Legal news from Thursday, October 19, 2006
20:10 EDT

[JURIST] Portugal's Parliament [official website, in Portuguese] Thursday approved holding a national referendum allowing voters to decide on making abortion legal up until the 10th week of pregnancy. Current Portuguese abortion law [text, in Portuguese] allows the procedure up until the 12th week of pregnancy, but only in cases of [read more]

19:10 EDT

[JURIST] International Committee of the Red Cross [advocacy website] President Jakob Kellenberger [ICRC profile] said Thursday that certain provisions of the newly-signed [JURIST report] Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA) [PDF text; S 3930 summary] are too vague and could weaken protections guaranteed under the Geneva Conventions [ICRC materials]. In [read more]

19:10 EDT

[JURIST] The New York State Supreme Court [official website] Thursday ordered former New York Stock Exchange [corporate website] chairman Richard A. Grasso [BBC profile] to pay back a major portion of the compensation paid to him while he held that position between 1995 and 2003. Justice Charles E. Ramos [official [read more]

16:10 EDT

[JURIST] A Superior Court of Ontario judge Thursday threw out part of a secrecy law invoked to search a reporter's home for the source of the story she published on Maher Arar [advocacy website; CBC timeline]. Juliet O'Neill [CBC interview], a journalist with the Ottawa Citizen [official website] newspaper, had [read more]

15:10 EDT

[JURIST] The US Defense Department Office of the Inspector General [official website] has concluded that the US military's use of a propaganda program in Iraq was legal, a Pentagon spokesman said Thursday. While the program involved planting and paying for favorable news about US operations in Iraqi newspapers, the IG [read more]

15:10 EDT

[JURIST] The US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] on Thursday denied an emergency motion [text, PDF; declaration, PDF] to prevent the US military [JURIST report] from surrendering translator and accused kidnapper Mohammad Munaf, a US citizen, to Iraqi officials to face the death penalty. Munaf was [read more]

14:10 EDT

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) confirmed [HRW report] for the first time Thursday that Hezbollah [BBC backgrounder] used cluster bombs [FAS backgrounder] during the recent conflict with Israel. According to HRW:International humanitarian law (the laws of war) obliges warring parties to distinguish between combatants and civilians (the principle of distinction) [read more]

13:10 EDT

[JURIST] A massive demonstration attended by thousands of people protesting the disappearance of Jorge Julio Lopez clogged the streets of Buenos Aires, Argentina [JURIST news archive] on Wednesday. The protest represents the third time such a demonstration has taken place since the 77-year-old witness went missing last month after testifying [read more]

13:10 EDT

[JURIST] Four US Army soldiers have been ordered to face court-martial for allegedly murdering Iraqi detainees in Thar Thar, a town near Samarra, some 60 miles north of Baghdad. Pfc. Corey R. Clagett, Spc. William B. Hunsaker, Staff Sgt. Raymond L. Girouard and Spc. Juston R. Graber allegedly released several [read more]

13:10 EDT

[JURIST] Judge Richard Posner of the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit [official website] expressed skepticism Wednesday that an Indiana law requiring voters to show ID cards [Indiana SOS backgrounder, PDF] at the polls would prevent some citizens from casting ballots. During oral arguments in a lawsuit challenging [read more]

11:10 EDT

[JURIST] Hussein Rasheed, one of five co-defendants facing charges [JURIST report] in the Saddam Hussein genocide trial [JURIST report], on Thursday claimed Iraqi court guards beat him in the presence of US witnesses after Chief Judge Mohammed Oreibi al-Khalifa threw both Hussein and Rasheed out of court last week [JURIST [read more]

11:10 EDT

[JURIST] Florida Judge Janet E. Ferris of the Leon County Circuit Court [official website] ordered [PDF text; press release] that election supervisors be prohibited from affixing signs at polling places warning that votes for former US Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) [JURIST news archive] will be counted for replacement candidate Joe [read more]

10:10 EDT

[JURIST] Several domestic and foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) operating in Russia will be forced to shut down after missing Wednesday's deadline to obtain the necessary permits required by a controversial new law. Foreign-funded NGOs are required to register with the Ministry of Justice [official website] and provide detailed financial data [read more]

10:10 EDT

[JURIST] Britain's High Court [official website] on Thursday overturned a lower court ruling that London Mayor Ken Livingstone [official profile] brought his office into disrepute by making controversial comments to a Jewish journalist. The court ruled [text] that Livingstone's comments did not breach the Greater London Authority [official website] Code [read more]

10:10 EDT

[JURIST] Lawmakers in the southern California city of Escondido [official website] approved an ordinance [Union-Tribune report] Wednesday that will prohibit landlords from renting their properties to illegal immigrants [JURIST news archive]. The measure requires landlords to submit documentation to city authorities to prove their tenants' immigration status. If found in [read more]

10:10 EDT

[JURIST] Israel's High Court has urged the country's military to reconsider its ban on entry by Palestinians and allow a Palestinian woman to study in Israel [JURIST news archive]. Sawsan Salameh was denied entry to Israel by the military after she was accepted to study chemistry and pursue a doctoral [read more]

09:10 EDT

[JURIST] US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile] insisted Wednesday that the newly-signed [JURIST report] Military Commissions Act of 2006 [PDF text; S 3930 summary] that has drawn harsh criticism from rights groups [JURIST news archive] and many legal experts cannot be used to infringe on the rights of US [read more]

08:10 EDT

[JURIST] Three more US Marines will face courts-martial [press release] for their roles in the April kidnapping and murdering of an Iraqi civilian in Hamdania [USMC timeline; JURIST news archive]. Camp Pendleton officials said Wednesday that Lance Cpl. Tyler Jackson, Lance Cpl. Robert B. Pennington and Cpl. Trent D. Thomas [read more]

07:10 EDT

[JURIST] Turkey's broadcasting watchdog urged a boycott Wednesday of French television programs and movies to protest the French parliament's approval [JURIST report] of a bill [legislative materials, in French] that criminalizes denial of an Armenian genocide [ANI backgrounder]. The board of directors of RTUK [media website] unanimously recommended the boycott [read more]

07:10 EDT

[JURIST] Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo [official website; BBC profile] Thursday declared a state of emergency in the Nigerian state of Ekiti [government website] after Governor Ayodele Fayose was impeached by state lawmakers earlier this week following his conviction for corruption charges. Obasanjo called Fayose's removal unconstitutional because lawmakers replaced the [read more]

07:10 EDT

[JURIST] A former guard at the Nazi Mauthausen concentration camp [Wikipedia backgrounder] in Austria has been released from a Michigan jail after Germany, Romania and Hungary all refused to take custody of him, according to a spokesman for the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) [official website]. Johann Leprich, 81, [read more]

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