Legal news from Monday, February 6, 2006
20:02 EDT

[JURIST] Manitoba MP Vic Toews [official profile] became the new Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Monday when he was sworn in [backgrounder] along with the rest of the cabinet of Prime Minister Stephen Harper [official website] at a ceremony in Ottawa. Harper's Conservative Party [party website] defeated [read more]

18:02 EDT

[JURIST] US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile] late Monday concluded a day of testimony [JURIST report] before the US Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] on the Bush administration's controversial domestic surveillance program [JURIST news archive]. Although Gonzales maintained that the wiretapping program was a vital "early warning system" for [read more]

16:02 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate Monday began debate [Leahy Senate floor log] of controversial legislation that would create a privately-funded trust to compensate victims of asbestos exposure [JURIST news archive] and shield companies from further liability. Under the Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act [PDF], $140 billion would be set aside [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] Iran's ambassador to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, said Monday that the resolution by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) [official website; JURIST news archive] Board of Directors to refer Iran to the UN Security Council was a "hasty and unjustified decision without any legal and technical basis." Interviewed [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] British judge Rosalyn Higgins [official profile], a highly-respected legal scholar and international lawyer, was elected president of International Court of Justice (ICJ) [official website; press release] Monday, becoming the first woman to serve in that role. Higgins, the only woman ever to sit on the ICJ, was elected by [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] The retrial of the first federal lawsuit against the manufacturers of Vioxx [JURIST report] began Monday in New Orleans with jury selection. The case first went to trial last year, but was declared a mistrial [JURIST report] in December when jurors could not agree on a verdict. Evelyn Irvin [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] The defense team in the Saddam Hussein trial [JURIST news archive] said Monday that the proceedings against the deposed Iraqi dictator in the Iraqi High Criminal Court - formerly the Iraqi Special Tribunal [official website] - have been fixed by United States and Iraq's Shiite leaders and called for [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] At least five people protesting the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad [JURIST news archive] in Danish and other European papers were killed in Afghanistan Monday when security forces and police opened fire on demonstrators as the cartoons furor setting blasphemy against free speech reached global proportions. Two [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] A Pennsylvania appeals court ruled Monday that the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority [official website] violated the constitutional separation of church and state when it seized a woman's home to help Hope Partnership for Education [education website], a religious group, build a private school. In a 4-3 decision [PDF text], judges [read more]

12:02 EDT

[JURIST] Russia's Chief Military Prosecutor on Monday told the Federation Council [official website], the upper house of parliament, that approximately 6,000 people were abused by Russian military personnel last year and 2,600 soldiers were convicted of abusing other soldiers [JURIST report]. Alexander Savenkov said that "beating has become a typical [read more]

12:02 EDT

[JURIST] Zacarias Moussaoui [JURIST news archive] was escorted from a Virginia courtroom Monday after an argument with US District Judge Leonie Brinkema during the first few minutes of jury selection [JURIST report] in his sentencing trial [case docket]. Moussaoui declared "I am al Qaeda" upon his entrance to the courtroom [read more]

11:02 EDT

[JURIST] A lawmaking committee in the Russian parliament is considering legislation to tackle the country's increasing problem with racism and extremism, according to the chairman of committee in the State Duma [official website, in Russian]. The lower parliamentary house is reacting to recent events in Russia [JURIST news archive] indicating [read more]

10:02 EDT

[JURIST] US Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] hearings on the Bush administration's controversial domestic surveillance program [JURIST news archive] opened Monday with testimony from US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile] after senators argued over whether or not he should be given a sworn oath to tell the truth [recorded [read more]

10:02 EDT

[JURIST] An Italian prosecutor is seeking to put 17 former Nazi SS members on trial for participation in the 1944 massacre of 700 civilians in the town of Marzabotto [Wikipedia profile] in Bologna. Prosecutor Marco de Paolis has asked a judge in the town of La Spezia to add the [read more]

09:02 EDT

[JURIST] Prosecutors at an appeals hearing in Arusha, Tanzania, Monday asked the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website] to overturn the genocide acquittals of two former Rwandan officials. One-time Rwandan Transport Minister Andre Ntagerura [ICTR case materials] and Emmanuel Bagambiki [ICTR case materials], a civilian official in the [read more]

09:02 EDT

[JURIST] A four-hour prison riot in Los Angeles County on Saturday was the result of racial tension, county Sheriff Lee Baca [official website] said Sunday. The riot, in which 2,000 inmates participated, took place at the maximum-security North County Correctional Facility [official website] in Castaic, California between black and Latino [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Monday's international brief, in one of the first public signs of division inside the Zimbabwean government of President Robert Mugabe [BBC profile], the Zimbabwean Attorney General and the Zimbabwean Registrar General have expressed sharp disagreement concerning the proposed draft of a parliamentary bill that would enable to government [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant [official profile] has asked the Canadian federal government for the power to ban handguns, vowing to look to constitutional options if he is refused. Last last week Bryant criticized current Canadian firearms laws [Canadian Criminal Code provisions] permitting collectors to own guns for sporting [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST Europe] Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] Monday condemned as "shameful" the British government's inattention to the plight of nine long-term British residents currently being held at the US detention camp at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], Cuba, and called once again for the camp to be closed. British government [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST Europe] UK Conservative Party [party website] leader David Cameron Monday urged [official speech text] a review of the traditionally-unilateral "royal prerogative" powers exercised by the prime minister in the name of the British monarch, including the powers to go to war, sign treaties, and change internal governmental structures. The [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] American and European officials meeting in Munich Sunday at the annual Conference on Security Policy [official website] criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin [official website] for backsliding on his protection of human rights. US Senator John McCain [official website] went so far as to suggest an international boycott of the [read more]

07:02 EDT

[JURIST] The House of Lords [official website], the UK's highest court, hears arguments Monday in the case of a Muslim teenage girl who argues that a British school's decision to forbid her from wearing a Muslim jilbab [Wikipedia backgrounder] to school was a violation of the UK Human Rights Act [read more]

07:02 EDT

[JURIST] Some 30,000 Israelis protested in Jerusalem Sunday against the recent demolition of illegally built homes on the West Bank, a move which they fear heralds the beginning of a new wave of government-ordered Jewish settlement evacuations under the administration of Interim Prime Minister Ehud Olmert [official profile]. The destruction [read more]

07:02 EDT

[JURIST] Some US senators are discussing a constitutional amendment which would place limits on the power of the president during times of war, according to a report [text] by TIME [media website] magazine Sunday. A source close to the negotiations told TIME that the amendment would give Congress the final [read more]

07:02 EDT

[JURIST] Jury selection begins Monday in Virginia for the sentencing trial [court information for the public; case docket] of Zacarias Moussaoui [JURIST news archive] to determine if the al-Qaida follower should be given life in prison or a death sentence for his role in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks [read more]

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