Legal news from Sunday, June 5, 2005
16:06 EDT

[JURIST] US Senator Joseph Biden [official website] said Sunday on ABC-TV's This Week that the US should begin efforts to close down the military prison camp in Guantanamo Bay. Biden, head Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee [official website], also suggested that an independent commission should review the prison [read more]

16:06 EDT

[JURIST] Two women have been appointed for the first time to Kuwait's municipal council, according to an official source on Sunday. Kuwait news agency Kuna [official website in Arabic] reports that one of the women is a member of the ruling family - Shaikha Fatima al-Sabah, an architect and an [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] In a landmark ruling, the US Ninth Circuit Cout of Appeals held Friday that a family unit can be "a protected social group" under federal asylum law. The court supported the refugee claim of a South African family [opinion, PDF] persecuted for a relative's racist and abusive treatment against [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] Gay couples in Switzerland can register their partnerships after 58% of Swiss voters Sunday said "yes" in a referendum [JA campaign website in German, French and Italian], bringing to fruition a victory predicted by a Friday opinion poll [JURIST report]. The partnership law was up for popular approval at [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] In response to ongoing reports of prisoner abuse at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] and Abu Ghraib prisons [JURIST news archive], the US Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] chaired by Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) [official website] will hold hearings on the matter next month. Committee sources say that witnesses [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Iraqi government announced Sunday that former dictator Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] will face 12 charges at trial. Iraqi government spokesman Laith Kuba told reporters in a press conference that Hussein could have faced nearly 500 charges, but prosecuting him on all charges would be a “waste of [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] French President Jacques Chirac [Wikipedia profile] and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder [BBC profile] agreed Saturday that ratification votes on the EU Constitution [official website] must go on, despite last week's devastating rejections of the charter in France [JURIST report] and the Netherlands [JURIST report]. Many political analysts question whether [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] AP is reporting that Switzerland voters approved a referendum Sunday [JURIST report] that will make the nation part of the EU passport-free zone established under the 1985 Schengen Treaty [German Foreign Ministry backgrounder]. [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] A UN spokesman has condemned the Zimbabwe government's mass evictions and arrests [JURIST report] of nearly 200,000 citizens living and trading in street dwellings as "gross human rights violations" and urged an end to the actions. In a statement [text], UN special rapporteur on the right to adequate housing [read more]

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