 13 pending cases, including two requests for advisory opinions, submitted by the World Health Organization and by the UN General Assembly, on the legality of the use of nuclear weapons. Of the 13 cases, one involved the lawfulness of Indonesia's occupation of Timor Timur (the former Portuguese colony of East Timor). Portugal claimed that Indonesia was not entitled to conclude a treaty on behalf of Timor Timur. The court, however, held that it had no jurisdiction and dismissed the case.

      The decision by France to carry out a series of nuclear tests between September 1995 and May 1996 on Mururoa atoll in the Pacific led to an action brought in August by New Zealand, seeking an examination of its legality in accordance with the court's 1974 judgment in the Nuclear Tests Case between the same parties. That case had involved atmospheric tests, whereas the present test series was to be carried out underground. Because there was no link between the 1974 undertaking and the present tests, the court said that it had no jurisdiction to consider the matter, and the action was dismissed.

      The court accepted jurisdiction in Qatar v. Bahrain in February 1995, following an interim judgment the previous July, in a case related to maritime limits. Despite Bahrain's objections, the court held that it had jurisdiction over the dispute and that the relevant texts allowed either party to make a unilateral application, so Bahrain's consent was not necessary. The other cases pending before the court included Iran v. U.S. (aerial incident of July 3, 1988), Guinea-Bissau v. Senegal (sea boundaries), Libya v. U.K. and Libya v. U.S. (Lockerbie air disaster), Iran v. U.S. (oil platforms), Hungary v. Slovakia (Gabcikovo-Nagymaros river diversion), Cameroon v. Nigeria (land and sea boundaries), Bosnia and Herzegovina v. Yugoslavia (genocide), and Spain v. Canada (fishery jurisdiction).

      Like the rest of the United Nations, the court celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1995. It renewed the mandate of its special chamber on environmental matters until 1997. The court received its first woman judge, Rosalyn Higgins, who replaced Sir Robert Jennings on his retirement. Another highly respected veteran of the court, Roberto Ago, died during the year and was replaced by Luigi Ferrari-Bravo, who had been head of the Italian legal team at the European Court of Justice.

      Apart from the already-existing regional tribunals, a number of new initiatives came to fruition during the year. The World Trade Organization's new Dispute Settlement Body was completed by the swearing in of the seven members of its appellate body in mid-December. The newly created Court of Conciliation and Arbitration of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe held its first meeting in Geneva in May. The entry into force of the Law of the Sea Convention in November 1994 paved the way for the establishment of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, with the parties agreeing that the members of the tribunal would be appointed in August 1996 and hold their first organizational session the following October. A U.S. proposal at the Group of Seven summit in mid-1995 for an international bankruptcy court did not, however, find broad favour.

      The established European courts continued to work through their ever-increasing caseloads. The Court of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) lost three of its members at the beginning of the year when Austria, Finland, and Sweden joined the European Union, but the court continued with its 1994 judges (except for the Finnish president, who became a judge on the European Court of Justice) until the end of June 1995 in order to clear up outstanding cases. Thereafter, it was reconstituted with only three judges (Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein, the last having joined the European Economic Area and hence the EFTA Court two months earlier). The court also moved its headquarters to Luxembourg.

Other Issues.
      That not all disputes were susceptible to peaceful means of settlement was shown when a sudden border war flared up between Peru and Ecuador in January over a 77-km (48-mi) stretch of disputed land along the Cenepa River. The hostilities, which involved ground and air troops, were ended by a treaty signed in Brasília, Brazil, on February 17 providing for negotiations toward a definitive agreement on the frontier. Tension also increased during the first half of the year between China and the Philippines in relation to the long-running dispute regarding sovereignty over the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. (See The Spat over the Spratlys (Spotlight: The Spat over the Spratlys ).) Growing concern over the effects of antipersonnel mines left strewn over battle areas, which kill and injure civilians for years after the end of hostilities, found expression in a large number of resolutions and proposals. The one serious attempt to deal with the problem, by banning their manufacture and use, was discussed at a UN conference in Vienna during October, but there was no agreement.

      Other events of the year included a memorandum of understanding issued in March on an interorganizational program for the management of chemicals that was stimulated by the UN Conference on Environment and Development. Russia adopted a new law on international treaties in June, and a treaty was signed in April between Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam on cooperation for the sustainable development of the Mekong River basin.

