Legal news from Wednesday, February 1, 2006
20:02 EDT

[JURIST] Transparency International [official website], an international corruption watchdog group, said Wednesday in its 2006 Global Corruption Report [report materials; press release, PDF] that malfeasance in both private and public sector health care systems around the world was rampant and that it included increased production of counterfeit drugs and bribery [read more]

20:02 EDT

[JURIST] Mark Koenig, former executive VP of investor relations at Enron [JURIST news archive], testified in the early stages of the prosecution case Wednesday that founder Kenneth Lay [Houston Chronicle profile] and former CEO Jeffrey Skilling [Houston Chronicle profile], both on trial for fraud and conspiracy [indictment, PDF], knew about [read more]

19:02 EDT

[JURIST] New US Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito [JURIST news archive; OYEZ profile] cast his first vote on the country's highest court on Wednesday in a decision to deny a request [order, PDF] to vacate the stay of execution for Missouri death row prisoner Michael A. Taylor. The Court also [read more]

18:02 EDT

[JURIST] Quebec Justice John Gomery Wednesday released the second report [text and materials] of his judicial commission of inquiry [official website] into the Canadian sponsorships and advertising program [CBC backgrounder] scandal that developed during the term of former Liberal Party Prime Minister Jean Chretien [CBC profile] in the mid-1990s and [read more]

18:02 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Wednesday's environmental law news, the European Parliament [official website] and the Council of Ministers [official website] have reached an agreement [press release] to set a cut off date of December 31, 2012 for EU nations that wish to impose more stringent standards for fluorinated gases than the standard [read more]

16:02 EDT

[JURIST] The European Union [official website] will fund a program to establish appellate courts within the existing Turkish juridical system, EU officials announced Tuesday. At an estimated cost to the EU of 1.4 million euros, Turkish Ministry of Justice [official website] officials working with experts from the Council for the [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] In an interview [in French] with Paris newspaper Le Figaro published Wednesday, the chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugsoalvia [official website] urged European Union officials to suspend membership talks with Serbia in order to pressure Belgrade to arrest wanted war crimes suspect Ratko Mladic [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] Ugandan court officials announced Wednesday that a jury has recommended that Ugandan opposition presidential candidate Kizza Besigye [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], currently beset by several legal actions he claims are politically-motivated, be found not guilty of raping a woman in 1997 and 1998. Besigye's fate nonetheless remains unclear, [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] Over 1,000 protestors gathered in Tokyo Wednesday to rally against a proposed change to the 1947 Imperial Household Law [text], which would allow women and their children to ascend to Japan's Chrysanthemum throne [Wikipedia backgrounder], one of the world's oldest monarchies. Last year, in response to a succession crisis [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] A Chilean appeals court ruled Wednesday that former dictator Augusto Pinochet [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] is healthy enough to stand trial for alleged human rights abuses stemming from the 1975 Operation Colombo [Wikipedia backgrounder] massacre. The ruling, one of several concerning whether Pinochet will stand trial for abuses [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] The Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane [official website] has offered a $45.7 million settlement to 75 clergy sex abuse [JURIST news archive] complainants. Some observers wonder how the diocese can afford the settlement since filing for bankruptcy [Seattle Times report] from previous sex abuse lawsuits. The settlement offer must [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] A former US official with the Coalition Provisional Authority [official website] in Iraq has agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy charges that he stole over $2 million in rebuilding funds and awarded contracts to an American businessman in exchange for more than $1 million in cash and goods. Robert [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] In the first attempt of its kind in Portugal [government website, English version], two women on Wednesday tried to register their same-sex marriage and are waiting to receive a formal response, expected Thursday. A lawyer representing the women said that they do not expect approval of their registration and [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] Three human rights groups Wednesday criticized the global aid campaign [ActionAid press release] created to assist those affected by the 2004 tsunami disaster [JURIST news archive], saying it has "trampled" on the human rights of many survivors. The Habitat International Coalition, the People's Movement for Human Rights Learning, and [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] Three Massachusetts women on Wednesday filed suit against Wal-Mart [corporate website], alleging that the retail chain is in violation of the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act [text] because their pharmacies do not stock emergency contraception. The law states that all pharmacies in the state must provide all "commonly prescribed" medications. [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] France's Constitutional Council [official website], the country's highest court, has struck down [court materials, in French] a clause in a 2005 French law [text, in French; Guardian report] that requires teachers to stress the positive aspects of French colonialism. The court reasoned it was "outside the competence of the [read more]

12:02 EDT

[JURIST] The European Court of Justice (ECJ) [official website; EU backgrounder] on Tuesday ruled [judgment text] that immigration lists barring non-Europeans from EU countries must comply with the principle of freedom of movement [EU background materials] and that EU members states must investigate [ECJ press release, PDF] whether the presence [read more]

12:02 EDT

[JURIST] During testimony before the US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions [official website] on Tuesday, Richard Sticker, George Bush's nominee to head the Mine Safety and Health Agency [official website], told senators that current mine safety laws were adequate, and that problems arise because of insufficient enforcement. [read more]

11:02 EDT

[JURIST] Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [official website; BBC profile] on Wednesday called President George Bush a "warmonger" and said he should be brought before a "people's tribunal" to answer for American actions in the Middle East, Asia, Africa and elsewhere that are "killing people by the million." During his annual [read more]

10:02 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers for the US Justice Department on Tuesday urged a federal judge to dismiss Connecticut's lawsuit challenging the No Child Left Behind Act [PDF text], arguing that the state understood the law's requirements when officials accepted federal education funding and therefore cannot avoid obligations under the law. Connecticut filed [read more]

10:02 EDT

[JURIST] Israeli police Wednesday forcibly evacuated a West Bank Jewish settlement [BBC report] at Amona and demolished nine houses illegally built on Palestinian land after the Israeli Supreme Court [official website, English version] rejected a last-minute appeal by residents. The outpost, along with many others, was set for evacuation under [read more]

09:02 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers representing I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby [CBS profile] on Tuesday offered details regarding his likely defense to charges that he lied to investigators about his role in exposing the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame. Libby, the former chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney, was indicted in [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] After efforts to reach a long-term renewal of the USA Patriot Act [PDF text] stalled again [JURIST report] last week, Congress is set to approve another short-term extension of the legislation to allow continued negotiations on the balance between civil liberties and the war on terror. Sixteen key provisions [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] The Saddam Hussein trial [JURIST news archive] resumed in Baghdad Wednesday with Hussein, four co-defendants, and defense lawyers boycotting the proceedings [JURIST report] in protest against the new chief judge. Ra'uf Rasheed Abdel-Rahman [BBC profile] was named chief judge after Rizgar Mohammed Amin [JURIST news archive] resigned [JURIST report] [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Wednesday's international brief, the Ugandan Constitutional Court [official website] has declared that a military court-martial of Ugandan opposition leader Dr. Kizza Besigye [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] is illegal and ordered all charges against the defendant dropped. The court held that the concurrent trials of Besigye in the [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] In a report [PDF text] to the UN Security Council [official website] Tuesday, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan expressed "serious concern" [UN News report] with the slow progress in implementing eight benchmarks set by the UN for Kosovo [UN Interim Administration website], which Annan attributed to the intimidation of judges, [read more]

05:02 EDT

[JURIST Europe] At his annual news conference [video, audio and transcripts in English] Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin defended a new Russian law [JURIST report] restricting the activities of domestic and foreign-based non-governmental organizations - including a number of international human rights groups - and subjecting them to stringent financial [read more]

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