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February 2021

Self government

Symbol of local autonomy, democracy and development, according to speaker Lok Sabha | Latest India News

Local self-government is a symbol of both democracy and development Lok Sabha chairman Om Birla said on Friday that it provides a framework for the decentralization of democracy.

The comments of the Lok Sabha chairman came during the inauguration of the awareness and familiarization program for local bodies of the northeastern states in Shillong.

“Local self-government is a symbol of both democracy and development. It provides a framework for the decentralization of democracy. It strengthens democracy at the local level through which citizens have the possibility of becoming part of the local self-government of their region, ”said the speaker.

“There are several provisions in our Constitution offering optimal opportunities for the development of all regions of the country. An Autonomous District Council for these states has been created in Schedule 6 of our Constitution, ”said Birla.

The primary objective of the creation of these Councils is to protect the rights of the tribal communities of the North East, to ensure them equal rights in the decision-making process and to ensure that their administration is carried out in accordance with their traditions and conventions, he mentioned.

“Mahatma Gandhi believed that the soul of India lives in the villages. He believed in rural self-reliance and the development of the nation (Rashtrodaya) through the development of villages (Gramodaya). He believed that every village should be The government is developing policies and plans to make this autonomy a nationwide phenomenon. But an autonomous India can only be possible if we are Vocal for Local, “he said.

Emphasizing the digital penetration in governance, he said that e-Panchyat has been introduced, which has brought about revolutionary changes in the functioning of local self-government.

It is our responsibility to make a collective effort to make democracy strong, transparent and accountable, he added.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya Metbah Lyngdoh, Union Minister of State, Ministry of Industry and Food Processing, Rameshwar Teli and various MPs from the Northeast region also took part in the event.

The program was organized by the Parliamentary Research and Training Institute for Democracies (PRIDE), of the Lok Sabha Secretariat.

The theme of the program was “Panchayati Raj System / Autonomous District Council – Strengthening Decentralized Democracy”.

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Independence activist

The independence activist who named the accusers of Alex Salmond on social networks is jailed

A Scottish independence activist who named the women who testified against Alex Salmond has been jailed for six months.

Clive Thomson, 52, has broken a strict court order barring the identification of plaintiffs who testified at the former prime minister’s trial last year.

Edinburgh High Court learned of how Thomson, of Rosyth, Fife, twice named women on Twitter in August last year.

Lady Dorrian – the judge who presided over the trial which resulted in Mr Salmond’s acquittal of all charges – made the order during the trial.

Mainstream journalists working in Scottish courts do not name complainants in sexual assault cases in order to prevent complainants’ privacy being violated.

However, the defense industry worker ignored the order and named the women on the social media network.

The court heard he knew he wasn’t supposed to name the women, but went ahead and did it anyway.

He believed he was immune from prosecution because he was on vacation abroad at the time of one of the offending tweets.

The court also heard that it had also sought advice from other Twitter users on how to get around the court order.

Defense lawyer Mark Stewart QC on Thursday urged Lady Dorrian, Lord Pentland and Lord Matthews not to send his client to jail.

Mr Stewart said Thomson was looking after his wife who is currently protecting herself from the coronavirus pandemic. He was also the main breadwinner.

But Lady Dorrian said what Thomson had done was so wrong that jail was the only option available to the court.

She said: “The court took into account that this was a deliberate and planned contempt of court. This is a very serious matter. There are very good reasons why complainants in sexual offense cases enjoy anonymity. “Protection is extended by convention to complainants in all cases – not just the one that concerns us.

“It turns out that the protection in this case was backed up by a specific court order to stress the importance and you knew that order had been made.

“Nonetheless, you have deliberately taken up this order and posted the names of those involved, for the second time thinking that you thought you were safe from contempt of court proceedings by being abroad.

“You had been thinking about how you were going to get by – you went so far as to ask advice about it on Twitter.

“Obviously, you’ve decided to take a calculated risk. The reason for such protection extends beyond the complainants in this case is that the risk of the public knowing their identity can have a significant deterrent effect on others against filing complaints with public authorities.

“This was a blatant and willful violation of the order which was likely to cause serious stress and concern to complainants and interfere with the protection afforded them by the order.

“We have listened to the points made on your behalf this morning.

“We are aware of the effect prison will have on your life and the lives of your family members.

“However, for such premeditated contempt, we are convinced that there is no alternative to a custodial sentence and we therefore propose to impose a sentence of six months imprisonment from the date of ‘today.”

Mr Salmond was cleared of 13 counts of sexual assault earlier this year. Another charge of sexual assault had already been dropped by prosecutors.