International Criminal Courts.
      The International War Crimes Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, established at The Hague in 1994, began work in earnest during 1995. The trial of the one defendant who was actually in custody, Dushan Tadic, which was to have started in November, was postponed to May 1996 at the request of his counsel in order for defense witnesses located in Bosnia and Herzegovina to be contacted. The tribunal began public hearings of witnesses in connection with other suspects in preparation for the issuing of international arrest warrants, to include Radovan Karadzic and Gen. Ratko Mladic, the civil and military leaders, respectively, of the Bosnian Serbs, and Dario Kordic and Gen. Tihomir Blaskic, leaders in Croat-held Bosnia. The tribunal expressed fears that the financial difficulties that the United Nations as a whole was facing would affect the tribunals efficacy, particularly in view of the high expenses involved in tracking down witnesses and defendants.

      The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda was running about a year later than the Bosnia tribunal. With the same prosecutor, Richard Goldstone, and the same appellate body, it was formally inaugurated in The Hague in June. Its operational premises were relocated to Arusha, Tanzania, where, having adopted its rules of procedure, it expected to be ready to hold hearings by the end of the year. By the end of the autumn, it was facing difficulties over funding, bureaucratic cooperation, and inexperienced investigators. In addition, governments were being less cooperative, and one, Kenya, was openly hostile, refusing to hand over any Rwandan suspects and threatening to arrest any tribunal investigator entering the country to serve a summons on behalf of the tribunal.

      A number of prosecutions for war crimes in Bosnia and Ethiopia took place before national courts. The New Zealand International War Crimes Tribunal Act of 1995 provided for assistance not only to the two tribunals on Bosnia and Rwanda but also to any other ad hoc tribunal that the UN Security Council might institute in connection with other violations of international humanitarian law. Proposals for a permanent international criminal court continued to be made, based on the draft statute for a criminal tribunal produced by the International Law Commission in 1993. (NEVILLE MARCH HUNNINGS)

      This updates the article international law.

Other Court Decisions.
      People around the world in 1995 watched the televised trial of former football star O.J. Simpson, who was found not guilty of charges that he had murdered his former wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her acquaintance Ronald Goldman. The verdict was celebrated by many black Americans and condemned by a majority of whites, but there was general agreement that the state of race relations in the U.S. had been highlighted by the case. The racial composition of the jury convinced many in the legal community from the start that conviction would not be possible, no matter how strong the evidence of guilt, especially after testimony indicated deep-seated racism in the Los Angeles Police Department. Whatever the correctness of this view, it convinced some that justice might be better served by adoption of the approach taken in most European countries of letting a panel of judges decide at least major criminal cases.

      In the Simpson case the jury was sequestered from family members and the public so as to shield it from media coverage. The confinement lasted 266 days, believed to be a record in the U.S. Some legal scholars blamed the long confinement for the quick verdict, with deliberations lasting only four hours. In this view the jury was tired of the case and wanted to get it over with as quickly as possible. Others, however, were of the opinion that the jury had decided the case long before it ended and had no need to sort through the mountain of evidence entrusted to it. In any case, many scholars believed that sequestration was a bad idea that rarely, if ever, should be used. They pointed out that it did not necessarily provide airtight isolation because conjugal visits, for example, broke the seal. Moreover, if trials were not televised, many argued, there would be less need to shield a jury from the media, since television tended to generate an excessive amount of other media interest. In addition, some experts claimed that televised trials encouraged posturing by lawyers and judges and thus inevitably lengthened proceedings.

      More important decisions from a legal point of view were handed down by tribunals in various countries. As usual, these cases centred on questions of sex and age discrimination, civil rights, the regulation of business, and politics.

      Only one prominent case involving abortion was handed down in 1995. The Supreme Court of Ireland rendered an advisory opinion to the country's president that the Regulation of Information Act, dealing with providing information for abortion services abroad, was constitutional. The court also ruled that abortion was permissible in Ireland when it had been established as a matter of probability that the life of the pregnant woman could be saved only by a termination of the pregnancy. In U.S. v. X-Citement Video, Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Protection of Children Against Sexual Exploitation Act, which banned the interstate shipment of child pornography. A majority on the court found that the act required proof of "scienter"—that is, knowledge by the defendant that the person performing the pornographic act was a minor—and that it was reasonable to read the statute as containing such a requirement.

