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Legal News
19 Apr 2007
by Robert DeVries

[JURIST] The state of Washington emerged as another opponent to the REAL ID act Thursday, with Governor Chris Gregoire [official profile] signing state legislation [PDF] rejecting the controversial federal law. Washington is now the fifth state to pass such a measure, joining Maine [JURIST report], Arkansas, Idaho, and Montana. Montana's … [read more]


Legal News
12 Apr 2007
by Robert DeVries

[JURIST] A special panel of the Japanese House of Representatives [official website] Thursday approved a bill authorizing a national referendum on revisions to the country's pacifist constitution [text]. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe [official website; BBC profile] initiated the bill [JURIST report], hoping it would become law before the current … [read more]


Legal News
5 Apr 2007
by Robert DeVries

[JURIST] Kosovo's parliament voted 100-1 Thursday in support of a UN plan to establish an independent Kosovar state under UN supervision. The plan was drafted by UN envoy Martti Ahtisaari [advocacy profile], who believes independence from Serbia with international supervision "the only viable option" for Kosovo.The plan needs the approval … [read more]


Legal News
5 Apr 2007
by Robert DeVries

[JURIST] A Turkish parliamentary committee okayed legislation Thursday that would censor websites seen as insulting to the founder of modern Turkey, Kemal Atatürk [Turkishnews profile]. Legislators debated whether Turkey [JURIST news archive] should also have the right to censor sites that questioned the unity of the Turkish state, or the … [read more]


Legal News
29 Mar 2007
by Robert DeVries

[JURIST] British resident and Iraqi citizen Bisher al-Rawi [Wikipedia profile] is scheduled for release from the military prison at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], according to a statement by UK Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett [official profile] in Parliament Thursday. Held as an enemy combatant at Guantanamo since its opening nearly … [read more]


Legal News
22 Mar 2007
by Robert DeVries

[JURIST] The European Parliament Legal Affairs Committee [official website] Thursday adopted a report on draft legislation [text, PDF; press release] designed to curtail increases in design piracy by imposing criminal penalties on commercial-scale IP infringement. The committee cited alleged links between pirated goods and organized crime to justify penalties which … [read more]


Legal News
22 Mar 2007
by Robert DeVries

[JURIST] Prosecutors filed papers Thursday in federal court recommending a reduced prison sentence for former lobbyist Jack Abramoff [JURIST news archive] for giving "substantial assistance" in another Washington corruption case. The "nature, extent and value" of his cooperation will be revealed in future filings, according to prosecutors. Abramoff was sentenced … [read more]


Legal News
15 Mar 2007
by Robert DeVries

[JURIST] Spain's Chamber of Deputies [official website, in Spanish], the lower house of the Spanish Parliament, approved a gender equality bill Thursday designed to draw more women into politics and corporate life. The bill had previously been approved by Spain's Senate [official website, in Spanish]. The initiative spearheaded by the … [read more]


Legal News
1 Mar 2007
by Robert DeVries

[JURIST] A Florida commission convened to investigate the botched December execution [JURIST report] of Angel Diaz [AI profile] determined Thursday that more oversight is necessary to ensure inmates are properly sedated before execution. Currently Florida uses the chemicals sodium pentothal, pancuronium bromide and potassium chloride [Wikipedia backgrounders], to sedate, paralyze … [read more]


Legal News
22 Feb 2007
by Robert DeVries

[JURIST] Alleged terrorist Jose Padilla [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] is unfit to stand trial, forensic neuropsychiatrist Dr. Angela Hegarty testified at a court ordered competency hearing Thursday. Hegarty testified that she determined from 22 hours of interviews and tests with him that Padilla is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder … [read more]


Legal News
15 Feb 2007
by Robert DeVries

[JURIST] Chief of the Russian Military General Staff Yuri Baluyevsky [official profile] told Russian media Thursday that Russia might unilaterally opt out of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty (INF) [text; US State Dept. backgrounder] if the US continues efforts to establish missile defense systems in Central Europe. Baluyevsky has … [read more]


Legal News
15 Feb 2007
by Robert DeVries

[JURIST] The judiciary committee of the Montana Senate [official website] endorsed a bill [PDF text] Thursday that would abolish the death penalty [JURIST news archive]. By an 8-4 margin, the committee voted [hearing minutes, recorded audio] to send the SB 306 to the full state senate for consideration. Similar legislation … [read more]


