Legal news from Thursday, June 15, 2006
20:06 EDT

[JURIST] A New Hampshire judge on Thursday dismissed 5 of 8 counts in a lawsuit brought by Democrats against Republicans after the jamming of Democratic phone lines in the 2002 Senate race [Wikipedia backgrounder] between Sen. John Sununu (R-NH) [official website] and Democratic challenger Jeanne Shaheen. Sununu won the race [read more]

19:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Kentucky Supreme Court [official website] ruled Thursday that, despite a 2005 US Supreme Court ruling [JURIST report; opinion PDF] barring the death penalty for juveniles, the mental age of a death row inmate could not be invoked to stop the state from carrying out his execution. Though the [read more]

19:06 EDT

[JURIST] One week after the US House of Representatives voted [JURIST report] 379-35 [roll call] to pass the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act [S 193 summary], President Bush signed into law [remarks] the legislation that will increase by tenfold the maximum fine for indecency, from $32,500 to $325,000 per station for [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] on Thursday voted 11-7 to send to the full Senate a proposed constitutional amendment [SJ Res 12 text, PDF] that would give Congress the power to prohibit the physical desecration of the US flag. The amendment has 59 co-sponsors [bill summary], but [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] A European Union lawmaker calling for the US to close its detention center at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] suggested Thursday that it should be replaced with an international criminal tribunal to hear the cases of the approximately 450 alleged terror suspects now detained. European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] Israel's High Court of Justice [Judicial Authority website], the Supreme Court of Israel sitting as a court of first instance in cases regarding state actions, on Thursday ordered the state to take down a five-kilometer section of the West Bank security barrier [official website; JURIST news archive] that separates [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US government has filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for the District of New Jersey [official website] against New Jersey Attorney General Zulima Farber [official profile] and other New Jersey officials, seeking to stop them seeking information from telecommunications companies on whether they cooperated with the [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] The UN Security Council on Thursday voted to extend the mandate [press release] of the UN International Independent Investigation Commission [UN materials] probing the February 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri [JURIST news archive] for an additional year until mid-June 2007. The Council's vote follows the [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] A Chinese court Thursday sentenced Yang Xiaoging, a reporter for the state-run China Industrial Economy News [media website; People's Daily backgrounder], to one year in prison after finding him guilty of extortion. Xiaoging wrote articles about official corruption, accusing local Communist Party official Yang Jianxin of stealing state assets. [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] A federal grand jury has handed up another indictment against South Korean lobbyist Tongsun Park [Washington Post profile], charging him Wednesday with lying to the FBI about his role in the adoption of the 1995 UN Security Council Resolution 986 [PDF text], which established the now-defunct Iraqi Oil-for-Food Program [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] Yemeni officials on Thursday called for a second investigation into last week's detainee suicides [JURIST report] by one Yemeni and two Saudi Arabians held at the US detention center at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], saying the deaths exemplify the "inhumane conditions of detainees" at Guantanamo. The three men [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] Sudanese Justice Minister Mohammed al-Mardi insisted Thursday that the International Criminal Court [official website] does not have jurisdiction to investigate war crimes committed in the volatile Darfur region [JURIST news archive] and said that Sudanese officials would not submit to questioning by ICC prosecutors in their investigation into crimes [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] Responding to public outrage in the UK over the possibility of parole within six years for a sex offender convicted earlier this week, Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs and Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer [official profile] said on Wednesday's BBC TV program Question Time [recorded video] that judges are [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] handed down four decisions Thursday, including Hudson v. Michigan [Duke Law case backgrounder; JURIST report] where the Court held 5-4 that evidence collected under a search warrant is admissible even when police officers failed to knock before entering a home. [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] Mexican lawmakers began working this week to revive a bill that will decriminalize personal drug possession – or possession of small amounts of marijuana, cocaine and heroin. Lawmakers hope to override a potential veto by Mexican President Vicente Fox [official website, in Spanish], who announced plans to sign the [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Russian Duma [official website], the lower house of parliament, on Wednesday voted 359-53 to pass a bill that will shorten the military conscription requirement from two years to one, beginning in January 2008. The bill is expected to gain approval from the Federation Council [official website], Russia's upper [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] A court in Japan [JURIST news archive] has ruled that journalists have a right not to disclose the identities of their sources. The Tokyo High Court [official backgrounder] on Wednesday reversed a district court order that a newspaper reporter testify in an American company's lawsuit against the US government. [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] UK Foreign Minister Margaret Beckett [official profile] said Thursday that Britain will take custody of former Liberian President Charles Taylor [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] if he is convicted by the Special Court for Sierra Leone [official website], as long as authorizing legislation is passed by parliament. In a [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US government can detain non-citizens indefinitely on the basis of religion, race or national origin, a federal judge ruled Wednesday, saying that "the executive is free to single out 'nationals of a particular country' and focus enforcement efforts on them" under his interpretation of immigration law [JURIST news [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US military has canceled regular visits between detainees at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] and their lawyers this week after three prisoners committed suicide [JURIST report] last weekend, according to the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) [advocacy website], which represents many of the 460 detainees. Government officials told [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] Italian prosecutors finished an investigation on Wednesday into the 2005 killing of Italian intelligence agent Nicola Calipari by a US soldier, but have not yet decided if they will charge US Army Specialist Mario Lozano [Wikipedia backgrounder] with murder. Calipari was shot to death while driving to the Baghdad [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] A military lawyer representing Yemeni Ali Hamza al-Bahlul, one of ten Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees awaiting trial before a military commission [JURIST news archive], filed a motion Wednesday to move al-Bahlul's trial to a Navy base in the United States, claiming that the Guantanamo restrictions make it [read more]

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