Legal news from Wednesday, November 9, 2005

[JURIST] In Wednesday's environmental law news, the US House of Representatives [official website] voted late Wednesday night to remove provisions from a budget bill that would have allowed drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge [official website] and offshore drilling along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Twenty-five House Republicans had … [read more]

[JURIST] Legislators on a US House and Senate conference committee for the USA Patriot Act and Terrorism Prevention Reauthorization Act of 2005 [bill summary] are closing on a deal that would limit certain law enforcement powers under the Act in the process of making many of its provisions permanent. Under … [read more]

[JURIST] US lawmakers Wednesday expressed some discomfort with a proposal by the Bush administration to increase the response role [JURIST report] of the US Department of Defense [official website] in disasters during a hearing of a House Armed Services Committee [official website] subcommittee. House members questioned whether such a plan … [read more]

[JURIST] Judith Miller [JURIST news archive], the New York Times reporter at the center of the CIA leak case [JURIST news archive], has left the newspaper after 28 years there, the Times announced Wednesday [NYT report, registration required]. Miller negotiated with the paper for several weeks about her departure after … [read more]

[JURIST] Doctors directed to examine former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet [BBC News profile; JURIST news archive] have declared him fit to stand trial for the first time on charges that he coordinated the killings of political opponents during the 1970s. According to a report prepared by the examining doctors and … [read more]

[JURIST] The Pentagon has said it will not seek the death penalty against Omar Ahmed Khadr [CBC Khadr family profile], an 18-year-old Canadian citizen detained at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] who admitted throwing a grenade [JURIST report] that killed a US medic while fighting with the Taliban in 2002. … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Wednesday heard arguments in US v. Georgia and Goodman v. Georgia [Duke Law case backgrounder; merit briefs], a consolidated case in which it will decide whether states can be sued by disabled inmates under the Americans with Disabilities Act … [read more]

[JURIST] Egyptian judges have raised questions about the accuracy of the final results in September's presidential election, although they said that any irregularities did not affect the outcome of the race. An informal association of judges in Egypt [JURIST news archive] released a report Tuesday in which they acknowledged being … [read more]

[JURIST] Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi [BBC News profile] on Wednesday said treason charges would be leveled against the leaders of violent protests that left 42 dead following a confrontation with police last week. Meles called the protests an "Orange Revolution gone wrong," in reference to protests in Ukraine [JURIST … [read more]

[JURIST] The International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] has called for global cooperation in the arrest of five members of Uganda's rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) [Global Security profile; BBC backgrounder], during a report [PDF text; ICC press release] Tuesday to the UN General Assembly. The ICC, which issued warrants … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Senate [official website] on has rejected a proposal to create an independent commission patterned after the Sept. 11 Commission [official website] to investigate US treatment of detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay. With a 55-43 party-line vote, senators on Tuesday rejected the proposed amendment [PDF text] … [read more]

[JURIST] I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby [NYT profile], the indicted former chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney, has established a fund to help pay for his defense against criminal charges of perjury and obstruction of justice in the investigation [JURIST news archive] into the leak of the identity of … [read more]

[JURIST] Syria has invited German prosecutor Detlev Mehlis, head of a UN investigation [UN materials] into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri [JURIST news archive], to visit Damascus to discuss cooperation between UN investigators and the Syrian committee investigating Hariri's murder [JURIST report], Syrian state media reported … [read more]

[JURIST] A classified Central Intelligence Agency [official website] report issued in 2004 questioned whether certain interrogation tactics approved by the agency for use against terrorism suspects would violate the UN Convention Against Torture [text], current and former intelligence officials have reported. The previously undisclosed report by CIA Inspector General John … [read more]

[JURIST] The UN Security Council [official website] has unanimously adopted Resolution 1637 [text and summary], extending the mandate of the 180,000-strong multinational force in Iraq [official website] for another year. The US-led force was originally authorized [JURIST report] in May 2004 under UN Security Council Resolution 1546 [UN summary] and … [read more]

[JURIST] Defense lawyers in the trial of Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] on Wednesday officially severed contact with the Iraqi Special Tribunal [official website] in response to the Tuesday murder of defense team member Adil al-Zubeidi [BBC report; TIME interview]. Lead counsel Khalil al-Dulaimi described the second day of hearings … [read more]

[JURIST] The Australian government is pushing forward with controversial anti-terror proposals [JURIST report] despite criticism that arrests [JURIST report] made earlier this week during a counter-terrorism swoop [BBC report] indicate the legislation is unnecessary. Although Parliament hastily approved an amendment [JURIST report] last week at the urging of Prime Minister … [read more]

[JURIST] The BBC is reporting that the UK government of Prime Minister Tony Blair has lost a House of Commons vote [BBC debate summary] on a key provision of its proposed Terrorism Bill [text] that would have authorized detention of terror suspects without charge for up to 90 days.12:25 PM … [read more]

[JURIST] French police and Interior Ministry [official website, in French] officials said Wednesday that newly-authorized state of emergency powers [JURIST report] were helping to subdue violence in the 13th day of rioting around the country. The government on Tuesday issued a decree [PDF text] giving local officials permission to use … [read more]

[JURIST] Callixte Kalimanzira, Rwanda's acting interior minister during the 1994 genocide [BBC backgrounder], has surrendered to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda [official website], the court announced [press release] Tuesday. According to the tribunal, Kalimanzira is "charged with genocide, in the alternative complicity in genocide, and with direct and public … [read more]

[JURIST] The Bank of New York [corporate website] has agreed to pay $38 million in fines in order to avoid prosecution on fraud and money laundering charges, federal prosecutors announced [PDF press release] Tuesday. The federal investigation into the bank, the oldest in the US, began after the financial institution … [read more]

[JURIST] Nageh Ibrahim and Fouad el-Dawalibi, founding members of militant Egyptian Islamic movement al-Gamma al-Islamiyya [Wikipedia backgrounder], have been released after more than two decades in prison in connection with the killing of President Anwar Sadat [CNN profile] during a military parade in Cairo on Oct. 6, 1981. The men … [read more]

[JURIST] In a victory for intelligent design advocates, the Kansas Board of Education on Tuesday approved by a vote of 6-4 revised science standards [BoE materials] that require students to understand not only evolution [BBC backgrounder], but also recent challenges to the theory, such as that suggesting that life is … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice is considering a request from the Central Intelligence Agency [official website] to open a criminal investigation into the leak of possibly classified information on the existence of secret CIA detention centers for suspected terrorists [JURIST report] to the Washington Post. There have also been … [read more]

[JURIST] California voters Tuesday rejected a hotly-contested initiative [JURIST report] that would have prevented lawmakers from drawing political voting districts [JURIST report; proposition summary and text, PDF]. The initiative was allowed on the ballot after an appeal to the California Supreme Court [JURIST report]; a lower court had said the … [read more]

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