Legal News
8 Feb 2007
by Robert DeVries

[JURIST] Former Baathist military operations officer Rashid Hussein Mohammed claimed during his genocide trial before the Iraqi High Tribunal [official website] Thursday that he was just defending his country against Iran during the Anfal campaign [JURIST news archive] of the late 1980s, and called for US military commanders to be … [read more]


Legal News
8 Feb 2007
by Robert DeVries

[JURIST] Lawyers for the three recently re-charged Guantanamo detainees [JURIST report] renewed their condemnation of new military commission rules [manual, PDF; JURIST report] Thursday, telling the Associated Press that the tight deadlines established by the rules will prevent extended investigation into the reliability of the evidence brought against their clients. … [read more]


Legal News
1 Feb 2007
by Robert DeVries

[JURIST] US Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald [official profile] played portions of White House briefing room videos Thursday as the trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby [defense website; JURIST news archive] continued. Fitzgerald said the tapes show Libby's eagerness to publicly conceal conversations he had with reporters about CIA official Valerie … [read more]


Legal News
1 Feb 2007
by Robert DeVries

[JURIST] Morocco will become the first Arab country to eliminate the death penalty [JURIST news archive], a state representative confirmed on Thursday. President of the Consultative Committee on Human Rights, Ben Dhikri, made the comments in the run-up to this week's 3rd World Congress Against the Death Penalty [official website] … [read more]


Legal News
25 Jan 2007
by Robert DeVries

[JURIST] Bangladesh Attorney General [official website] AJ Mohammad Ali stepped down from his post Wednesday in what is believed to be a response to demands for his resignation from a left-leaning 14-party coalition led by the Awami League (AL) [party website]. The AL accuses Ali of instituting policies for a … [read more]


Legal News
25 Jan 2007
by Robert DeVries

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] urged Senegal to accelerate the process of bringing former Chadian dictator Hissene Habre [HRW materials; JURIST news archive] to justice in a briefing paper [HRW backgrounder] released Thursday. Following a recommendation [JURIST report] from the July 2006 African Union assembly [official website], Senegalese … [read more]


Legal News
20 Jan 2007
by Robert DeVries

[JURIST] Thousands of Peruvians took to the streets of Lima Friday, marching and waving pictures of lost loved ones in support of a proposal to legalize the death penalty for members of the Shining Path [BBC bakgrounder] rebel group. In response to a vote last week by the Peruvian Congress … [read more]


Legal News
20 Jan 2007
by Robert DeVries

[JURIST] Mexico extradited drug kingpins Osiel Cardenas [DEA backgrounder] and Hector "El Guero" Palma and thirteen other major traffickers to the United States Friday as part of an effort by new Mexican president Felipe Calderon [official website] to follow through on a promise made by former President Vincente Fox [BBC … [read more]


Legal News
18 Jan 2007
by Robert DeVries

[JURIST] More than a hundred officials of Saddam Hussein's regime have been charged for their roles in quelling the Shiite uprising [HRW report] following the 1990-91 Gulf War that resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of Shiites, according to Iraqi High Tribunal prosecutor Jaafar al-Moussawi [JURIST news archive]. … [read more]


Legal News
18 Jan 2007
by Robert DeVries

[JURIST] The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) [official website] ruled [text] Thursday that two Chechen brothers were tortured by the Russian military during their 6-month detention in 2000 and awarded each brother €35,000 ($57,665) compensation. Adam and Arbi Chitayev, captured by Russian forces in April of 2000 and held … [read more]


Legal News
23 Dec 2006
by Robert DeVries

[JURIST] Several Iraqi citizens sued a leading European bank and Australia's wheat exporting agency in New York federal court Friday for corporate misconduct facilitating the corruption of the Iraq Oil-for-Food program [JURIST news archive] which bilked Iraqis out of humanitarian aid while simultaneously enriching the Saddam Hussein regime. French bank … [read more]


Legal News
23 Dec 2006
by Robert DeVries

[JURIST] Sixteen Saudis and a Bangladeshi man [DOD press releases] repatriated from Guantanamo Bay earlier this week to their home countries are being detained by their governments. Saudi Arabian authorities say they are holding their nationals in order to investigate whether they have ties to terrorist groups [AP report]. Meanwhile … [read more]


Legal News
23 Dec 2006
by Robert DeVries

[JURIST] Three Texas landlords filed a lawsuit Friday challenging the constitutionality of strict measures against illegal immigrants passed last month in their Dallas suburb [JURIST report; Dallas Morning News report]. The defendants in the federal court action are the city of Farmers Branch [official website] and key members of the … [read more]

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