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Legal news from Tuesday, October 24, 2006
20:10 EDT

[JURIST] The British Labour Party government's majority in the UK House of Commons [official website] Tuesday rejected greater restrictions on extraditions to the United States and other foreign countries which were proposed by the House of Lords [official website] as part of the Police and Justice Bill [PDF; Home Office [read more]

19:10 EDT

[JURIST] A federal court in Florida ruled Tuesday that a 2005 state law [text] 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 [read more]

19:10 EDT

[JURIST] The New Jersey Supreme Court [official website] 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 [text, PDF], the court overturned an August 2005 appeals court decision [PDF] that had placed the [read more]

19:10 EDT

[JURIST] A proposal to create a special competition court within the European Union Court of First Instance [official website] 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" [read more]

16:10 EDT

[JURIST] An Ontario Superior Court judge struck down a central provision of Canada's Anti-Terrorism Act [text; CBC backgrounder] Tuesday, saying it violates the constitutional rights of Momin Khawaja [CBC backgrounder]. Lawyers for Khawaja, the first person charged [JURIST report] under the terrorism legislation, had argued [JURIST report] that the legislation [read more]

15:10 EDT

[JURIST] A seven-man Rwandan government commission began an official probe Tuesday into accusations that France assisted a Hutu [Wikipedia backgrounder] massacre of Tutsis [Wikipedia backgrounder] during the 1994 genocide [HRW backgrounder; BBC backgrounder]. Rwanda's current Tutsi President Paul Kagame [official website; BBC profile] has accused France of training and arming [read more]

14:10 EDT

[JURIST] European Union [official website] officials said Tuesday that the EU has reached an agreement [press release] with the US to allow EU transnational organized crime-fighting body Eurojust [official website] and US prosecutors to share information about investigations on terrorism and cross-border criminal cases. The EU and and US are [read more]

13:10 EDT

[JURIST] Fifteen Nobel Peace Prize laureates sent a letter [text] to United Nations [official website] 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 [read more]

12:10 EDT

[JURIST] The US Department of Education [official website] announced [press release] 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 [read more]

11:10 EDT

[JURIST] The US government has filed a civil lawsuit against the estate of former Enron chairman Ken Lay [defense website; Houston Chronicle profile], 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 [read more]

09:10 EDT

[JURIST] A Dutch court took steps Monday to obtain testimony from Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] in an appeal [JURIST report] by a Dutch businessman convicted of selling chemicals that were used in poison gas attacks in Iraq. Frans Van Anraat [BBC profile] was convicted last year of selling raw [read more]

08:10 EDT

[JURIST] The Secure Fence Act of 2006 [PDF text; HR 6061 summary], the second portion of a two-part plan to tackle illegal immigration [JURIST news archive] in the US, was sent to President George Bush Monday for his signature. The bill allows the US Secretary of Homeland Security [official website] [read more]

07:10 EDT

[JURIST] The appeals chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia [official website] has ruled that Serbian war crimes suspect Vojislav Seselj [BBC profile; ICTY case backgrounder] can act as his own lawyer in his upcoming trial. An ICTY trial chamber removed Seselj's right to self-representation [JURIST report] [read more]

07:10 EDT

[JURIST] The lead legal consultant for the military regime that took over the Thai government [JURIST report] in a bloodless coup in September was elected Tuesday to serve as speaker of the National Legislative Assembly [member list], which is tasked with creating a new permanent constitution for Thailand [JURIST news [read more]

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