      In R. v. Ministry of Defence, ex parte Smith, an English divisional court held that the policy of dismissing homosexuals from the armed forces, while not related to national security, was, nevertheless, not unreasonable and did not violate English constitutional principles or Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The U.S. Supreme Court, in Hurley v. Irish-American Gay Group, also dealt a blow to claimants of homosexual rights by declaring unconstitutional a Massachusetts law that required a private parade sponsor to include, as marching units, organizations of gays, lesbians, and bisexuals. The court said that the law violated the free-speech rights of the sponsor, in this case an association of people who traditionally organized Boston's Saint Patrick's Day parade.

      In another significant case, the Japanese Court of Grand Bench, with 5 dissents out of the 15 judges, held constitutional a civil code provision that limited inheritance for illegitimate children to one-half of that available to legitimate children.

      The UN Human Rights Committee handed down three important civil rights decisions in 1995. In Kome v. Senegal it held that the pretrial detention of a person for more than four years by the Senegalese government violated Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which guaranteed freedom of expression. In Coeriel and Aurik v. Netherlands, the committee ruled that The Netherlands' refusal to allow a Dutch national to change his name violated the right to privacy guaranteed by Article 17 of the ICCPR. Finally, it decided in Lansman v. Finland that Finland had not violated Article 27 of the ICCPR, which guaranteed the right of minorities to enjoy their own culture, when it granted a license to a company to do quarrying on a mountain that had religious and other cultural significance for a minority group.

      Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court resolved several notable civil rights cases during the year. The most important of the decisions may have been in Adarand Constructors v. Pena. The case concerned the constitutional validity of federal contracts that were required to contain provisions giving financial incentives for hiring subcontractors certified as small businesses controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, presuming that such individuals included minorities found by the Small Business Administration to be disadvantaged. The court held that "strict scrutiny" must be exercised when any classification imposed by the federal, state, or local government was based on race. That is to say, such a classification was constitutional only if it was narrowly tailored to further a compelling government interest. Under this test the court held that the contracts in question were unconstitutional.

      In Harris v. Alabama the court ruled that an Alabama law allowing judges to impose the death sentence in spite of a jury's recommendation of life imprisonment was constitutional. In McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission, it ruled that a statute barring anonymous campaign literature was unconstitutional. In Veronia School District v. Acton, the court held that a school's policy requiring drug testing of students who participated in athletic programs did not violate the U.S. Constitution. In Capitol Square Review Board v. Pinette, it held that Ohio had violated the Constitution when it denied an application by the Ku Klux Klan to display an unattended cross on the statehouse square.

      Although it was less active in 1995 than in previous years, the European Court on Human Rights (ECHR) handed down a decision that, in the view of many legal experts, could have far-reaching importance for Europe's judicial tribunals. In Hiro Balani v. Spain, the ECHR held that Spain had violated Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which guaranteed the right to a fair trial, by the failure of its Supreme Court to give a reasoned decision when it handed down its ruling on the merits of the case. Legal experts noted that while in the U.S. appellate courts were required to deliver long, written opinions justifying their decisions, the practice in Europe was different. The ECHR stated that the obligation of appellate courts to give reasoned decisions varied according to the kind of case involved and other circumstances, but it apparently would require such decisions when the applicant's submission was relevant, stated in a precise manner, and supported by evidence.

      The Supreme Court of Israel clarified its views on the protection of intellectual property by holding in the case of David Geva v. The Walt Disney Corporation that there was copyright infringement by an Israeli cartoonist who used the character Donald Duck in a comic book. The cartoonist had contended that his use of the Disney character was satirical criticism and thus within fair use. The court emphatically recognized the fair use exemption, but it found that the requirements had not been met in this case since the use was commercial and did not constitute criticism. In Publishers Association v. Commission, the European Court of Justice struck down the Net Book Agreement promulgated by the U.K. under which standard conditions were set for the sale of books at fixed prices. It held that the arrangement violated competition rules of the European Union.

      The U.S. Supreme Court resolved an issue that had pitted the insurance industry against commercial banks. Under banking legislation, largely enacted through the lobbying efforts of insurance companies, national banks were prohibited from selling insurance. In NationsBank v. Variable Annuity Life Insurance Co., the hotly debated question arose whether annuities were insurance for purposes of the exclusion. In a victory for commercial banks, the court ruled that annuities were not insurance and that they could be sold by national banks.

