Legal news from Thursday, June 22, 2006
20:06 EDT

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] on Thursday filed a Freedom of Information Act request [text, PDF] demanding that the US Department of Defense publicly release its files about the deaths of 24 Iraqi civilians [JURIST report] last November in Haditha [JURIST news archive], Iraq. ACLU attorney [read more]

19:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US House of Representatives voted 247-172 [roll call] Thursday to pass the Legislative Line-Item Veto Act of 2006 [text, PDF; summary, PDF]. The bill, which President Bush proposed [JURIST report; White House press release] in March, allows the President to strip special spending and earmarks out of a [read more]

19:06 EDT

[JURIST] Led by Republicans willing to delay a push to abolish the estate tax completely, the US House of Representatives [official website] voted Thursday to end taxation for single estates up to $5 million and married couples' estates up to $10 million, beginning in 2011. The bill [HR 5638 summary] [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour [official profile; JURIST news archive] Thursday announced [press release] the entry into force of an Optional Protocol [text] to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment [text] on detention visitations. The Optional Protocol, adopted in [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] Thailand's Election Commission (EC) [official website] has determined that the ruling Thai Rak Thai [political party website] political party broke two election laws [materials] by paying groups to run candidates in the annulled April parliamentary elections [JURIST report] in order to meet election requirements after the main opposition parties [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] If allowed to proceed, a lawsuit filed by an Oregon nonprofit organization challenging the NSA domestic surveillance program [JURIST news archive] would impermissibly reveal state secrets, lawyers for the US Department of Justice (DOJ) argued at a Wednesday hearing in federal court. The DOJ filed a notice [UPI report] [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate Indian Affairs Committee [official website] led by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) [official website] released its final report [PDF text; additional materials] Thursday, saying that the connections between former lobbyist Jack Abramoff [JURIST news archive] and former Tom Delay aide Michael Scanlon [Wikipedia backgrounder] in a scandal [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak [official website] told an Austrian radio station Thursday that European countries could help bring about the closing of the Guantanamo Bay detention center [JURIST news archive] by accepting some detainees into their judicial and penitentiary systems. Nowak has previously called on the [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] No evidence has surfaced to disprove the extraordinary rendition allegations [statement] of the German man who sued the US Central Intelligence Agency, a German prosecutor familiar with the evidence collected by the German government in the case said Thursday. Khalid El-Masri [JURIST news archive; ACLU case materials] has said [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Illinois Supreme Court [official website] on Thursday upheld [opinion text] the "fair report" privilege [Communicator backgrounder], a legal protection that allows journalists to report on legal allegations made during official proceedings, even if the allegations are false. Solaia Technology sued Specialty Publishing [corporate websites] for defamation after Specialty's [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] has said that Uzbekistan [JURIST news archive] is cracking down on dissent under the pretext of law, alleging Wednesday that two human rights defenders sentenced to nine years in prison on extortion charges were arrested in a pattern of criminal arrests designed to [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] US State Department deputy spokesman Adam Ereli [official profile] has said that the trial of Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] is fair and legitimate, despite the murder of a third defense lawyer [JURIST report] Wednesday morning. In a press briefing [transcript] Wednesday, Ereli stated:The trial of Saddam Hussein...an Iraqi-led [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] Iran has received nearly universal condemnation for selecting Tehran Prosecutor-General Saeed Mortazavi [Wikipedia profile] to attend the inaugural meeting of the UN Human Rights Council [official website] in Geneva as an observer. Mortazavi is widely suspected of being present in July 2003 when Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi [CBC backgrounder] [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] said Wednesday that insurgents in Iraq have committed serious violations of international humanitarian law and pointed to the kidnapping of two US soldiers last week as another example of the war crimes that are committed in Iraq. The two soldiers were kidnapped south [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] handed down four decisions Thursday, including Fernandez-Vargas v. Gonzales [Duke Law case backgrounder; JURIST report], where the Court held that a federal immigration law authorizing deportation can be applied to illegal immigrants who entered the country before its enactment. Mexican [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] A federal watchdog charged with overseeing California prison reform has released a report saying that an abrupt reversal in policy by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) [official website] prompted two secretaries of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation [official website] to resign earlier this year. The report by [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] Canadian legal observers expressed concern Thursday that a new ruling from the Supreme Court of Canada [official website] will open courts to a flood of divorce litigation revolving around allegations of spousal misconduct, despite the terms of the 1985 "no fault" Divorce Act [Justice Canada materials] which eliminated misconduct [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] Members of the US House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations [official website] promised to crack down on data brokers who gather private information after hearing testimony Wednesday from a former data broker who told the subcommittee how easily he obtained other people's information. James [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] on Thursday demanded [press release] that Afghanistan revoke recent National Security Directorate rules that restrict the freedom of the press and effectively ban journalists from writing about Afghanistan's failing security situation. Afghan journalists have said that the rules are a form of intimidation [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] An investigation into the death of 24 Iraqi civilians [JURIST report] last November in Haditha focusing on whether senior military personnel covered up the deaths reportedly found several failures to follow up by Marine commanders, but no deliberate cover up of the deaths. The report by Army Maj. Gen. [read more]

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