Legal news from Friday, September 30, 2005
16:09 EDT

[JURIST] Spain's conservative Popular Party [official website in Spanish] Friday filed a constitutional challenge against a law passed earlier this year which legalizes gay marriage [JURIST report] and allows homosexual couples to adopt children. The party filed the case in Spain's Constitutional Court [official website in Spanish], saying that the [read more]

16:09 EDT

[JURIST] Attorneys for former WorldCom [MCI/WorldCom website] CEO Bernard Ebbers [JURIST news archive] have filed a brief urging the US Second Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn fraud and conspiracy convictions against Ebbers [JURIST report] saying his trial earlier this year was "fundamentally flawed," and arguing that his 25-year prison [read more]

15:09 EDT

[JURIST] Amnesty International [advocacy website] and Russia's Memorial Human Rights Center [advocacy website, English version] Friday accused Russian authorities of arbitrary and prolonged detentions of civilians, torture, and forced confessions [AI press release]. Amnesty International has released a new report [PDF] claiming that Russia is utilizing its own "war on [read more]

14:09 EDT

[JURIST] Joseph Serugendo, the former technical director of a Rwandan radio station that promoted the 1994 Rwandan genocide [BBC backgrounder], pleaded not guilty Friday to five counts [indictment, PDF] of genocide and crimes against humanity at the UN-backed International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda [official website]. ICTR prosecutors allege that Serugendo [read more]

14:09 EDT

[JURIST] US Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings [official profile] has announced that No Child Left Behind [official website] yearly academic accountability standards will be eased for schools affected by Hurricane Katrina [JURIST news archive] and Hurricane Rita. Spellings said that schools in the five "major disaster" states - Louisiana, Texas, [read more]

13:09 EDT

[JURIST] A US music industry trade group has filed another 750 lawsuits [RIAA press release] against individuals who allegedly used on-line file sharing networks to trade copyrighted songs illegally. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) [official website], representing labels such as Vivendi Universal [corporate website] and Sony/BMG [corporate website], [read more]

13:09 EDT

[JURIST] The Hong Kong government [official website] Friday appealed a high court ruling [decision text, in English] last month that said a criminal law preventing consenting males under the age of 21 from having sex was a violation of human rights [JURIST report]. The criminal law allowed lesbians and heterosexuals [read more]

13:09 EDT

[JURIST] Jack Kevorkian [BBC profile] has said that he would not assist people in committing suicide if released on parole, but said that he would campaign to legalize assisted suicide. The former doctor is serving 10-25 years in prison on a second-degree murder conviction for giving a patient with Lou [read more]

12:09 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Friday's states brief, as Connecticut becomes the second state to offer same-sex couples civil unions [JURIST report] October 1, town clerks are saying they are ready, but some employers may not be prepared. While only a few town clerks offices plan to be open tomorrow and there is [read more]

11:09 EDT

[JURIST] The Osaka High Court ruled on Friday that visits by Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi [official website, English version] to a Shinto shrine for war dead [official website, English] violate Japan's constitutional provisions for separation of church and state. The visits are also controversial because China and South Korea [read more]

11:09 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Friday's international brief, the South Sudan legislature has been inaugurated, marking a key step in the development of a functioning government for the now autonomous southern region of Sudan. In accordance with the January 9 Comprehensive Peace Agreements [JURIST report], South Sudan will create an independent government that [read more]

10:09 EDT

[JURIST] Algeria's proposed Charter for Peace and National Reconciliation [AP key points] was approved by over 97 percent of the vote in Thursday's referendum [JURIST report] as part of an effort to end a 13-year civil war in the country [CIA Factbook backgrounder]. Nationwide voter turnout topped 80 percent, but [read more]

10:09 EDT

[JURIST] Milan Prosecutor Armando Spataro announced Friday the approval of three new arrest warrants in connection for purported CIA operatives with the kidnapping of a radical Muslim in 2003 [Washington Post report] in Milan. A total of 22 purported CIA operatives are now sought by Italian police. Italy may request [read more]

10:09 EDT

[JURIST] Sen. John Warner (R-VA) [official website], chairman of the US Senate Armed Forces Committee, said Thursday that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld [official profile] has promised to give "immediate consideration" to concerns about the increased detentions [JURIST report] and accidental shootings of journalists covering the conflict in Iraq. Representatives [read more]

10:09 EDT

[JURIST] US Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) [official website, JURIST news archive] was ordered on Thursday to appear in a Texas court on October 21 for his initial appearance in connection with charges that he violated Texas election law [JURIST report]. DeLay is accused [indictment text, PDF] of conspiring to use [read more]

09:09 EDT

[JURIST] US military officials said Thursday in testimony before the US Senate Armed Services Committee that they are confident that Iraq will vote to approve the draft constitution [English translation; JURIST news archive] in the upcoming October 15 referendum, but warned that approval is "critically important" to avoid a descent [read more]

08:09 EDT

[JURIST] US Army Reserve Colonel Janis Karpinski [JURIST news archive], former US commander of Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison [JURIST news archive], said Friday that the US military has done little to ensure that abuses first exposed by the Abu Ghraib photos are not continuing in US-run facilities in Iraq, Afghanistan [read more]

08:09 EDT

[JURIST] Government officials in the United Kingdom are rethinking plans to enact a new law [JURIST report; draft text, PDF] that would criminalize the act of "glorifying terrorism." In an interview [recorded audio] Thursday with BBC's Today program, Prime Minister Tony Blair noted that because the proposed law needed to [read more]

07:09 EDT

[JURIST] The International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] will soon issue arrest warrants for leaders of the Uganda rebel group Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) [BBC backgrounder], according to statements from a UN official Thursday. The LRA leaders, who have taken refuge in Congo, have been accused of raping and maiming [read more]

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