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Legal news from Thursday, November 6, 2008
22:11 EDT

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] that a statute [10 U.S.C. § 2231, text] mandating that five percent of Department of Defense (DOD) [official website] contract spending be awarded to minority companies, is unconstitutional. The opinion, written by Chief Judge Paul [read more]

16:11 EDT

[JURIST] A ballot measure to prohibit holders of government contracts totaling more than $100,000 from contributing to political parties or candidates appeared to win narrow approval from Colorado voters Tuesday, while a similar measure in South Dakota was easily rejected. In Colorado, Initiative 59 [text, PDF] (also called Amendment 54) [read more]

14:11 EDT

[JURIST] An amendment to the Maryland Constitution [text] to permit early voting was among several election-reform ballot measures approved by voters in Maryland and other states Tuesday. Question 1 [text and materials] authorizes the Maryland General Assembly to allow voters to cast ballots outside their election districts or wards, to [read more]

13:11 EDT

[JURIST] Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) [official website] rapporteur Dick Marty [official profile, in French; JURIST news archive] testified Wednesday at the trial of American and Italian intelligence officials for the 2003 abduction and rendition of Egyptian cleric Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr [JURIST news archive], also known [read more]

12:11 EDT

[JURIST] The European Court of Justice (ECJ) [official website; JURIST news archive] Thursday ruled [opinion text] that the European Commission (EC) [official website; JURIST news archive] should not have overturned a Dutch law requiring all new diesel-fueled vehicles to be equipped with a soot filter. The Netherlands wanted to require [read more]

12:11 EDT

[JURIST] Russian president Dmitry Medvedev [official profile; JURIST news archive] Wednesday proposed constitutional amendments extending the presidential term from four to six years, and the term of members of the State Duma [official website, in Russian] from four to five years. The proposed amendments would change Article 81(1) [text] and [read more]

12:11 EDT

[JURIST] Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari [official profile] on Thursday promulgated the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Ordinance [text] which allows certain acts of "cyber terrorism" to be punishable by death. The ordinance covers a variety of cyber crimes, including unauthorized data access, malicious code, unsolicited mass mailings, and fraud. It [read more]

11:11 EDT

[JURIST] Crime victims gained a higher profile in California’s criminal justice system on Tuesday with voter approval of Proposition 9 [text, PDF], also known as the Victims’ Rights Protection Act of 2008. The only winner among three criminal justice initiatives, Proposition 9, championed by Friends of Marsy's Law [advocacy website], [read more]

11:11 EDT

[JURIST] Rights groups filed a writ petition [PDF text; case materials] with the California Supreme Court [official website] on Wednesday seeking to invalidate a state constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage. Proposition 8 [text and materials], which was approved [unofficial results] by about 52 percent of California voters Tuesday, provides that [read more]

10:11 EDT

[JURIST] A collective of Saudi citizens [Google group] began a 48-hour hunger strike Thursday to protest what it called the illegal detention of 11 political reformists and to call for judicial reform. The protesters, who include Saudi lawyers, scholars, and activists, hope to call attention to Saudi legal and criminal [read more]

09:11 EDT

[JURIST] An arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] on charges of genocide in Darfur could “derail” the peace process in Sudan according to a statement by Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Edmond Mulet on Wednesday. Reporting [press release; recorded video] to the UN Security Counsel [read more]

09:11 EDT

[JURIST] Vietnamese Justice Minister Ha Hung Cuong on Monday asked the country's National Assembly [official website] to consider reducing the number of crimes subject to the death penalty. Cuong’s proposal, which would eliminate the death penalty for crimes like bribery and producing counterfeit drugs, comes in response to strong international [read more]

08:11 EDT

[JURIST] Law enforcement officials from Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) Wednesday arrested [press release] Momir Pelemis and Slavko Peric on suspicion that they committed genocide by engaging in the capture and execution of 1700 Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] during July 1995. The Special Department for War [read more]

07:11 EDT

[JURIST] Judge Nancy Atlas of the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas [official website] sentenced former US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) [official website] agent Santiago Perez to one year and one day in prison for civil rights violations Wednesday. Perez pleaded guilty in August to assaulting [read more]

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