The former prime minister proclaimed his innocence throughout the two-week trial held in March 2020.

The women who brought the allegations against Mr Salmond included an SNP politician, a party member and several current and former Scottish government officials and officials.

In an article posted on a fundraising website, Mr Thomson requested financial assistance for his case, saying he needed a QC and a legal team “regarding a contempt of court charge , in the Alex Salmond case “. Last month he had raised £ 275 of a £ 5,000 goal.

During proceedings last month, Mr Stewart told the court that the first post was deleted shortly after it was posted. The second post was deleted within 24 hours of posting.

The sentence had been postponed for the court to obtain reports on Thomson’s background.

Mr Stewart told the virtual hearing on Thursday that his client had been suspended from working at Babcock’s in Rosyth.

He also said that Thomson had played a key role in his family, taking care of his wife and being an important breadwinner.

Mr Stewart also said that Thomson felt remorse for his conduct.

He said: “As a result of the process, he fully understood both the importance of his conduct; the potential effect his conduct might have on those involved in the criminal justice process and also the seriousness of the conduct.

Lady Dorrian interrupted Mr. Stewart’s submission at that point and asked him, “That’s what they call barring the stable door once the horse is locked.”

Mr Stewart then referred to a report by a court appointed social worker and continued: “My lady, there has to be an element of that and I have to accept it but as far as this process goes, it has one that he has now accepted the gravity of the situation – though that doesn’t excuse him not fully appreciating the gravity of his conduct – it’s something in my opinion that he fully understands and that he fully understands what he has done.

“He has, according to the senior social worker, someone who feels remorse and understands that it is important that these rules are in place and that these rules are followed as well.

“Mr. Thomson appreciates and understands that police custody is a significant risk in relation to the resolution of this case.

“He understands the nature of his offense and he understands his position in this court.

“I would respectfully ask the court to accept that this was an act of extreme madness on the part of someone acting in a way that was not calculated but was in fact an act madness and bravado and I would ask the court to take into account his remorse, guilt and immediate recognition of his wrongdoing when considering his elimination.

Twitter was criticized last month for failing to remove a post by an anonymous user that identified one of the women who accused Mr Salmond.

A friend of women told the Daily Record: “Twitter is extremely irresponsible and ignores its responsibilities to uphold the law.

“It is frankly shocking that they continue to allow trolls to name witnesses whose anonymity has been guaranteed by the courts.”

Responding to a complaint from the woman, who said she believed her safety was in danger, Twitter said: “We are writing to inform you that after reviewing the available information, we found no violations. of our rules in the content you have posted.

Earlier this year, blogger Craig Murray appeared in court accused of posting information that could have led readers to identify women who have testified against Mr Salmond.

He denied the allegation. His lawyer, John Scott QC, described Murray as a “beacon of integrity”.

The court will make its decision on whether Mr. Murray violated the contempt order in the near future.

Earlier this month, Rape Crisis also urged Members of the Scottish Parliament not to release information that could identify the women who have testified against Mr Salmond.

Spectator magazine also went to court to try to have the contempt order amended.

Lady Dorrian told Thomson, who watched the virtual hearing from another location, on Thursday that she had 48 hours to get to a police station to be taken to jail.

A spokesperson for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service said: “The Crown has reviewed a number of potential cases of contempt of court arising from the prosecution of Alex Salmond.

“Where measures were warranted, either to protect the accused’s right to a fair trial or the identity of complainants, measures were taken.

“The decision in each case was made after applying the same professional, independent and impartial approach that the Crown takes to all of its decisions.

“When the Crown takes formal action, it is for the court to rule whether contempt of court has occurred and to determine the appropriate response.”

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Home rule

Final Draft Home Rule Charter Released | Local News

The New Castle Home Rule Commission released the final draft of its charter on Wednesday for residents to consider ahead of a May 18 referendum vote.

The seven-member commission has spent the past 15 months researching city government and drafting a new charter to change its fiscal and governmental structure.

Those wishing to view the full charter should go online to bit.ly/3atBITA.

Board members also expect to print hard copies.

“The people of New Castle, through this self-reliance charter, envision a form of government that creates an environment of openness, empathy, participation, collaboration, integrity, consistency, fairness, d ‘efficiency and accountability’, states the charter. “It is the intention of this autonomy charter to provide for prudent and pragmatic practices in the attitude of its governance, in its structure, roles and responsibilities and the way in which it will operate.”

If the 37-page charter is passed, the city would have the ability to raise and lower labor income taxes to recover revenue that will be lost when Bill 47 is released in August 2024. such as social security benefits, pensions and annuities would not be taxed, but salaries, wages and tips would be. Under Third Class City Code – which the city currently follows – the city only has the ability to raise and lower property taxes.

