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Legal news from Tuesday, October 24, 2006
by Lisl Brunner

The British Labour Party government's majority in the UK House of Commons Tuesday rejected greater restrictions on extraditions to the United States and other foreign countries which were proposed by the House of Lords as part of the Police and Justice Bill. The bill follows controversy over the so-called Natwest Three …

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by Lisl Brunner

A federal court in Florida ruled Tuesday that a 2005 state law prohibiting exit polling within 100 feet of a voting place violates the free speech and freedom of the press guarantees of the First Amendment. US District Judge Paul Huck found in favor of the Associated Press and five television networks which had filed a lawsuit challenging …

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by Robert DeVries

The New Jersey Supreme Court Tuesday held that mental retardation, like insanity, is a condition to be affirmatively proved by the defense in state death penalty cases. In a 5-2 ruling, the court overturned an August 2005 appeals court decision that had placed the onus of disproving mental disability on prosecutors. Convicted …

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by Lisl Brunner

A proposal to create a special competition court within the European Union Court of First Instance has been publicly endorsed by the Court's head justice, who called it the best "if not the only effective way of ensuring speedier and perhaps even better handling of competition cases" at a conference in London. Court President Bo Vesterdorf [official …

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by Katerina Ossenova

An Ontario Superior Court judge struck down a central provision of Canada's Anti-Terrorism Act Tuesday, saying it violates the constitutional rights of Momin Khawaja. Lawyers for Khawaja, the first person charged under the terrorism legislation, had argued that the legislation passed in the aftermath of the September 11 terror attacks …

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by Katerina Ossenova

A seven-man Rwandan government commission began an official probe Tuesday into accusations that France assisted a Hutu massacre of Tutsis during the 1994 genocide. Rwanda's current Tutsi President Paul Kagame has accused France of training and arming Hutu militias who were behind the 100-day massacre that left …

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by Brett Murphy

European Union officials said Tuesday that the EU has reached an agreement with the US to allow EU transnational organized crime-fighting body Eurojust and US prosecutors to share information about investigations on terrorism and cross-border criminal cases. The EU and and US are expected to formally sign the agreement on November 6. Human …

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by Brett Murphy

Fifteen Nobel Peace Prize laureates sent a letter to United Nations member states Tuesday urging the UN General Assembly to explore an arms-trade treaty. The letter signers said they believe it "imperative for humanity that the number of deaths caused by firearms be reduced." They recommended passage of an international arms sales resolution that would create …

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by Holly Manges Jones

The US Department of Education announced Tuesday that it is changing its regulations in order to allow public schools more discretion in providing for the separate education of boys and girls. The changes, to be published Wednesday in the Federal Register, will affect how anti-discrimination provisions in Title IX are applied by allowing same-sex …

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by Brett Murphy

The US government has filed a civil lawsuit against the estate of former Enron chairman Ken Lay, seeking $12.7 million. The Justice Department brought suit Monday "to recover property that constitutes proceeds of the fraud proven in the criminal case." Last week, a federal judge vacated Lay's convictions on fraud …

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by Holly Manges Jones

A Dutch court took steps Monday to obtain testimony from Saddam Hussein in an appeal by a Dutch businessman convicted of selling chemicals that were used in poison gas attacks in Iraq. Frans Van Anraat was convicted last year of selling raw materials to Iraq that ultimately were used in the 1988 …

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by Holly Manges Jones

The Secure Fence Act of 2006, the second portion of a two-part plan to tackle illegal immigration in the US, was sent to President George Bush Monday for his signature. The bill allows the US Secretary of Homeland Security to begin using $1.2 billion earmarked for the construction of …

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by Holly Manges Jones

The appeals chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has ruled that Serbian war crimes suspect Vojislav Seselj can act as his own lawyer in his upcoming trial. An ICTY trial chamber removed Seselj's right to self-representation in August based on his "disruptive behavior," but the appeals …

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by Holly Manges Jones

The lead legal consultant for the military regime that took over the Thai government in a bloodless coup in September was elected Tuesday to serve as speaker of the National Legislative Assembly, which is tasked with creating a new permanent constitution for Thailand. Meechai Ruchupan, who also helped draft the country's interim …

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