Legal news from Wednesday, April 5, 2006
19:04 EDT

[JURIST] A New Jersey state court jury on Wednesday rendered a split verdict after two days of deliberations in a joint trial [JURIST report] that pitted two state residents who took the painkiller Vioxx [Merck Vioxx Information Center website; JURIST news archive] against New Jersey-based pharmaceutical giant Merck [corporate website]. [read more]

19:04 EDT

[JURIST] US District Court Judge Leonie Brinkema ruled in Alexandria, Virginia, Wednesday that jurors in the sentencing trial [case docket] of Zacarias Moussaoui [JURIST news archive] will be allowed to hear the cockpit tape and read the transcript of United Airlines Flight 93 [National Park Service website], hijacked and downed [read more]

19:04 EDT

[JURIST] The Belarus government has charged close to 600 people who participated in the protests that followed the March 19 presidential election [JURIST report] that returned incumbent president Alexander Lukashenko [official website; BBC profile] to a third term in a landslide, according to Belarus prosecutor general Pyotr Miklashevich on Wednesday. [read more]

18:04 EDT

[JURIST] French judicial officials have begun an investigation of the 172 French companies implicated in the UN oil-for-food scandal [JURIST news archive] by the October 2005 report [JURIST report] of the UN Independent Inquiry Committee (IIC) [official website] chaired by former US Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker. French magistrate Philippe [read more]

16:04 EDT

[JURIST] Unauthorized immigrants who arrived in the United States before an as-yet-undetermined cutoff date would be allowed to apply for permanent residency provided they pay fines and back taxes and learn English under the latest alternative immigration reform [JURIST news archive] proposal advanced by a group of conservative senators Wednesday. [read more]

15:04 EDT

[JURIST] French union leaders said Wednesday that there is only one "plausible response likely to end the conflict" over the controversial First Employment Contract (contrat premiere embauche, CPE) [text, in French] and gave French President Jacques Chirac [official profile] until April 15 to withdraw the law, which allows workers under [read more]

15:04 EDT

[JURIST] Nineteen-year-old Canadian Omar Khadr [JURIST news archive] refused to take part in military commission proceedings [JURIST news archive] during a pretrial hearing at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] Wednesday, claiming that he was mistreated [JURIST report] and sent to solitary confinement for no reason. Khadr currently faces charges [charge [read more]

14:04 EDT

[JURIST] The African Union (AU) [official website, JURIST news archive] says that it will "take all necessary measures to establish the facts" concerning accusations of rape and child abuse brought against members of its peace-monitoring forces in Sudan's Darfur region [JURIST news archive] and will form an independent panel to [read more]

13:04 EDT

[JURIST] The Council of Europe [official website] on Wednesday repeated its calls that Russia officially abolish the death penalty [JURIST news archive]. There have been no executions in Russia for over ten years as the result of a moratorium imposed by former Russian President Boris Yeltsin [Wikipedia profile] as part [read more]

13:04 EDT

[JURIST] Massachusetts lawmakers have approved a sweeping health care plan [House No. 4850 text; summary, PDF] that would require all residents to have health coverage or face penalties. Massachusetts is the first state to approve a health insurance reform [IssueSource backgrounder] plan of this nature; Maine's health care plan was [read more]

13:04 EDT

[JURIST] Nepal's royal government on Wednesday arrested 13 lawyers for holding peaceful rallies demanding peace and restoration of democracy in the Himalayan Kingdom on the eve of a general strike called by the opposition. The group was released later in the evening, a few hours after the Supreme Court of [read more]

11:04 EDT

[JURIST] UK Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer of Thoroton [official profile] who under the UK's traditional governmental structure served three roles as Speaker of the House of Lords, the head of the UK's judiciary, and a minister in the British government, has resigned his judicial post as part of the constitutional [read more]

11:04 EDT

[JURIST] Dutch investigators on Wednesday released their final report [press release] on their independent investigation into the death of Slobodan Milosevic [JURIST news archive], saying that the former Yugoslavian leader died of a heart attack on the morning that guards found him dead in his cell at The Hague [JURIST [read more]

11:04 EDT

[JURIST] The international tribunal that is set to hear the case against former Liberian President Charles Taylor [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] hit a wall on Tuesday as court administrators struggled to find a country willing to grant Taylor asylum if he is acquitted of 11 counts of war crimes [read more]

10:04 EDT

[JURIST] United Nations member states have begun announcing their candidacies for membership on the newly-formed Human Rights Council [official website; UN materials; FAQ] in preparations for elections scheduled May 9. The UN General Assembly [official website] approved the creation of the new rights body last month to replace the widely [read more]

09:04 EDT

[JURIST] Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle [official website; personal website], the Texas prosecutor in the criminal case against US Rep. Tom DeLay [official website], has said that DeLay's resignation from Congress [JURIST report] will not affect the case. DeLay currently faces money laundering charges [JURIST document] and a request [read more]

08:04 EDT

[JURIST] Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] on Wednesday defended his signing of a 1984 execution order [text] as prosecutors began their cross examination of the former dictator before the Iraqi High Criminal Court [official website; JURIST news archive] at the resumption of his trial [JURIST news archive]. Hussein insisted that [read more]

08:04 EDT

[JURIST] Nepal's royal government has made its anti-terrorism law more stringent by introducing a fifth amendment to the Terrorists and Disruptive Activities (Control and Punishment) Ordinance (TADO), published in the official gazette on Monday. National and international human rights organizations are concerned that independent media and even parties fighting for [read more]

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