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Colombian Constitutional Court approves fast-track mechanism for peace deal

Colombia's Constitutional Court ruled on Dec. 13 that the government can fast-track laws needed to implement the country's peace deal with the FARC rebels, the Senate said in a statement on its website.

The court voted eight to one to approve the fast-track mechanism.

The decision will reduce the approval time for new laws to six months instead of about a year, Senate President Mauricio Lizcano reportedly told journalists, according to Reuters.

The court decided the mechanism does not violate its rules and the court can overturn the new norms if it considers them to be against the spirit of the constitution.

The Senate is now set to activate an amnesty bill by the end of the year, which would protect FARC leaders not involved in war crimes or human rights violations from prosecution, and look to implement other agreements quickly, Lizcano said.

Colombians narrowly voted to reject the original peace deal with the FARC in an October referendum, but since then the Senate and lower house have approved a new version of the deal, which would end 52 years of war.

Colombia's President, Juan Manuel Santos, received the Nobel Peace Prize on Dec. 10 for his persistence in achieving the historic peace deal.