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Legal news from Wednesday, November 28, 2007
19:11 EDT

[JURIST] Human rights groups have expressed concerns about repression and rights violations in the run-up to Russian parliamentary elections scheduled for Sunday. Amnesty International (AI), [advocacy website] alleged Wednesday that the Russian government has interfered with opposition parties' rights of freedom of expression and free assembly [AI press release]. It [read more]

18:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Japanese House of Councillors [official website] passed a bill Wednesday to end Japan's air force mission in Iraq, with opposition leaders insisting that Japan should work through the United Nations rather than the United States. Japan withdrew its ground troops from Iraq last July, but a Japanese unit [read more]

18:11 EDT

[JURIST] A military court established in the Gaza Strip [BBC backgrounder] by the Palestinian militant group Hamas [JURIST archive; BBC backgrounder] handed down its first ruling on Wednesday, sentencing three members of rival party Fatah [JURIST archive; BBC backgrounder] to 18 months in prison and fining them $280. A fourth [read more]

18:11 EDT

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website; JURIST news archive] ruled Wednesday that former Croatian general Ante Gotovina [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] must remain in detention in The Hague until his trial. The court denied Gotovina's motion for release [decision text, PDF] and dismissed [read more]

16:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Iraqi parliament [official website, English version] met briefly Wednesday to continue debate on a controversial bill [JURIST report] that would allow former Baath Party [party website, in Arabic; BBC backgrounder] members not convicted of any crimes to return to their previously held government positions, participate in the political [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website; JURIST news archive] Wednesday reduced the sentences [press release, in French] of three Rwandan media executives imprisoned for their roles in the 1994 Rwandan genocide [BBC backgrounder]. Ferdinand Nahimana and Hassan Ngeze, sentenced to life in prison [JURIST report] in [read more]

14:11 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] heard oral arguments [transcript, PDF] Wednesday in Rowe v. New Hampshire Motor Transport [LII case backgrounder; merit briefs], 06-457, where the Court is considering whether a Maine tobacco transport law is preempted by federal law. In 2003, Maine passed a [read more]

13:11 EDT

[JURIST] The UN Security Council [official website] on Wednesday unanimously approved [press release] the appointment of Serge Brammertz [ICC profile; JURIST news archive] as the new chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website]. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon [official website] nominated Brammertz [JURIST report] [read more]

12:11 EDT

[JURIST] Twelve states filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF; press release] against the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) [official website] Wednesday, seeking to invalidate new regulations that relax disclosure requirements [EPA Toxic Release Inventory materials] for companies storing or emitting 500 or more pounds of toxins. The civil case will be [read more]

11:11 EDT

[JURIST] The last two witnesses for the prosecution in the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia case against former Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj [ICTY backgrounder, PDF; BBC profile] and two other members of the Kosovo Liberation Army [FAS backgrounder] failed to testify on Wednesday citing fears that the [read more]

11:11 EDT

[JURIST] Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf stepped down as head of Pakistan's army Wednesday, the day before he is scheduled to take an oath of office as Pakistan's civilian president. Musharraf's role as army chief complicated his recent bid for re-election as president, with several legal challenges filed against him in [read more]

11:11 EDT

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit on Tuesday upheld [opinion, PDF] a district court's dismissal [order, PDF; JURIST report] of a lawsuit brought by illegal immigrant detainees over their transfer from Massachusetts to Texas holding centers following a March 6 factory raid in which 360 people [read more]

10:11 EDT

[JURIST] The judicial panel of the UK House of Lords, also known as the Law Lords, Wednesday upheld [judgment text] a controversial ban on hunting with hounds under the Hunting Act 2004 [text]. The Lords said that overturning the ban, which prohibits fox and deer hunting and rabbit coursing with [read more]

09:11 EDT

[JURIST] Ousted Pakistani Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry [JURIST news archive] Tuesday urged Pakistan's political parties and people to boycott parliamentary elections scheduled for January 8, saying that they were comprised by being held under unconstitutional emergency rule and should not proceed because Pakistan was in unusual circumstances with the [read more]

09:11 EDT

[JURIST] A Greek appeals court Tuesday dismissed criminal charges against former Getty Museum [museum website] curator Marion True for her alleged involvement in the looting of an ancient gold wreath from Greece. The Los Angeles museum acquired the wreath in 1993, and Greek prosecutors brought charges against True alleging that [read more]

08:11 EDT

[JURIST] Political arrests in China [JURIST news archive] more than doubled in 2006 compared to the previous year, according to a report [press release] Wednesday from human rights group Dui Hua [advocacy website]. The 2007 Chinese Law Yearbook revealed that the state arrested 604 individuals for "endangering state security" in [read more]

07:11 EDT

[JURIST] An Egyptian court sentenced three police officers to seven years in prison late Tuesday for torturing 38-year-old carpenter Nasr Abdullah to death in July. The sentencing is part of the country's recent crackdown on police brutality. Earlier this month, two police officers were sentenced to three years in prison [read more]

07:11 EDT

[JURIST] The appeals chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website] on Tuesday affirmed [PDF text; summary, PDF] the genocide and crime against humanity convictions of former lawmaker and retired colonel Aloys Simba [ICTR case materials; Trial Watch profile]. The appeals chamber also affirmed Simba's 25-year prison [read more]

07:11 EDT

[JURIST] Russian officials said Wednesday that leaders in the country want to replace the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) [text] with a formal, binding agreement with the US that will limit the creation of new nuclear weapons. The treaty, which signaled the end of the Cold War [BBC backgrounder], [read more]

06:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Simon Wiesenthal Center [advocacy website] announced Tuesday that it will extend its campaign to capture and prosecute suspected Nazi war criminals to four South American countries. In a press conference in Buenos Aires, director Efraim Zuroff outlined the details of Operation Last Chance [project website], which will offer [read more]

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