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Legal news from Thursday, November 1, 2007
18:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Canada [official website] Thursday affirmed [judgment text] by 5-4 the murder conviction of a British Columbia man in a case widely seen as a test of the right to remain silent guaranteed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms [text]. Jagrup Singh [case materials] [read more]

18:11 EDT

[JURIST] Victims of the 2004 Madrid train bombings [JURIST news archive] expressed outrage Thursday and vowed to appeal after a Spanish court acquitted seven of 28 co-defendants accused of participating in the attacks, including alleged mastermind Rabei Osman Sayed Ahmed [CBC profile]. Three defendants were convicted of murder [JURIST report] [read more]

18:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Florida Supreme Court [official website] issued a unanimous decision [PDF text] Thursday upholding the state's lethal injection procedures and rejecting the assertion that the state's protocol constitutes "cruel and unusual punishment." The US Supreme Court currently has on its docket a case challenging lethal injection as unconstitutional, and [read more]

17:11 EDT

[JURIST] The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) [official website] on Thursday renewed its call for access to detainees still being held in Myanmar after the government's crackdown [JURIST report] last month on opponents of the ruling military junta. In his second statement [text] calling for access to detainees [read more]

16:11 EDT

[JURIST] Bosnian Prime Minister Nikola Spiric [BBC profile] resigned Thursday, reportedly in protest over proposed voting rule reforms for the Bosnian parliament. Miroslav Lajcak [profile], a Slovak diplomat who is the high representative to the Peace Implementation Council [official webiste], introduced [press conference, transcript] the new voting rules Wednesday ostensibly [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] The government of Ireland said Thursday it will introduce new legislation next year recognizing the rights of both same-sex and unmarried heterosexual couples to enter into civil unions, after debate [text] on a motion to restore the Civil Unions Bill 2006 [party backgrounder] stalled in the Irish Parliament [official [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] US President George W. Bush on Thursday defended the refusal of Attorney General nominee Michael Mukasey [WH profile; JURIST news archive] to say that waterboarding [JURIST news archive] is illegal. During a press conference [transcript] Thursday, Bush said:I've submitted a highly competent, smart, independent nominee in Judge Mukasey to [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] The interim government of Bangladesh [JURIST news archive] Thursday announced that its judiciary has formally separated from the executive branch. The interim government completed [JURIST report] all formalities necessary to separate the judiciary in August, meeting a deadline set by the Supreme Court of Bangladesh [official backgrounder] in July. [read more]

14:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] judge presiding over a case challenging the legality of President Pervez Musharraf's re-election bid said Thursday that the court is unlikely to rule in the case until mid-November. The court has previously said it hoped to issue a decision by the end [read more]

14:11 EDT

[JURIST] A London jury Thursday found that the Metropolitan Police violated laws relating to health and public safety [Met press release] when it shot and killed [JURIST report] Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes [advocacy website; BBC profile] in a London Tube station in 2005, believing him to be a suicide [read more]

13:11 EDT

[JURIST] A federal judge Wednesday enjoined [order and memorandum decision, PDF] the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) [official website] from implementing new rules [FR final rule notice, PDF] that would have limited the number of claims that can be included in a patent application and the number of times [read more]

12:11 EDT

[JURIST] Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe [BBC profile] has signed a bill into law that amends the Zimbabwean Constitution [PDF text] to essentially allow Mugabe to pick his successor. A government publication indicated that the bill came into effect on Tuesday. The Zimbabwean Parliament unanimously passed the bill in September following [read more]

11:11 EDT

[JURIST] A Bush administration official Wednesday called the Senate's proposed domestic surveillance bill "generally a strong piece of legislation," but repeated several administration demands, including a provision granting blanket immunity to telecommunications companies from privacy lawsuits related to their participation in the NSA warrantless surveillance program [JURIST news archive], and [read more]

10:11 EDT

[JURIST] The first trial in Zimbabwe involving a white farmer defending his refusal to obey a state-sponsored eviction order was postponed Wednesday until December 17 after prosecutors admitted to the court that they had failed to turn relevant papers and information over to the defendant. The defendant, John Norman Eastwood, [read more]

09:11 EDT

[JURIST] US military lawyers for Canadian Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee Omar Khadr [Trial Watch profile] are preventing Khadr from speaking with Dennis Edney, his Canadian civil lawyer, in advance of a hearing scheduled for next week, Edney told Reuters Wednesday. Edney said the ban came after he had [read more]

09:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] on Thursday sentenced five high-ranking police officers to between 15 days and one month in prison for mistreating Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry [official website; JURIST news archive] when President Musharraf suspended him from duties [JURIST report] on March 9, 2007. A videotape [read more]

07:11 EDT

[JURIST] Not a single condemned prisoner was executed in the United States in the month of October, the first such month in nearly three years, AP reported Wednesday. Across the US, many states have declared a moratorium on lethal injection [JURIST news archive] executions, pending the outcome of a Supreme [read more]

07:11 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee [official website] voted 17-4 Wednesday to send the 1994 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea [UN materials; SFRC hearing materials] to the full US Senate [official website] for ratification. The treaty has been sharply criticized by conservative Republicans who claim [read more]

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