      The frequent-flyer programs of U.S. airlines, under which passengers could receive free tickets and other benefits, came under attack. In the past few years, some carriers had canceled or curtailed the programs retroactively, with the result that a number of lawsuits were filed against them. The airlines, in turn, contended that their actions were legal under the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978. The U.S. Supreme Court held in American Airlines v. Wolens that the federal statute did not shield the airlines from actions for breach of contract but did protect them from claims of fraud.

      The U.S. Supreme Court in 1995 also dealt with two sensitive political issues, term limits and congressional redistricting. In U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton, it declared unconstitutional an Arkansas law that denied ballot access to congressional candidates who had been elected to two terms in the Senate or three terms in the House of Representatives. The decision, however, did not prohibit the states from imposing term limits on those running for state office. In Miller v. Johnson the court held that a Georgia redistricting plan based predominantly on race violated the equal protection clause of the Constitution.


      See also World Affairs: Multinational and Regional Organizations ; United Nations .

      This updates the articles constitutional law; international law.


      On April 19, 1995, a bomb explosion in Oklahoma City, Okla., destroyed any illusion that the world's most powerful nation was immune from the scourge of domestic terrorism. The bomb, placed in a truck parked outside a federal office building, ripped the structure apart and left 169 dead and more than 500 injured. The two prime suspects turned out to be former U.S. Army comrades Timothy J. McVeigh and Terry L. Nichols. In August a federal grand jury indicted both men on bombing and murder charges that were punishable by death. A third man, Michael Fortier, pleaded guilty to lesser charges and was expected to become a key government witness. The alleged participants in the bombing were believed to have links to self-styled right-wing paramilitary groups. The Oklahoma City bombing occurred on the second anniversary date of the FBI's ending of the siege at Waco, Texas, in which some 80 members of the Branch Davidians, a religious cult, had died.

      On October 9, in what seemed to be a further domestic terrorist attack, an Amtrak passenger train derailed in a remote part of the Arizona desert, reportedly as a result of track sabotage. One person was killed and some 100 injured. A note found at the scene said that the attack was the work of the Sons of the Gestapo and referred to the federal siege at Waco and to another at Ruby Ridge, Idaho.

      In Japan the members of the religious cult Aum Shinrikyo (Supreme Truth) were accused of having masterminded the worst terrorist attack in that nation's history. The group was said to have been responsible for the March 20 release of sarin, a deadly nerve gas, in the Tokyo subway during the morning rush hour. Twelve people died as a result of the gas attack, and more than 5,500 were injured. Subsequent police raids on premises occupied by cult members uncovered large caches of chemicals capable of being used to manufacture poison gas and explosives. Japanese authorities prepared a case against more than 100 cult members, including leader Shoko Asahara, held on suspicion of involvement in the subway attack and a number of related incidents.

      The commuter train system in Paris was also the target of terrorist attacks. On July 25 a bomb exploded during the evening rush hour on a crowded train near Notre-Dame cathedral. The blast killed 7 people and injured more than 80. Another bombing of a Paris commuter train, on October 17, injured 29 people. Between July and late September, further bombs were planted in Paris and other locations, all seemingly designed to cause casualties and fear among civilians during the peak months of the European tourist season. A group of Algerian Islamic militants claimed responsibility. In late September French police claimed the first major success in their hunt for the bombers when security forces killed Khaled Kelkal, an Algerian fugitive who was said to have been involved in at least three of the terrorist incidents.

      In Algeria the struggle between Islamic militant groups and the military-backed government for control of the country continued unabated. Since the violent revolt began in early 1992 with the cancellation by the military of elections that the Islamic movement seemed certain to win, more than 30,000 people were believed to have been killed, with security officers, government officials, foreigners, and prominent citizens the main targets of the militants. Islamic fundamentalist groups also continued their terrorist activities in the Middle East. On June 26 Pres. Hosni Mubarak of Egypt survived an assassination attempt in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. Egypt blamed the fundamentalist government of The Sudan, but responsibility was claimed by the Islamic Group, an Egyptian terrorist organization. In New York City on October 1, Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and nine codefendents were convicted of conspiracy to destroy U.S. targets and to kill Mubarak. A right-wing Israeli man was charged with the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on November 4 in Tel Aviv.

