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Legal news from Monday, November 13, 2006
by Melissa Bancroft

The US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Monday upheld an Ohio regulation requiring a women to meet with a doctor 24 hours prior to an abortion procedure but reversed a District Court ruling that had sustained a provision limiting minors to one chance of a judicial waiver from the state's parental notification requirement. …

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by Melissa Bancroft

The US Supreme Court Monday denied an application by US citizen Mohammad Munaf for a temporary injunction postponing his transfer to Iraqi custody where he faces the death penalty for his involvement in a 2005 kidnapping in Iraq. Munaf, who was convicted and sentenced to death by an …

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by Jaime Jansen

Russia may effectively extend a death penalty moratorium for three years if the State Duma passes a bill shifting the deadline for introducing jury trials in Chechnya from January 1, 2007, to January 1, 2010. The Russian Constitutional Court ruled in 1999 that the death penalty …

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by Jaime Jansen

The head of the independent Human Rights Moroccan Center announced plans Monday to appeal a Moroccan court's conviction of three former Guantanamo Bay detainees accused of involvement in terrorism. Khaled al Charkaoui expressed surprise at last week's convictions of Mohamed Slimani, Najib Houssani and Mohamed Ouali, who spent over four years in US custody …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Lebanon's cabinet approved a UN draft proposal for an international judicial tribunal to try suspects in the February 2005 assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri, but six pro-Syrian cabinet members have resigned since Sunday, possibly rendering the cabinet decision invalid. Lebanon's constitution requires that the cabinet include representatives from all Lebanese political factions …

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by Jaime Jansen

Torture has become widespread in the strife-ridden southern Russian republic of Chechnya, with more than 100 known cases in both official and secret detention centers, according to a new report released Monday by Human Rights Watch. The HRW report, addressed to the UN Committee against Torture as …

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by Jaime Jansen

US Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), outgoing chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has indicated that President Bush may have to nominate moderate judges to any future vacancies on the US Supreme Court following midterm elections that ceded control of Congress to the Democrats. Monday's Philadelphia Inquirer also …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The Australian government will request the return of Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks if the US fails to charge him under the revised military commissions framework, Australia's attorney general told a meeting of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) Monday. In August, Australian Attorney General Philip Ruddock said that he …

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by Jeannie Shawl

The US Supreme Court on Monday upheld California's "catch-all" jury instruction for death penalty cases, ruling that the instructions provide adequate opportunity for jurors to weigh evidence that favors the defendant. In a 5-4 decision in Ayers v. Belmontes, the Court reinstated Belmontes' conviction for first degree murder …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Serbian war crimes suspect Vojislav Seselj has started a hunger strike ahead of his trial, scheduled for November 27 at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), demanding that the ICTY dismiss his court-appointed lawyers and allow him to prepare is defense with lawyers of his choosing. Seselj also demanded …

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by Joshua Pantesco

An Australian bill of rights would frustrate the government's ability to deal with terrorism and other threats, Australia's attorney general told a meeting of Australia's Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) Monday. Australian Attorney General Phillip Ruddock told the Commission he is against binding future Australians to the current point of view regarding human …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Certain portions of British courtroom proceedings could be televised in the near future, according to the Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA), which is preparing to outline a proposal in a consultation paper to be released in the next few weeks. Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer, the minister heading the Department, has indicated that witnesses, victims, and …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Thai Defense Minister Boonrawd Somtas again suggested Monday that martial law could be lifted by Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont before the PM leaves for an international summit in Vietnam on November 18, and said that a decision would be made in the next day or two. Somtas told reporters, however, that even if the military …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The UN's top political official has asked Myanmar's military government to release political prisoner and rights activist Aung San Suu Kyi after meeting with the rights activist over the weekend. Suu Kyi has been under house arrest in Myanmar for 17 years, and UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari, …

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