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Legal news from Friday, September 29, 2006
by Joe Shaulis

The major political parties in Serbia have reached an agreement on the text of a draft constitution after weeks of negotiations, Local Government and Administration Minister Zoran Loncar said Friday. Although parliament is scheduled to consider the document on Saturday, few details about it have been made public. Earlier this month, the National Assembly of Serbia …

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by Joe Shaulis

In his first major speech to parliament since taking office last week, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe followed through on a promise to make amending the country's pacifist constitution a priority. The constitution, effectively imposed on Japan after World War II by the United States, forbids in Aricle 9 "the threat or …

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by Joe Shaulis

US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told a gathering of legal scholars Friday that the Constitution "provides the courts with relatively few tools" to review presidential decisions about the military and foreign policy in wartime and cautioned judges against "supplement those tools based on their own personal views." Speaking to the Fair and Independent Courts …

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by Joe Shaulis

A state trial court judge in Boston ruled Friday that two women from Rhode Island may marry in Massachusetts despite the Commonwealth's 1913 statute forbidding the marriage of couples who can't legally wed in their home states. Judge Thomas Connolly of Suffolk Superior Court ruled that Rhode Island does not expressly prohibit same-sex …

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by James M Yoch Jr

UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak said Friday that the military commissions bill approved by the US Senate Thursday could lead to abuses because it does not sufficiently constrain harsh interrogation methods and strips detainees of the ability to challenge their imprisonment through habeas corpus petitions. Speaking …

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by James M Yoch Jr

US District Judge Henry H. Kennedy, Jr. ruled Thursday that 230,000 recipients of Medicare premium refunds issued in error be given an opportunity to apply for an exemption from repayment before the government can collect the money. Kennedy issued a preliminary injunction Dr. Mark McClellan, Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and …

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by James M Yoch Jr

The US Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta has ruled ruled that a plaintiff is permitted to bring a class-action lawsuit against a carpet manufacturer under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act of 1970 (RICO). The plaintiff claims that Mohawk Industries knowingly hired illegal aliens and assisted them in evading …

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by Kate Heneroty

Amnesty International accused Pakistan Friday of committing numerous human rights violations in support of the US-led "war on terror," including arresting terror suspects and holding them in secret locations until they can be sold to US authorities for bounties. In its latest report it claims that …

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by Kate Heneroty

Mexico's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Thursday that it was "deeply worried" about the proposed construction of a 700-mile border fence between the US and Mexico, fearing it would "increase tension in border communities." Mexico reiterated the need for a comprehensive immigration strategy, arguing that this security-focused measure was …

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by Kate Heneroty

A brother-in-law of the new chief judge in the Saddam Hussein genocide trial was shot and killed Friday in Baghdad. His nephew was seriously wounded in the same attack. Police were not certain whether the attack was a result of Judge Mohammed Oreibi al-Khalifa's position on the Iraqi High Tribunal, but sources familiar with court procedure …

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by Kate Heneroty

The US House of Representatives passed the Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act Thursday night, voting 232-191 mostly along party lines. The bill, approved by the House Judiciary Committee last week, specifies when and how the president can order the use of warrantless surveillance. Under the legislation, warrantless surveillance would …

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