      A series of deadly suicide bombing attacks, directed against soldiers and civilians in Israel and the Gaza Strip by the fundamentalist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad, failed to derail the ongoing peace talks between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel. In October PLO Chairman Yasir Arafat, in an attempt to end the attacks, sent a new truce proposal to leaders of the militant groups following the signing of an accord with the Israeli government to expand Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank. It seemed by year's end that the peace process continued in spite of Rabin's death. In Northern Ireland the cease-fire declared by Roman Catholic and Protestant paramilitary organizations continued to hold, but peace talks with the British government to resolve the long-standing conflict remained deadlocked.

War Crimes.
      A Bosnian Serb, Dusan Tadic, became the first defendant to face an international war crimes hearing since the Nürnberg and Tokyo trials at the end of World War II. Appearing in The Hague in April 1995 before a UN tribunal established by the Security Council in 1993 to deal with violations of international humanitarian law in former Yugoslavia, Tadic pleaded not guilty to a list of charges that included the murder, rape, and torture of Muslims and Croats during Serb "ethnic cleansing" campaigns in the Bosnian region of Prijedor. Following a hearing before one of the members of the tribunal, Tadic was detained at a Dutch prison.

      In July the tribunal issued 24 new indictments against alleged war criminals, including Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and the Bosnian Serb army commander, Gen. Ratko Mladic. Despite these indictments, 22 issued earlier, and 6 more indictments in November, Tadic remained the only defendant to be held in custody.

Drug Trafficking.
      In August 1995, responding to strong pressure from the U.S. government, Colombian police captured Miguel Rodríguez Orejuela, reputed to be the second in command in the world's most powerful cocaine supply group, the Cali cartel. Rodríguez was the sixth cartel leader to be arrested over a two-month period. The Colombian government itself, however, was shaken by allegations brought by Prosecutor General Alfonso Valdivieso (see BIOGRAPHIES (Valdivieso, Alfonso )) of drug-related corruption that reached into the office of Pres. Ernesto Samper Pizano.

      U.S. and Latin-American experts reported that Mexican drug groups, who for years had acted as transshippers for Colombian cartels, were now operating as independent entities. As in Colombia, where the Medellín and Cali cartels had built up a huge cocaine supply business through the use of violence and bribes, Mexican criminal organizations were operating in a similar way with the protection of members of the government, police, and judiciary. In an attempt to curb the flow of narcotics across the border with Mexico, U.S. customs officials announced in February the start of Operation Hard Line, a new antidrug push to increase agent strength on the border by 20%. Extra surveillance equipment was also to be brought in.

Murder and Other Violence.
      In May 1995 the FBI reported that the U.S. crime rate had dropped 3% overall in 1994, posting a decline for the third year in a row. Violent crimes reported to the police fell by 4%. Many large U.S. cities saw their murder rates decline by more than 10%. Accelerating a four-year trend, the murder rate in New York City over the first six months of 1995 plunged to its lowest level in 25 years. Other crimes were also down over the same period, including robbery, with a 22% decrease. Criminologists urged caution in interpreting these figures, however.

      The U.S. was not alone in reporting a decreasing rate of crime. In Canada the Department of Justice reported in August that the nation's crime rate had dropped by 5% in 1994, its third consecutive annual decrease, while in September the British government hailed figures revealing the biggest drop in crime in the 20th century. Recorded crimes in England and Wales had fallen by 10% in the two-year period ended June 1995, with the number of violent offenses down for the first time in nearly 50 years.

      Observed live on television by millions in the U.S. and around the globe, the trial of former football player and television and movie figure O.J. Simpson in Los Angeles attracted unprecedented interest. Following nine months of testimony, during which the jury had been sequestered, they took less than four hours to reach a verdict, announced on October 3, finding Simpson not guilty of the killing of his former wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her companion Ronald Goldman on June 12, 1994. The trial included tape-recorded claims of brutality, fabrication of evidence, and abuse of minorities made by a prosecution witness, former Los Angeles detective Mark Fuhrman. It was a stark reminder of the gulf between blacks and whites in U.S. society, with the majority of African-Americans believing, unlike their white counterparts, that Simpson was the victim of a police conspiracy to link him to the killings. In another much-publicized U.S. trial, in July Susan Smith was sentenced to life in prison for the drowning of her two young sons in South Carolina in 1994.

