Legal news from Tuesday, March 18, 2003
21:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Judicial Conference of the United States voted Tuesday to ask Congress to create 11 new court of appeals judgeships and 46 new district court judgeships. Read a press release [PDF] from the Administrative Conference of the US Courts and review an associated release on rising caseloads in the [read more]

21:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Bush administration plan to invade Iraq is contrary to basic rules of the UN Charter requiring exhaustion of peaceful means of maintaining international security and permitting use of force in self-defense only in response to an actual or imminent attack, according to a statement released Tuesday by the [read more]

21:03 EDT

[JURIST] The New-York based Center for Economic and Social Rights released a report Tuesday saying that war against Iraq is "unequivocally illegal under the UN Charter and international law generally." The U.S. and U.K. now seek to justify war on the grounds that Iraq intends to acquire and use weapons [read more]

20:03 EDT

[JURIST] UN chief weapons inspector Dr. Hans Blix spoke to the media at the United Nations Tuesday afternoon. UN News Service reports:"I don't think it is reasonable to close the door to inspections after three and a half months," Mr. Blix, Executive Chairman of the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection [read more]

19:03 EDT

[JURIST] After an eight-hour debate, British Prime Minister Tony Blair won a House of Commons vote to support military action in Iraq by a margin of 412-149, with an unfriendly amendment failing by 396-217. The amendment was supported by 139 MPs from Blair's own Labour Party [party website], making it [read more]

16:03 EDT

[JURIST] Watch recorded video from the UN of comments Tuesday by ambassadors from Security Council members Germany and Angola looking ahead to Wednesday's Security Council session on Iraq, at which the Council will receive the latest reports on weapons inspections. Given developments Monday, the ambassadors were unsure whether all member [read more]

15:03 EDT

[JURIST] Tuesday's Los Angeles Times notes that American international law scholars are divided on whether military action against Iraq would be legal:Many experts in international law question the legal basis for war, since the United Nations did not authorize the use of force to oust Saddam Hussein, either in 1990 [read more]

15:03 EDT

[JURIST] Eric Muller [Is That Legal? blog] at the University of North Carolina School of Law is concerned about the temporary detention of asylum seekers [Is That Legal? post] from countries with known terrorist ties announced by Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge as part of Operation Liberty Shield, the domestic [read more]

14:03 EDT

[JURIST] A United Nations spokesman said Tuesday afternoon that the last UN personnel had left Baghdad: The spokesman said the last plane evacuating the more than 300 international staff in Iraq had already taken off from Baghdad for Larnaca, Cyprus. Secretary-General Kofi Annan yesterday ordered the withdrawal of all UN [read more]

14:03 EDT

[JURIST] UK Prime Minister Tony Blair's opening statement in Tuesday's House of Commons debate on military action against Iraq is now online in recorded video from 10 Downing Street. On the legality of military intervention, the Prime Minister said: "I have never put our justification for action as regime change. [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] A third Senate cloture vote to limit debate on the filibustered nomination of Miguel Estrada to the US DC Circuit Court of Appeals failed Tuesday by a margin of 55-45 [roll call vote], according to the Senate website. UPDATE [7:37 PM ET]: Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Democrat Senator Patrick [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] Speaking Tuesday to the German people in a televised address, Chancellor Gerhardt Schroeder expressed his opposition to President Bush's policy on war against Iraq: Does the extent of the threat that emanates from the Iraqi dictator justify the use of war, something that will bring certain death to thousands [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Geneva-based International Commission of Jurists [advocacy website] said Tuesday it was "deeply dismayed" that "a small number of states are poised to launch an outright illegal invasion of Iraq, which amounts to a war of aggression.":The United States, the United Kingdom and Spain have signalled their intent to [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] The UN has announced that it has reached a draft agreement with the government of Cambodia under which persons can be prosecuted under Cambodian law for crimes committed during the period of Democratic Kampuchea. Speaking in Phnom Penh, UN Legal Counsel and head of the UN delegation Hans Corell [read more]

12:03 EDT

[JURIST] A lawyer in India e-mails JURIST's Paper Chase: Are we on the eve of a war? Is it too late for taking a chance with peace? America is not wrong. Iraq is not right. But is it something that concerns only these two countries? What can international law and [read more]

10:03 EDT

[JURIST] University of Virginia law professor Kim Forde-Mazrui [faculty profile] will speak at Georgetown University Law Center's Colloquium on Constitutional Law and Theory April 14. His paper Taking the Right Seriously: A Conservative Justification for Affirmative Action and Reparations [PDF] is now available online from Georgetown. [read more]

09:03 EDT

[JURIST] US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia spoke Monday at the University of Toledo School of Law [official website]. The Toledo Blade reports... The Tuesday edition of the Harvard Crimson says that with the Harvard Law School [official website] dean search underway, the time is right for the University and [read more]

09:03 EDT

[JURIST] French President Jacques Chirac issued a statement Tuesday in Paris assailing the "unilateral decision to go to war" and saying that President Bush's ultimatum to Iraq is "calling into question our idea of international relations". Chirac concludes: Iraq does not today present an immediate threat warranting an immediate war. [read more]

09:03 EDT

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has issued a press release announcing that "the Milosevic trial will not sit today, Tuesday 18 March, 2003 due to the ill health of the accused".UPDATE [12:40 PM ET]: The ICTY press office now has announced [ICTY press release] that the [read more]

08:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Australian newspaper Tuesday carries a column by 21 law professors and lawyers asserting the legality of an attack on Iraq: Much of the present debate on Iraq is premised on the assumption...that the Security Council has not already endorsed the use of force. An opposite and plausible case [read more]

08:03 EDT

[JURIST] Sanford Levinson [faculty profile] of the University of Texas School of Law will be speaking on law and torture at UT Law's Faculty Colloquium series this Friday. His paper 'Precommitment' and 'Post-Commitment': The Ban on Torture in the Wake of September 11 [DOC] is now available online. [read more]

08:03 EDT

[JURIST] Devika Hovell and George Williams of Australia's University of New South Wales Faculty of Law say that the legal justification for war against Iraq proffered early Tuesday by the government of Australian Prime Minister John Howard is weak. Read their op-ed in Wednesday's Sydney Morning Herald. [read more]

08:03 EDT

[JURIST] Matthew Heppold of the University of Nottingham School of Law says that the UK Attorney General's legal defense of the use of force against Iraq - previously reported in JURIST's Paper Chase - is a "weak case". According to Lord Goldsmith, authority to use force exists by virtue of [read more]

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