Legal news from Wednesday, May 11, 2005
14:05 EDT

[JURIST] A US Army sergeant from Georgia faces a court martial [JURIST report] Thursday at Fort Stewart on charges of refusing to obey his redeployment order [JURIST report] and serve in Iraq after his first eight-month tour. The Army rejected a request by Sgt. Kevin Benderman [defense website] for conscientious [read more]

14:05 EDT

[JURIST] Spc.Sabrina Harman [Wikipedia profile], 27, will become the latest soldier in the Abu Ghraib scandal to stand trial in military court when she appears Thursday before a Fort Hood judge on charges of mistreating detainees in the military prison. A pretrial hearing was held Wednesday [Reuters report] to determine [read more]

13:05 EDT

[JURIST] Musa Hilal, suspected leader of the Janjaweed militia [backgrounder] active in the Darfur, said Wednesday that he would stand trial in Sudan rather than face trial outside the country. Hilal, who has consistently denied involvement [BBC News report] in alleged Darfur atrocities, nonetheless insisted if there was any indication [read more]

13:05 EDT

[JURIST] Kuwaiti prosecutors announced Wednesday that they will shortly be handing over to the Iraqi Special Tribunal [governing statute] a list of crimes committed by Saddam Hussein, whose forces invaded and occupied the country in 1990-1, precipitating the Gulf War. Kuwaiti news agency KUNA [official website, in Arabic] says the [read more]

12:05 EDT

[JURIST] Hate crimes and civil rights violations against Muslims in the United States have reached their highest point since right after September 11, according to a report released Wednesday by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) [advocacy website]. As reasons for the recent surge [2005 CAIR press release] the report [read more]

11:05 EDT

[JURIST] The International Labor Organization [official website] said Wednesday that some 12.3 million people worldwide are enslaved. The figure was publicized in a new ILO study [PDF text; ILO press release] of forced labor and modern slavery across the globe. The study says 2.4 million people, mostly women and children, [read more]

11:05 EDT

[JURIST] Senators and others critical of the sweeping powers granted to law enforcement autorities under the USA Patriot Act [PDF text] testified Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee on behalf of a proposed SAFE Act [PDF text] to limit those powers, in particular by requiring government officials to inform suspects [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] British Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer [official profile] Wednesday proposed a plan to cut the length of criminal trials and reduce the costs of legal aid [Legal Services backgrounder], which have risen by a third since the Labor Party took power in 1997. Under Falconer's proposal, lawyers will have to [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] Riots erupted across Afghanistan Wednesday in response to a recent report by Newsweek magazine that in an effort to infuriate Muslim prisoners US troops at Guantanamo Bay had desecrated the Koran by placing copies on toilets and in one case had even flushed a copy down a latrine. Insulting [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] A federal judge Tuesday threatened to take over the California prison health care system [backgrounder], citing "terrible" medical care that prisoners receive. Judge Thelton E. Henderson [profile] cited complaints about bad doctors, wretched facilities, and irresponsible management of HIV patients, all of which are said to have led to [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] A US bankruptcy judge ruled Tuesday that United Airlines [corporate website] may sever its employees' pension plans, precipitating the largest corporate-pension default in US history. The ruling by Judge Eugene Wedoff [official profile] means that United employees will now receive their pensions through Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) [corporate [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] New York-based monitoring group Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] issued a report Wednesday criticizing the US and other governments in the West and Middle East for sending Islamist detainees to Egypt, a country infamous for torture [JURIST report]. The report, entitled Black Hole: The Fate of Islamists Rendered to [read more]

08:05 EDT

[JURIST] Egypt's lower house of Parliament overwhelmingly passed an amendment to the Egyptian Constitution [text] Tuesday setting regulations for multi-candidate presidential elections [JURIST report]. The upper house had passed the regulations [JURIST report] Sunday, which require candidates to be a member of a political party or receive a minimum of [read more]

08:05 EDT

[JURIST] The Real ID Act [PDF text; UPI backgrounder] passed the US Senate 100-0 late Tuesday as a rider on an $82B emergency supplemental appropriations bill [PDF text] funding military operations and reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan. The controversial act [CNET FAQ], intended to discourage illegal immigration and increase domestic [read more]

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