      The FBI continued its manhunt for the serial mail bomber and killer known as the Unabomber. The Unabomber was believed responsible for 16 bombings since 1978 that had killed 3 people and injured 23, many of them seriously. His latest victim was Gilbert Murray, a timber industry executive, who was killed by a parcel bomb in Sacramento, Calif., on April 24. That bomb and four letters, including one addressed to the New York Times, was sent on April 20, the day after the Oklahoma City bombing. The Unabomber subsequently sent a 35,000-word manifesto to the New York Times and Washington Post expounding his views on the evils of modern society and calling for a revolution against the industrial-technological world. The Unabomber vowed to end his terror campaign if one of the papers published his manifesto. In September the Washington Post published the entire manifesto at the request of the U.S. attorney general and the director of the FBI, while the New York Times published excerpts. Critics argued that publication would lead to copycat requests and allowed the government to dictate what was printed in the nation's media; supporters suggested that publication might assist in the capture of the Unabomber.

      The rape in September of a 12-year-old girl by three U.S. servicemen based in Okinawa sparked anger among the Japanese, much of it triggered by the fact that although both the Americans and Japanese agreed that a crime had been committed, the U.S. military did not immediately allow Japanese police to take the alleged offenders into custody. Following the issue of a formal indictment as required under the Status of Forces Agreement governing the presence of U.S. military forces in Japan, the three servicemen were handed over to Japanese prosecutors.

Political Crime and Espionage.
      In September 1995 Giulio Andreotti, the Christian Democratic leader who was Italy's prime minister in seven governments, went on trial in Palermo on charges that he had acted as a protector and friend to the Sicilian Mafia during his years in power. In November additional charges were brought against him. The prosecution's case against Andreotti was believed to rely substantially upon evidence that had been given by several Mafia turncoats, or pentiti, who had broken their vows of silence in return for leniency. Italian authorities also continued their efforts to bring other former prominent politicians, businessmen, and government officials to justice as part of the far-reaching Operation Clean Hands, an anticorruption investigation launched by prosecuting magistrates in Milan in February 1992. Since that time more than 700 persons had been sent to trial in connection with bribes paid for government contracts.

      The secretary-general of NATO, Willy Claes, resigned his post in October following revelations of a corruption scandal in Belgium. A special Belgian parliamentary commission was considering whether Claes should face charges related to his involvement, as the country's economic affairs minister, in alleged kickbacks paid in 1988 by an Italian company to the ruling Flemish Socialist Party to secure a contract to supply the Belgian army with 48 helicopters. Claes denied any knowledge of the BF 50 million bribe.

      Russia's fledgling democracy came under threat during the year as a flood of candidates with criminal records sought election to all levels of government in order to evade prosecution. More than 230 elected Russian officials were reported to have been investigated in the previous two years for criminal offenses as serious as murder. In almost 160 cases prosecutors said that they had enough evidence to file charges against the elected officials, but the politicians were protected by parliamentary immunity. The State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, began a crackdown to rid itself of the worst offenders in its midst.

White Collar Crime and Theft.
      Fraud and malfeasance led to the collapse in February 1995 of Britain's oldest merchant bank, Barings PLC. The bank, which included members of the British royal family among its clients, was forced into receivership after Nicholas Leeson, a trader in its Singapore office, had accumulated losses of over $1 billion in the futures market. (See Special Report (Concern over Derivatives ).) According to a Bank of England report, Leeson was able to conceal the losses from his employers as they turned a blind eye to what they believed was a risky yet highly profitable trading operation. Just prior to the collapse, Leeson fled Singapore, but he was detained on March 2 by German police in Frankfurt aboard a flight bound for London. Leeson was extradited and pleaded guilty to reduced charges. He was sentenced to over six years in prison.

      One of the world's biggest financial corporations, Daiwa Bank Ltd. of Japan, suffered one of history's largest fraud losses in September. Authorities charged Toshihide Iguchi, a bond trader at the bank's New York City branch, with having falsified records to conceal $1.1 billion in losses incurred through 30,000 unauthorized trades over the previous 11 years. Iguchi pleaded guilty in October as senior officials of the bank were implicated. In November the government banned operations by the bank in the U.S., and Japan's Finance Ministry ordered Daiwa to curtail its international operations.

