Legal news from Wednesday, July 6, 2005
20:07 EDT

[JURIST] Newly appointed World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz [official profile], the former US deputy defense secretary considered one of the most influential "neo-conservatives" in the Bush administration, said Wednesday in the run-up to the G8 summit [official website] that developed nations as well as developing countries in Africa have a [read more]

19:07 EDT

[JURIST] In an anticipated move Wednesday, Germany, Japan, Brazil and India, also known as the G-4, submitted their UN Security Council [official website] restructuring plan to the UN General Assembly. The resolution proposes changing the current UN Security Council structure [UN profile] by adding six more permanent seats, and delaying [read more]

19:07 EDT

[JURIST] The Mediterranean island of Malta [government website in Maltese] became the latest nation to ratify the proposed EU constitution Wednesday. Despite initial opposition from the country's Labour Party [Wikipedia profile], the Maltese Parliament [official website, English version] approved the draft [text of resolution, in Maltese] with support from Prime [read more]

18:07 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Wednesday's states brief, the New York Court of Appeals ruled [PDF text] today that the prior dismissed charges against four anti-war protesters are to be resealed and not used against the protesters in determining their sentences for later convictions. The state's highest court reversed a lower court decision [read more]

18:07 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Wednesday's corporations and securities law news, communications Nextel is being sued by a distributing affiliate, Nextel Partners, that claims it was not given input into Nextel's impending merger with Sprint [corporate announcement] and wants to go to arbitration. The Washington state-based distributor had previously declared its intention to [read more]

16:07 EDT

[JURIST] New York-based monitoring group Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] Wednesday issued a new report [text] calling for Afghan President Hamid Karzai [Wikipedia profile] to establish a Special Court to try high-level government officials and others [press release] accused of taking part in atrocities committed during Afghanistan's civil war from [read more]

15:07 EDT

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit [press release] against the US government Wednesday on behalf of a US citizen detained by US forces in Iraq since May 17. Cyrus Kar, a 44-year-old filmmaker [Los Angeles Times report], was in Iraq shooting a historical documentary when he was [read more]

15:07 EDT

[JURIST] A federal judge has ordered New York Times reporter Judith Miller to jail for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating the leak of a CIA operative's identity. Bill Keller, executive editor of the Times, called the order a "draconian act." AP has more.4:33 PM ET - Bloomberg [read more]

15:07 EDT

[JURIST] Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) [official website] said Wednesday that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is a "qualified" candidate for the vacancy created on the Supreme Court by the retirement [JURIST report] of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor [OYEZ profile]. Senator Reid also came to the aid of President Bush, [read more]

15:07 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Wednesday's international brief, in a ruling originally expected in June, the Santiago Appeals Court has held that former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet [Wikipedia profile; JURIST news archive] was not entitled to immunity from prosecution for alleged human rights abuses during Operation Colombo. An earlier ruling on Pinochet's immunity [read more]

14:07 EDT

[JURIST] Ukranian lawmakers engaged in a protracted fistfight in parliament [official website in Ukrainian] Wednesday as a debate over legislative reforms required for WTO accession grew ugly in Kiev. Communists sounded sirens as Parliament Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn attempted to call for order after both sides resorted to punches. Ukrainian President [read more]

14:07 EDT

[JURIST] AP is reporting that TIME magazine reporter Matthew Cooper has agreed to comply with government demands to testify before a grand jury [JURIST report] investigating the identity leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame [Wikipedia profile]. TIME previously turned over Cooper's notes [JURIST report]. Cooper told the judge presiding in [read more]

13:07 EDT

[JURIST] A Spanish court Wednesday blocked the marriage of a Spanish man to his Indian partner because India bans same-sex unions. The ruling by a judge of the Supreme Court of Justice of Catalonia is the first snag on Spain's recently passed same-sex marriage law [JURIST report], only the third [read more]

13:07 EDT

[JURIST] President Bush Wednesday named former Senator Fred Thompson (R-TN) [official profile] as an "informal adviser" to help guide his future Supreme Court nomination through the Senate. Thompson, perhaps better known for his acting career [Internet Movie Database entry], was elected to serve the remainder of Al Gore's term in [read more]