Previously, the city’s Bill 47 coordinators have expressed a belief that the city will go into receivership after leaving Bill 47 if a charter is not passed. In receivership, the state appoints a receiver to write a recovery plan, which outlines the steps to create financial solvency by any means necessary, without input from local government officials.

Regarding the adjustment of the government structure, the members of the commission chose to expand the city council to seven members, to transfer the position of mayor to the council and to hire a city administrator to supervise the daily tasks.

Some of the mayor’s new duties include becoming the head of the council, responding to complaints from city residents, stimulating economic development, and representing the city in intergovernmental frameworks. The mayor would also have a vote in the council.

The council would hire a city administrator on a two-year contract based on education and relevant experience, and could be removed by majority vote. Some of the duties of the position include enforcing ordinances, supervising city staff, submitting an annual budget, and preparing agendas for council meetings.

If the city’s residents voted in favor of adopting the charter, it would come into force in January 2022. A transition period would then begin. A mayor, elected in November 2023, would assume office in January 2024. Two outgoing council members, whose terms began in January 2022, would continue to serve their full terms.

Three board members would then be elected for a four-year term beginning in January 2024. A final board member would be elected for a two-year term beginning in January 2024. All subsequent board members would serve a four-year term. .

The mayor would also serve a four-year term.

[email protected]

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Sovereignty

Congress monitors implementation of European Charter of Local Self-Government by Azerbaijan

A Congress delegation monitored Azerbaijan’s compliance with the European Charter of Local Self-Government from February 23 to 25, 2021.

Two co-rapporteurs on local and regional democracy in Azerbaijan, Bernd Vöhringer, Germany (L, PPE / CCE) and Stewart Dickson, UK (R, GILD) focused on developments since the last follow-up in 2012.

Due to the current health situation, the rapporteurs had online meetings with the national delegation of Azerbaijan to the Congress, the national associations of local and regional authorities, the chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Regional Relations of the Assembly State, the Constitutional Court, the Court of Auditors and the Commissioner for Human Rights of Azerbaijan.

They also met with the Deputy Minister of Justice, the head of the Center for Work with Municipalities, Baku Executive Power and other local authorities.

The resulting report will be examined by the Monitoring Committee.

Azerbaijan ratified the European Charter of Local Self-Government in 2002. The countries which have ratified the Charter are bound by its provisions. The Charter requires the implementation of a minimum set of rights which constitute the fundamental basis of local self-government in Europe. The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe ensures that these principles are respected in the 47 member states of the Council of Europe.

Contact:

Stéphanie POIREL, Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, Secretary of the Monitoring Committee, Tel: +33 (0) 3 90 21 51 84, email: [email protected]

Meetings program

Pictures:

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Sovereignty

Métis Nation of Alberta takes another step towards self-government

EDMONTON – The Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) is taking a further step towards the formation of self-government recognized by the federal government by entering a phase of province-wide consultations for its new constitution.

After signing the Métis Government Recognition and Self-Government Agreement with the federal government in June 2019, the MNA began the process of creating formal self-government recognized by the federal government.

The member is currently consulting Métis citizens on a draft constitution that they believe will modernize their approach to self-government.

“Even though we have been recognized under this accord as a Métis government in Alberta, we know there are things we need to do to achieve greater federal recognition,” said Audrey Poitras, Chair of the MNA, at CTV News Edmonton.

One of those things, Poitras says, is to write a constitution.

“This is something our citizens have been asking for for many, many years.”

Prior to the MGRSA, the MNA created a Constitutional Commission in 2018.

Poitras says the desire for self-determination among the Métis has been around for a long time.

“I can go back, for me, from 30 to 35 years old when I attended annual meetings,” she said. “This has always been the direction given to our leaders… was to do something to get us out of the Societies Act and to develop this constitution so that we can be recognized as the Métis government that we really are. ”

The Commission organized a series of roundtables with members of the MNA Provincial Council, elders, knowledge keepers and community members from each of the six MNA regions.

According to the MNA, self-determination is necessary to ensure that the educational outcomes, employment prospects and personal health of Métis are not inferior to non-Indigenous Canadians.

Once the consultations are complete, the Constitutional Commission will hold a meeting for Métis citizens to consider the final version of the Constitution. If approved, the next step will be a province-wide ratification process.

“We’re at a point where finally we now have recognition,” Poitras said. “We can really now really move forward to talk about achieving this goal.”

The Commission hopes to publish the second draft of its Constitution by early April.

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