      In the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing, law-enforcement officials in the U.S. began to review the security measures taken to protect vulnerable targets against possible terrorist attack. In May 1995 security at the White House was heightened by the closing of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the building to deter would-be truck bombers. Questions also were raised about the adequacy of measures to monitor domestic groups that advocated violence. At U.S. Senate hearings, FBI Director Louis Freeh claimed that for two decades the agency had been at a disadvantage with regard to such groups. "We have no intelligence or background information on them until their violent talk becomes deadly action," he said. Freeh said that the agency needed a broader interpretation of existing laws and regulations, including guidelines dating from the 1970s that barred the surveillance or infiltration of domestic organizations unless there was a "reasonable indication" they were prepared to resort to violence to achieve their goals. The guidelines had been written in response to FBI excesses under the long stewardship of J. Edgar Hoover.

      Law-enforcement officials in Italy reported success in their struggle to break the power of the Mafia. In June they arrested Leoluca Bagarella, a convicted murderer and one of the country's most sought-after criminals who was accused of being responsible for some of the most striking Mafia crimes of recent years. These included the 1992 bombing that killed anti-Mafia magistrate Giovanni Falcone, his wife, and three bodyguards and the bombing in 1993 of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, in which five people died. The Florence bombing was believed to have been part of a Mafia terror campaign that followed the arrest in January 1993 of Salvatore ("the Beast") Riina, the alleged head of the infamous Sicilian-based Corleonese Mafia clan. It was thought that the Mafia's aim was to frighten Italians into supporting a relaxation of tough anti-Mafia laws passed in 1992, which included legal benefits to Mafia members who became turncoats. The terror campaign did not work, and the new laws, designed to break omertà, the Mafia code of silence, were said to have resulted in close to 1,000 Mafiosi applying for protection in return for their collaboration with prosecutors.

      Members of the European Union signed a convention in July opening the way for Europol, the EU's police agency, to come into full operation. The move came after France dropped its hard-line opposition to providing powers to Europol to collect and analyze criminal intelligence outside the control of national police forces. While further hurdles remained to be cleared regarding the scope of the supervisory powers that the EU's Court of Justice would have over Europol, the agency was now able to conduct its own investigation of drug cartels, car-theft syndicates, and other forms of organized crime within Europe. EU members also agreed, at Spain's urging, that Europol's mandate should be extended in the near future to cover international terrorism.

      Police in New Delhi reported considerable success with their newly established Anti-Eve-Teasing Squad, designed to prevent a host of sexual harassment offenses ranging from catcalls to physical assault. Members of the squad, working undercover on New Delhi's vastly overcrowded buses, apprehended many gropers, pinchers, and molesters who made travel for commuting women a daily nightmare. The squad was just one of a number of policing innovations used by South Asian police to combat a dramatic increase in crime against women. In New Delhi alone the number of rapes and molestation cases reported to police by women had nearly doubled over the previous five years. The trend reflected dramatic changes in conservative South Asian societies, where until recently women had held few professional jobs and seldom ventured out alone.

      The use of advanced technology to assist in the detection of crime took a major step forward with the establishment in Britain of a national library of DNA profiles. In April, using new and controversial powers, British police began the routine collection of blood, saliva, and hair samples from any suspect charged with or even warned for an imprisonable offense. The British government said that the DNA library would have five million entries by the year 2000. DNA samples would then be widely available for matching with bodily fluids found at a crime scene. Police were enthusiastic about the advance in forensic science, which was described as the most significant step forward since the establishment of fingerprint databases more than a century earlier. (DUNCAN CHAPPELL)

      Internationally, the scope of criminal law was widened and the sentencing powers of the courts strengthened during 1995. As a result, criminal justice systems were placed under ever-increasing strain. Romania instituted prison sentences of between one and five years for various homosexual acts and imprisoned, for up to three years, those who flew foreign national flags or played national anthems of other states. Iraq added to its list of punishments branding and the amputation of hands, feet, and ears and televised before-and-after images of the punishment, mainly to deter desertion from the army. In the U.S. 30 states acted upon or were considering "three strikes and you're out" sentencing provisions that typically ensured life imprisonment for an offender convicted of a third felony. In a California referendum voters strongly backed such a proposition, even though it would cause the percentage of state funds allocated to the state prison system to double within eight years. Alabama restored the chain gang, a practice that had been abolished some 30 years earlier. Prisoners were manacled together in groups of five with 2.4-m (8-ft) lengths of chain as they worked alongside state highways. In October 1995 the Washington state judge who in 1994 suspended the sentences of two Native American teenagers on charges of robbery and assault and gave a Native American tribal court a chance to rehabilitate them revoked his decision. After hearing conflicting testimony on the effectiveness of their banishment to separate corners of an uninhabited island off the Alaskan coast, he sent the two to prison (for 55 and 31 months, with each earning a 12-month credit for time served).

