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Russia

A Glimmer Of Democracy In Russia? A Ruling To Favor Open Courts

KOMMERSANT (Russia), REUTERS

MOSCOW - The crackdowns against Kremlin opponents continue. Just this past weekend, police detained four opposition leaders and tried to ban a rally demanding an end to Vladimir Putin's rule, Reuters reports.

Still, last week, a decision that got much less attention could take Russia one important step toward a more open, democratic society. The nation's Supreme Court ruled that courts have to follow a series of laws regarding transparency. Although the specific text of the ruling is not yet available, the Supreme court will mandate who must be allowed in the courtroom, where trials should take place, under what circumstances there can be a closed trial and how transcripts of trials will be released on the Internet, Kommersant reports.

Verdicts in cases found to violate the transparency rules will be voided.



According to Kommersant, this was already codified in law, but routinely ignored by courts around the country. The ruling both aims to allow all citizens to have a transparent trial, as well as to allow journalists as much access as possible to legal proceedings.

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Ideas

A Writer's Advice For How To Read The Words Of Politics

Colombia's reformist president has promised to tackle endemic violence, economic exclusion, pollution and corruption in the country. So what's new with a politician's promises?

Image of Colombian President Gustavo Petro speaking during a press conference in Buenos Aires on Jan 14, 2023

Colombian President Gustavo Petro, speaks during a press conference in the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on January 24, 2023.

Manuel Cortina/ZUMA
Héctor Abad Faciolince

-Essay-

BOGOTÁ — Don't concentrate on his words, I was once advised, but look at what he's doing. I heard the words so long ago I cannot recall who said them. The point is, what's the use of a husband who vows never to beat his wife in January and leaves her with a bruised face in February?

Words are a strange thing, and in literal terms, we must distrust their meaning. As I never hit anyone, I have never declared that I wouldn't. It never occurred to me to say it. Strangely, there is more power and truth in a simple declaration like "I love her" than in the more emphatic "I love her so much." A verbal addition here just shrinks the "sense" of love.

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