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UAE: Placement in FATF’s “Grey-list” and UK high risk third countries list

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By Christina Poursanidou, EU Qualified Lawyer and FCC Officer As presented by FATF’s Mutual Evaluation Report [1]  in early 2020, the UAE is exposed to significant ML and TF risks, due to its cash intensive economy, the large size of its financial sector, the expansion of the FFZs and the big volume of trade in gold and precious stones. Despite the significant improvements made by the UAE, there are still significant deficiencies and fundamental improvements are needed, in order to demonstrate that the system cannot be used for illegal purposes. Last month, UAE made a high-level political commitment to strengthen the effectiveness of its AML/CFT regime. Although, during March 2022 the seat of UAE in AML Compliance map was going to change significantly.

Migrant smuggler’s conviction, based on witness statements not examined at trial, was unfair (ECtHR)

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In Chamber judgment in the case of Al Alo v. Slovakia (application no. 32084/19) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been a violation of Article 6 §§ 1 and 3 (d) (right to a fair trial/right to obtain attendance and examination of witnesses) of the European Convention on Human Rights. 

Compulsory Vaccination: A far-reaching encroachment into a Brave New World

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By Efi Thoma, Lawyer LL.M. “Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth”, said Albert Einstein. In Huxley’s Brave New World, it was predicted the emergence of a “controlling oligarchy” who would conduct similar experiments on human beings to condition docility and minimize the potential for civil unrest. In Brave New World, the main “reward” used to condition subservience via positive reinforcement was a super-drug called Soma. “The World Controllers”, writes Huxley, “encouraged the systematic drugging of their own citizens for the benefit of the state.”

European Commission refers United Kingdom to Court of Justice of the European Union over a UK judgment allowing enforcement of an arbitral award granting illegal State aid

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European Commission refers United Kingdom to Court of Justice of the European Union over a UK judgment allowing enforcement of an arbitral award granting illegal State aid. The Commission has decided to refer the United Kingdom to the Court of Justice of the European Union in relation to a judgment of its Supreme Court of 19 February 2020 allowing enforcement of an arbitral award ordering Romania to pay compensation to investors, despite a 2015 Commission decision having found that the compensation infringed EU State aid rules.  According to the UK Supreme Court, on the basis of  Article351 TFEU , the UK's EU law obligations at the time did not stand in the way of its alleged international obligation to recognise and enforce the arbitral award under the International Convention for the Settlement of Investment Disputes. When the UK Supreme Court delivered its judgment, proceedings concerning the validity of the Commission's 2015 decision were pending before the Union Courts.

Significant numbers of young lawyers want to leave their current job: New report by International Bar Association

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A new report from the International Bar Association (IBA) has revealed that of 3,000 young lawyers – defined as aged 40 and under – surveyed around the world, a significant number of them are either leaving or considering leaving their current job in the next five years. Fifty-four per cent of survey respondents reported that they were ‘somewhat likely’ or ‘highly likely’ to move to a new workplace, 33 per cent wanted to switch to a different area of the legal profession and 20 per cent were thinking about leaving the profession entirely.  The IBA Young Lawyers’ Report is based on the results of an international survey carried out by the IBA’s Young Lawyers’ Committee (YLC) and Legal Policy & Research Unit (LPRU) in collaboration with market research company Acritas (part of Thomson Reuters). The research was undertaken to identify young lawyers’ priorities, interests, and concerns around their jobs and future career plans; whether any such concerns are being adequately addressed

Text messages related to Covid-19 vaccines between Commission's president and the CEO of pharmaceutical company must be accessible to the public, says European Ombudsman

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The European Ombudsman has criticised how the Commission handled a request for public access to text messages between its President and the CEO of a pharmaceutical company. She has now asked it to do a more extensive search for the relevant messages. In response to the public access request by a journalist, the Commission said no record had been kept of such messages, which were related to the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines.  The Ombudsman inquiry revealed that the Commission did not explicitly ask the President’s personal office (cabinet) to look for text messages. Instead, it asked her cabinet to look for documents that fulfil the Commission’s internal criteria for recording - text messages are not currently considered to meet these criteria. The Ombudsman found that this amounted to maladministration. “The narrow way in which this public access request was treated meant that no attempt was made to identify if any text messages existed. This falls short of reasonable expec

Committee of Ministers refers Kavala v. Turkey case to the European Court of Human Rights

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The Committee of Ministers of the 47-nation Council of Europe has referred the  Kavala v. Turkey  case to the European Court of Human Rights to determine whether Turkey has failed to fulfil its obligation to implement the  Court’s judgment  in this case, in line with proceedings provided for under Article 46.4 of the European Convention on Human Rights. In an  Interim Resolution  adopted on 2.2.2022, the Committee found that, by failing to ensure Mr Kavala’s immediate release, Turkey is refusing to abide by the Court’s final judgment in his case. This view is disputed by the Turkish authorities. In December 2019, the European Court ruled that Mr Kavala’s detention took place in the absence of sufficient evidence that he had committed an offence. It found that his arrest and pre-trial detention pursued an ulterior purpose, namely to silence him and dissuade other human rights defenders, and that the time taken by the Turkish Constitutional Court to review his complaint was insuffici