Legal news from Thursday, May 11, 2006
16:05 EDT

[JURIST] UN Human Rights Commissioner Louise Arbour [official profile; JURIST news archive] on Thursday called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] act more aggressively in prosecuting those suspected of war crimes in Sudan's Darfur region [JURIST news archive] shortly after her return from a visit [JURIST report] there. [read more]

16:05 EDT

[JURIST] Pope Benedict on Thursday explicitly condemned same-sex marriage [speech, in Italian] or any legal recognition of same-sex couples as Italy's new center-left government [JURIST report] prepared to take office as early as next Wednesday. His statement echoed a speech he gave last year [JURIST report] in which he described [read more]

15:05 EDT

[JURIST] The UK High Court on Thursday ruled [judgment text] that a group of Indian Ocean islanders known as the Chagossians [Wikipedia backgrounder; advocacy website] must be allowed to return to the group of islands from which they were exiled in the 1960s in order to make way for the [read more]

14:05 EDT

[JURIST] The Italian newspaper La Repubblica [website, in Italian] reported Thursday that an Italian policeman has confessed to participating in the 2003 kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric [JURIST report] from the streets of Milan. The Italian government responded by denying any involvement in the abduction, and prosecutors say the Italian [read more]

14:05 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday voted 10-8 along party lines to send the circuit court nomination of White House aide Brett Kavanaugh [White House backgrounder] to the full Senate for a confirmation vote. Kavanaugh, who has been nominated to the US Court of Appeals for the DC [read more]

14:05 EDT

[JURIST] US Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) [official website] and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) [official website] on Thursday announced [Frist press release; Reid press release] a bipartisan agreement to resume debate next week on immigration reform, which also covers the 14 Republicans and 12 Democrats who will [read more]

14:05 EDT

[JURIST] US President George W. Bush on Thursday insisted that "the privacy of ordinary Americans is fiercely protected" as the government conducts anti-terrorist surveillance in the US. Bush's comments [transcript] were in response to a report [text] in Thursday's USA Today that calling patterns of millions of Americans are being [read more]

13:05 EDT

[JURIST] The Libyan retrial of five Bulgarian nurses [JURIST report] accused of infecting over 400 patients, primarily children, with the HIV virus, resumed on Thursday morning in Tripoli before being adjourned for procedural reasons until June 13. Prosecutors objected to defense lawyer Othman al-Bizanti's motion for the medics to be [read more]

13:05 EDT

[JURIST] Less than a year before Germany takes over the European Union presidency in January 2007, German Chancellor Angela Merkel [official website in German; BBC profile] said again Thursday that she plans to revive the European constitution [JURIST news archive], on hold since major referendum setbacks in France and the [read more]

13:05 EDT

[JURIST] UK Home Secretary John Reid [official profile] said Thursday that the government will appeal a Wednesday High Court decision [text] to grant asylum to nine Afghans convicted of hijacking a plane to the UK in 2002, allowing them to remain in the United Kingdom rather than be deported to [read more]

12:05 EDT

[JURIST] A committee of the American Bar Association [group website] has voted unanimously that judicial nominee Michael B. Wallace [official profile] is "not qualified" [ratings, PDF] to sit on the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit [official website]. Wallace, a Mississippi lawyer and former aide to US Sen. [read more]

11:05 EDT

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice [official website] has ended the internal investigation [JURIST report] into the role its lawyers played in the NSA's domestic surveillance program [JURIST news archive] approved by President Bush. The investigation had been headed by the Office of Professional Responsibility [official website] until department head [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] Former Enron [JURIST news archive] executives Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling [Houston Chronicle profiles] face an uphill battle after Judge Simeon T. Lake III agreed with prosecutors in the Enron trial Wednesday that jurors should be allowed to find both men guilty because of "deliberate ignorance" or the so-called [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] The Constitutional Court of Colombia [official website; government backgrounder, in Spanish] has handed down a decision [WLW press release, PDF] legalizing exceptions to the country's abortion ban in cases of rape, incest and if the life of the mother or fetus is in danger. Before Wednesday's ruling, women undergoing [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] An Indonesian government official said Thursday that corruption charges against former dictator General Suharto [Wikipedia backgrounder] are expected to be dropped despite criticism from human rights groups, including the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation [advocacy website], which has been outspoken in the pursuit of action against the former dictator. Suharto, [read more]

08:05 EDT

[JURIST] The National Security Agency (NSA) [official website] has been collecting phone records from major telephone companies AT&T, Verizon, and BellSouth [corporate websites] to study the calling patterns of millions of Americans in an effort to detect terrorist activity, according to a report [text] from USA Today on Thursday. Although [read more]

02:05 EDT

[JURIST Europe] A Spanish High Court judge was forced to order the release of Moroccan citizen Saed El Harrak [BBC profile], a suspect alleged to be involved in the March 11, 2004 Madrid train bombings [JURIST news archive], due to the government's failure to apply for the necessary extension for [read more]

01:05 EDT

[JURIST] US officials have dismissed a call [JURIST report] from UK Attorney General Lord Goldsmith [official profile] to close the facility at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] used to detain terror suspects, saying that the US is working to release detainees who no longer pose a threat, but insisting that [read more]

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