Legal news from Wednesday, November 1, 2006
20:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Southern Poverty Law Center [advocacy website] filed a federal lawsuit [text, PDF; press release] Wednesday against the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) [official website] for its alleged harassment of five US citizens of Mexican descent during an illegal immigration [JURIST news archive] shakedown in Georgia over [read more]

19:11 EDT

[JURIST] In the first US case of its kind, a Georgia state court [Gwinnett County courts website] Wednesday found Ethiopian immigrant Khalid Adem guilty of sexually mutilating his then-two-year-old daughter and sentenced him to 10 years in prison. Adem was tried on charges of cruelty to children and aggravated battery [read more]

16:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Sierra Legal Defence Fund [advocacy website] petitioned the US Environmental Protection Agency [official website] Wednesday on behalf of thirteen Canadian cities - including Toronto, Windsor and Halifax - to mandate the reduction of air pollution from 150 coal-fired power plants in the US. The petition [PDF text; press [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] A Turkish trial court on Wednesday ruled that retired archaeologist Muazzez Ilmiye Cig [profile] violated no criminal law by writing historical accounts [IW &A Blog post] of headscarves that offended some Muslims. Cig faced up to 1 1/2 years' imprisonment for insulting religion by postulating in her book that [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] US Assistant Attorney General Wan J. Kim [official profile] said Tuesday that the US Department of Justice (DOJ) is working with states missing deadlines to update voting databases and equipment under the Help America Vote Act of 2002 [PDF text; FEC overview] before mid-term elections on November 7. The [read more]

14:11 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] heard oral arguments [transcript, PDF] Wednesday in Environmental Defense v. Duke Energy Corp. [Duke Law case backgrounder; merit briefs], 05-848, where the justices are considering a challenge to modifications to coal-fired power plants made by Duke Energy that allow the [read more]

14:11 EDT

[JURIST] Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Ernesto Derbez [official profile, in Spanish] has signed an order allowing Guatemala [JURIST news archive] to extradite former Guatemalan president Alfonso Portillo [Wikipedia profile] so that he can face charges of embezzlement for alleged misuse of defense department funds during his presidency, Mexican officials said [read more]

12:11 EDT

[JURIST] A British court Wednesday ordered the release of two brothers charged in connection with an alleged plot to blow up commercial planes [JURIST report] flying from Great Britain to the US in August. In a hearing at the City of Westminster Magistrates Court [official website], District Judge Quentin Purdy [read more]

12:11 EDT

[JURIST] A UN human rights body has called the Communist Party of Nepal – Maoists (CPN-M) [party website] to stop its parallel law enforcement activities, which has resulted into "serious" human rights abuses in Nepal recently. "OHCHR-Nepal calls again on the CPN-M leadership to stop all parallel 'law enforcement' activities, [read more]

12:11 EDT

[JURIST] The National People's Congress of China [official website] Tuesday approved an amendment [press release] to the country's banking laws [text] which was written to combat corruption as global competition with the Chinese banking sector continues to increase. The amendment will make it easier for banking supervisory organizations to uncover [read more]

11:11 EDT

[JURIST] A senior judge in Iraq [JURIST news archive] has been kidnapped at gunpoint, a Salahudin provincial police colonel said Wednesday. Judge Sa'adoun Hassan al-Azzawi was kidnapped Tuesday night by gunmen while traveling in his car. Azzawi is the deputy head of the Tikrit court of appeal, and his abduction [read more]

10:11 EDT

[JURIST] Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe [official profile; BBC profile] has again said that he plans to revise the country's constitution [text] to allow the country to better defend itself and to assist in international security efforts. In an interview [text] published Tuesday by the Financial Times, Abe said that [read more]

10:11 EDT

[JURIST] Turkey's bid for European Union membership could be further damaged by an unreleased report on the country's human rights record, a draft version of which was obtained by the Independent. The report condemns Turkey's refusal to compromise on free speech issues or to allow ships from Cyprus to dock [read more]

10:11 EDT

[JURIST] Serbian war crimes suspect and former nationalist politician Vojislav Seselj [BBC profile; ICTY case backgrounder], was removed from a court hearing at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] Wednesday after he disrupted proceedings on several occasions. An ICTY appeals panel last month ruled that [read more]

09:11 EDT

[JURIST] A UN human rights expert expressed concern Tuesday about human rights violations allegedly committed by a Mexican paramilitary group in the Mexican province of Oaxaca during clashes between protesters and the police. Rodolfo Stavenhagen [official website], the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms [read more]

09:11 EDT

[JURIST] A Chinese intermediate appellate court has overturned and remanded back to the trial court the case of Chen Guangcheng [HRW case timeline], a blind Chinese human rights legal activist who was sentenced [JURIST report] in August to four years and three months in prison for damaging property and "organizing [read more]

08:11 EDT

[JURIST] The government of Vietnam will repeal or abolish administrative Decree 31/CP [translated text], which authorizes restrictions on citizens who commit security violations not rising to the level of criminality, in advance of US President George W. Bush's scheduled November trip to the country, according to a US official speaking [read more]

07:11 EDT

[JURIST] A federal appeals court on Tuesday stayed an August district court ruling finding tobacco companies liable for civil racketeering charges [JURIST report; opinion], thus delaying enforcement of the accompanying remedial order [PDF text] that required the tobacco companies to publish "corrective statements" about the health impacts of their products [read more]

06:11 EDT

[JURIST] US District Judge James Munley granted a temporary restraining order [PDF text] late Tuesday prohibiting the city of Hazleton, Pennsylvania [official website] from enforcing the city's Illegal Immigration Relief Act [PDF text] and Landlord Tenant Ordinance [PDF text]. The local laws, designed to make it more difficult for illegal [read more]

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