Legal news from Thursday, October 6, 2005
20:10 EDT

[JURIST] The UN Special Representative to the Democratic Republic of Congo William Swing [official profile] said in a press conference [press release] Thursday that the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] has issued arrest warrants for five leaders of the Lord's Resistance Army [Wikipedia backgrounder], a Ugandan cult infamous for [read more]

20:10 EDT

[JURIST] In Thursday's environmental law news, the China State Council [official information website] has issued a set of regulations regarding the safety, handling and reporting procedures for radioactive isotope and radiation devices. The procedures [China EPA nuclear regulations] govern both local and national responses for any "radiation-related accidents", and include [read more]

19:10 EDT

[JURIST] Democratic senators Thursday urged [press release] US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile] to open a criminal investigation into the Armstrong Williams education scandal [JURIST report]. The controversy stems from an agreement between the Bush administration and conservative commentator Armstrong Williams [Wikipedia profile] under which Williams agreed to promote [read more]

19:10 EDT

In a letter [PDF text] sent Thursday to opposition colleagues, UK Home Secretary Charles Clarke [official profile] amended a three-week old proposal [PDF text] to criminalize a broad range of activities that could be interpreted as “glorifying” terrorism. The proposal was intended as an addition to an official draft of [read more]

17:10 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Thursday's states brief, the Michigan Senate [official website] voted to approve two resolutions today that would prevent taxpayer money from being spent on same-sex benefits until the state Supreme Court decides whether a lower court ruling allowing public universities and the government to provide same-sex benefits was correct. [read more]

15:10 EDT

[JURIST] The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts [official website], heard oral arguments Thursday on the issue of whether same-sex couples from out-of-state can marry in Massachusetts, the first state to legalize same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive]. The court is deciding whether a 1913 law [text], which prohibits out-of-state couples from [read more]

15:10 EDT

[JURIST] AP is reporting that presidential adviser Karl Rove has agreed to provide additional testimony in the investigation into how CIA officer Valerie Plame's name was leaked. Rove will testify before a grand jury without a guarantee that he won't be indicted later. AP has more. [read more]

15:10 EDT

[JURIST] Former Bosnian President Ante Jelavic [BBC report], who unsuccessfully tried to establish an autonomous Croat state within Bosnia, was sentenced Thursday to 10 years for embezzling money from a bank set up by Croat nationalists to fund the mini-state. Released on bail in September, Jelavic has not appeared in [read more]

14:10 EDT

[JURIST] Mikey Weinstein, a graduate of the US Air Force Academy (USAFA) [official website] filed a lawsuit in federal court on Thursday claiming senior academy officials illegally forced Christianity upon him. Weinstein, who is Jewish, said the USAFA violated cadets' right to worship as they choose. Specifically, his complaint maintains [read more]

13:10 EDT

[JURIST] Former Russian atomic energy minister Yevgeny Adamov intends to appeal a Swiss court ruling to extradite him to the United States, a spokesman for the Swiss Federal Justice Department said Thursday. Last week, a Swiss court ruled [JURIST report] that the United States has priority in taking custody of [read more]

12:10 EDT

[JURIST] The United Kingdom's Department for Constitutional Affairs [official website] has said it will review rules preventing prisoners from voting in British elections, after a European court upheld an earlier decision [ECHR overview] that determined that the rules violate prisoners' human rights. The case leading to the department's review was [read more]

12:10 EDT

[JURIST] The Supreme Court in Indonesia [JURIST news archive] Wednesday ordered that courts should not imprison journalists found guilty in criminal press dispute cases, but should instead impose fines against them. Indonesian Chief Justice Bagir Manan said in a statement that punishment in press disputes "must not in anyway interfere [read more]

11:10 EDT

[JURIST] President Bush's former top procurement official was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury on five felony counts, including making false statements and obstructing investigations into Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff. The charges against David Safavian relate to an investigation [JURIST report] by the Senate and executive branch into whether [read more]

10:10 EDT

[JURIST] Human rights groups Amnesty International [advocacy website] and Reprieve [advocacy website] have sent a joint letter to British Prime Minister Tony Blair [official profile], asking him to pressure the US government to consider the demands of hunger strikers at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive]. Over 200 detainees are still [read more]

10:10 EDT

[JURIST] A Canadian judicial advisory committee has recommended that detailed court filings should not be available for viewing via the Internet, despite the fact that they are considered "public documents." The committee, comprised of judges on the Canadian Judicial Council [official website], said that while they accept that court opinions [read more]

09:10 EDT

[JURIST] Six of the most prominent American business groups voiced their concerns over the USA PATRIOT Act [text] to Congress Wednesday, saying the law makes it too simple for the government to obtain confidential business records. The groups wrote a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] Chairman Arlen Specter [read more]

09:10 EDT

[JURIST] A committee of Japanese lawmakers [JURIST report] met Thursday to discuss amending a pacifist clause in Japan's constitution [text], which has not been changed since US occupation forces wrote the document in 1947. Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party [official website, English version] and the country's top opposition party, the [read more]

08:10 EDT

[JURIST] A lawyer for Islamic cleric Abu Bakar Bashir [BBC News profile], imprisoned for his role in the 2002 Bali bombings [CNN backgrounder], on Thursday protested an Australian official's statements with regard to Bashir's sentence as interfering in Indonesian affairs. Australian Justice Minister Chris Ellison [official profile] said Wednesday that [read more]

08:10 EDT

[JURIST] More than 20 years following the death of Roberto Calvi [BBC profile], the trial of five people accused of murdering him began Thursday in Italy. Calvi, known as "God's Banker" for his financial ties to the Vatican, was found hanging from Blackfriars Bridge in June 1982 in London. His [read more]

08:10 EDT

[JURIST] The trial of Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] for the 1982 killings of 143 Shiite Muslims in the village of Dujail [JURIST report] will likely be postponed, according to a senior British official. Earlier this week, the Iraqi Special Tribunal [official website] officially confirmed that the trial would start [read more]

07:10 EDT

[JURIST] The Israeli Supreme Court [official website] on Thursday ruled that Israeli defense forces' use Palestinian civilians as human shields [JURIST report] during arrest raids violated international law. Human rights groups had petitioned to halt the practice after a temporary injunction was previously issued in August 2002. The court held [read more]

07:10 EDT

[JURIST] The Spanish government has announced plans to expel hundreds of illegal African immigrants who have entered the country over the past week in a series of mass rushes [BBC News report] on the country's small border with Morocco in Melilla. Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la [read more]

07:10 EDT

[JURIST] Greece's handling of asylum seekers and immigrants includes incidents of human rights [JURIST news archive] abuses and discrimination, according to a new report from Amnesty International [advocacy website]. According to the report, titled Out of the Spotlight [full report], Greece has failed to meet international human rights standards in [read more]

07:10 EDT

[JURIST] Spain's Constitutional Court ruled Wednesday that thousands of alleged killings and kidnappings committed during Guatemala's civil war [BBC News timeline] may be tried by Spanish courts. The court ruling opened up the country's tribunals to hear genocide cases, even if they do not involve Spanish citizens. The court concluded [read more]

07:10 EDT

[JURIST] A North Carolina judge ruled Wednesday that $318 million in funds from a 1998 tobacco settlement should be released to tobacco farmers as litigation continues over other remaining payments. Tobacco companies had sought a refund of the money after the federal government approved a $10 billion buyout of tobacco [read more]

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