13:07 EDT

[JURIST] L. Patrick Gray [Wikipedia profile; FBI profile], a Nixon loyalist and acting FBI director during the Watergate investigation who ended up resigning after he admitted destroying relevant documents, died Wednesday in Atlantic Beach, Florida, at 88. Gray said in a June television interview that he felt betrayed [Washington Post [read more]

11:07 EDT

[JURIST] Sudan's National Assembly on Wednesday unanimously approved a new constitution [May 5 draft version, PDF] that moves the country away from pure Islamic rule. It provides that Islamic law will not be applied in largely Christian areas, generally in the south of the country, and removes a requirement that [read more]

11:07 EDT

[JURIST] A federal court in Boston will hear arguments Friday in the case of twelve members of the armed forces [JURIST report] who are challenging the military's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy [Wikipedia backgrounder; SLDN timeline, PDF] that requires them to keep their sexual orientation a secret or face discharge. [read more]

10:07 EDT

[JURIST] Jordanian lawyer Ziad Khasawneh [Atlantic profile], the head of the Committee for Defending Saddam Hussein, announced Wednesday that he is quitting the group, turning full control of the former Iraqi president's defense over to a team led by maverick former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark [JURIST report; Wikipedia profile], [read more]

10:07 EDT

[JURIST] The trial of 24 people accused by Spanish authorities of aiding the 9/11 attack on the United States concluded Tuesday after 10 weeks of testimony and evidence. The defendants include Immad Yarkas [JURIST report], the alleged head of an al-Qaeda cell in Spain. Prosecutors are seeking [JURIST report] over [read more]

10:07 EDT

[JURIST] The UN Security Council agreed Tuesday to turn over more documents to the Independent Inquiry Committee [official website] investigating the oil-for-food scandal [JURIST news archive]. The Council will turn over notes from a meeting about the program taken by a junior UN staffer . Secretary-General Kofi Annan originally announced [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] Eleven militants in Indonesian custody have been declared terror suspects and police believe two of them may be involved in the September 2004 bombing of Australia's embassy in Jakarta [BBC report; JURIST report] which killed 11 people. The remaining nine will be tried for violations of Law No. 15 [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] President Bush on Wednesday said "litmus tests" on sensitive issues will not be a part of his search for a nominee to the Supreme Court, while still giving no names or timetable other than reinforcing his plan to have the vacancy filled by the Court's new term in October. [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] The European Parliament [official website] voted 648-14 on Wednesday to toss a draft law [PDF proposal text] that would have protected inventions combining software and machinery. Opponents of the proposed law [EU FAQ] feared [JURIST report] that would have stifled small businesses and protected large ones by creating patent [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] A new US Department of Defense plan for defending the US from terrorist attacks, quietly approved last month [official press release], has raised questions about the level of involvement by the US military on its own soil. The plan, titled Strategy for Homeland Defense and Civil Support [PDF full [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] The forgery trial of Egyptian presidential candidate and prominent al-Ghad party opposition leader Ayman Nour [Wikipedia profile] was delayed Wednesday after a witness recanted his testimony in court. Ayman Hassan said security agents threatened to hurt his nieces if he didn't implicate Nour, who has maintained his innocence on [read more]

08:07 EDT

[JURIST] A Moroccan court Tuesday sentenced two men, Taoufik Hanouichi and Mohcine Bouarfa, to death for "murder in connection with a terrorist group." The trial included 46 other defendants arrested as part of an effort to dismantle militant Islamic networks following a suicide bombing in Casablanca [BBC report] on May [read more]

08:07 EDT

[JURIST] Under a new, broader definition of terror attacks, the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) [executive order establishing NCTC] announced Tuesday there were 3,192 such attacks worldwide in 2004 resulting in 28,433 people killed, wounded or kidnapped. Under the old definition, the center had reported in April [press briefing transcript; NCTC [read more]

07:07 EDT

[JURIST] In an effort to reduce growing criminal legal aid expenses, the UK government laid before Parliament Tuesday a new strategy [DCA policy paper, PDF] to require law firms to compete with each other on price for bulk contracts with the Legal Services Commission [official website] to represent defendants in [read more]

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