      Prison populations worldwide continued to grow; the number of those incarcerated between 1991 and 1994 rose in 13 of 14 Eastern and Central European countries, with populations doubling in the Czech Republic and Belarus. Russia and the U.S. again had the world's largest prison populations, with rates per 100,000 of 590 and 555, respectively.

      Severe crowding and other appalling prison conditions were reported worldwide. Amnesty International, reporting on Mongolia, attributed one-third of 90 prisoner deaths in the first nine months of 1994 to starvation. Bulgarian prisons were overflowing and operating with minimal levels of sanitation. At the Stara Zagora penitentiary, cells were dark and grossly overcrowded. In Cambodia a UN-sponsored centre found that prisoners were frequently shackled and kept in darkened solitary confinement for lengthy periods; many were reportedly dying from malnutrition and other diseases. In Phnom Penh prison, inmates were held in large rooms with only one open latrine and water trough for their use. The Combinado del Este prison in Cuba, with a capacity of 3,000, reportedly held over 5,000 prisoners. The Glendiary prison in Barbados, with a capacity of 245, held 724 men and women, often for lengthy periods without light and with little ventilation. At Kresty Prison, St. Petersburg, some 8,000 were jailed in accommodations designed for 3,500. Conditions at a special unit of the Korydallos Psychiatric Centre in Greece were so abysmal that the government closed it. That country's prisons held 6,700 inmates in a system designed for 3,900. In the U.S. a federal judge condemned ill treatment of prisoners at the "supermax" Pelican Bay facility in California. There, naked men were confined in tiny metal cages during bitter weather, while others were handcuffed wrists-to-ankles for up to 19 hours in that "hog-tied" position. The world's worst conditions were undoubtedly found in Rwanda, where 23,000 Hutu prisoners, many of them under investigation for the massacre of Tutsi, were forced to stand in space designed to hold 4,000.

      In 1995 a new facility in Florence, Colo., was called the most secure prison ever built. In January three prisoners serving life sentences escaped from Parkhurst top-security prison in Britain shortly after a critical report had been issued on a breakout by six men (five of whom had been convicted for terrorist offenses) from Whitemoor Prison four months earlier. A mutiny in February at the Serkadji prison in Algeria left 95 prisoners and 4 officers dead.

Death Penalty.
      In 1994 in China, where as many as 65 offenses—ranging from bicycle theft to political dissent—were punishable by death, authorities reported that 1,991 prisoners had been executed, though the number was believed to be much higher. Several prostitutes were executed just prior to the 1995 UN Fourth World Conference on Women, which was held in Beijing. In May two refugees testified before a U.S. Senate committee that the Chinese authorities systematically removed organs from executed prisoners in order to sell them for medical transplants. They also reported that some executions were arranged in order to meet particular transplant demands. In Iran a reported 139 persons were put to death during 1994, but the actual figure was thought to be much higher. In Bangladesh the buying and selling of women and children became a capital offense, while in Nigeria a dramatic increase occurred in the number of executions by firing squad. In the U.S.—where 56 people were put to death in 1995—New York became the 38th state since 1976 to adopt capital punishment; 10 types of murder were punishable by lethal injection.

      In March the hanging of a Filipina maid in Singapore prompted a serious rift between that country and the Philippines. In Singapore 32 people were executed in 1994, many of them for drug-related offenses, and it was seen that ancient penalties were still sometimes imposed when a man who had been convicted of rape in Somalia was put to death by stoning. Two Christians in Pakistan, one of them a 14-year-old, were acquitted on appeal after having been sentenced to death for blasphemy. Though capital punishment became the mandatory sentence for blasphemy in 1991, the only other person so convicted had had his sentence overturned in 1994.

      In South Africa opponents of capital punishment welcomed the unanimous decision of an 11-member constitutional court in June to declare the death penalty for murder unconstitutional. More than 1,000 persons had been hanged in that country during the past two years, and some 450 persons were on death row at the time of the court's decision.


      See also World Affairs: Multinational and Regional Organizations ; United Nations .

      This updates the articles constitutional law; crime and punishment (crime); international law; police.

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Universalium. 2010.

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