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Legal news from Wednesday, November 12, 2008
16:11 EDT

[JURIST] The government of Bangladesh on Wednesday reinstated a state of emergency banning political demonstrations in the country for two weeks. The ban had recently been lifted after being imposed [JURIST report] in 2007, but was reissued in response to violent protests [BDNews24 report] coordinated by the Jamaat-e-Islami party [party [read more]

16:11 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] heard oral arguments [day call, PDF] Wednesday in two cases. In Pleasant Grove City, UT v. Summum [oral arguments transcript, PDF; merit briefs], the Court considered whether privately donated monuments displayed in public parks qualify as private speech under the [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] Former Fijian prime minister Laisenia Qarase [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] said Wednesday that he will seek an appeal of an October decision by the Fijian High Court dismissing his challenge [JURIST report] to the country's 2006 coup. In its decision [text, PDF], the High Court held that Fijian [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Uruguayan Senate [official website, in Spanish] passed a bill [press release, in Spanish] Tuesday that partially decriminalizes abortion [JURIST news archive], but it is unlikely the bill has the support needed to override a veto promised by Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez [BBC profile]. According to the draft law, [read more]

13:11 EDT

[JURIST] The German ambassador to Rwanda was given 24 hours on Tuesday to leave the country in response to Sunday's arrest of a Rwandan presidential aide in Germany [JURIST report] in connection with the 1994 assassination of then-president Juvenal Habyarima [NYT report] that touched off the infamous Rwanda genocide [HRW [read more]

13:11 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] ruled [opinion, PDF] 6-3 Wednesday in Winter v. National Resources Defense Council [Cornell LII backgrounder; JURIST report] that the US Navy may continue using sonar as part of military training exercises, despite environmentalists' concerns for the impact this has on [read more]

13:11 EDT

[JURIST] Bolivian officials on Tuesday formally requested that the US issue extradition orders for former Bolivian president Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada [official profile, in Spanish; TrialWatch profile] to face genocide charges for his role in October 2003 riots [Amnesty International backgrounder] over corporate exploitation of the country's natural gas resources [read more]

11:11 EDT

[JURIST] US Army Sgt. Michael Leahy Jr. will face a court-martial for his alleged role in the killings of four Iraqis in April 2007 [NY Times report], after waiving his right to an Article 32 hearing [JAG backgrounder] Wednesday. In September, Leahy, Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Mayo, and Sgt. John [read more]

10:11 EDT

[JURIST] UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay [official profile] on Tuesday urged [press release] Afghan President Hamad Karzai [official website; BBC profile] to put a stop to executions and join nations calling for a death penalty moratorium. The call came after five prisoners were executed over the last [read more]

10:11 EDT

[JURIST] Two former Bangladeshi cabinet members, including a former interior minister, were released on bail Tuesday, after being arrested in 2007 [JURIST report] for alleged involvement in a corruption scandal. The two, Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain and Altaf Hossain Choudhury, were released after the Bangladesh Supreme Court [official website] refused to [read more]

10:11 EDT

[JURIST] Russian State Duma [official website, in Russian] officials said Wednesday they would expedite consideration of constitutional amendments submitted [press release] by President Dmitry Medvedev [official profile; JURIST news archive] that would extend presidential and parliamentary terms. The Duma's constitutional committee has recommended that the three required readings of the [read more]

09:11 EDT

[JURIST] The South Korean government Tuesday established a committee of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea (NHRCK) [official website] to investigate alleged human rights abuses in North Korea. The formation of the new committee is expected to become a source of tension between the two countries. The human rights [read more]

00:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health (MOH) [official website] announced [MOH news release] Tuesday that it has renewed claims and is seeking greater damages against 13 local cigarette importers in an effort to "curb the spreading of some serious health problems caused by cigarette smoking." The lawsuit, filed by [read more]

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