Legal news from Tuesday, November 28, 2006
20:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Virginia Court of Appeals [official website] ruled [text, PDF] Tuesday that Virginia state courts had a constitutional obligation to defer to the rulings of Vermont courts in a child custody dispute involving two lesbian partners who had entered into a Vermont civil union. Lisa and Janet Miller-Jenkins lived [read more]

19:11 EDT

[JURIST] In a Tuesday ruling [PDF], Judge James Robertson of the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] declared that "the Treasury Department’s failure to design and issue paper currency that is readily distinguishable to blind and visually impaired individuals violates section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act." [read more]

18:11 EDT

[JURIST] Liberia's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) [UN Mission in Liberia news release, PDF] has had to put its operations on hold due to lack of funds, according to its acting chairman. The TRC is charged with investigating and documenting crimes that occurred during Liberia's 14- year civil war [Globalsecurity.org [read more]

18:11 EDT

[JURIST] Saddam Hussein sought to bar testimony of an American forensic scientist during proceedings at his genocide trial [JURIST news archive] Tuesday, demanding a neutral witness from a country that was not involved in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The chief judge allowed the expert, Clyde Snow [profile], to testify [read more]

16:11 EDT

[JURIST] Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court [official website] urged the court Tuesday to confirm war crimes charges [indictment, PDF] against Congolese militia leader Thomas Lubanga [Trial Watch backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. Lubanga, founder of the militant Union of Patriotic Congolese [Global Security backgrounder], could be the first war crimes [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] Many European countries were aware that the US Central Intelligence Agency operated secret prisons [JURIST news archive] or used their territory for the transfer of terror suspects, according to a report [DOC text] released Tuesday by a European Parliament committee [official website] investigating the CIA's alleged use of European [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] heard oral arguments [transcript, PDF] Tuesday in KSR International Co. v. Teleflex Inc. [Duke Law case backgrounder; merit briefs], 04-1350, a case involving a fight over a patent on adjustable pedal assemblies for engines. At issue is what constitutes a [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] The National Education Association (NEA) [association website] joined three school districts on Tuesday in appealing the dismissal of a lawsuit [JURIST report] that challenged the funding of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) [PDF text; executive summary; US Dept. Ed. factsheet]. In an appeal filed with the US [read more]

14:11 EDT

[JURIST] A three-judge panel of the UK Court of Appeal [official website] on Tuesday dismissed an appeal by Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri [BBC profile] to overturn his conviction [JURIST report] on incitement-to-murder charges [BBC summary; BBC trial timeline]. In February, Hamza was convicted of 11 counts for urging his [read more]

14:11 EDT

[JURIST] A motion recognizing the people of Quebec as a "nation" within Canada passed the Canadian House of Commons [official website] Monday by a vote of 266-16. The motion, introduced [speech transcript] last week by Prime Minister Stephen Harper [official website], represents a compromise on an earlier proposal by the [read more]

13:11 EDT

[JURIST] Australian state and territory attorneys general demanded action Tuesday in the case of David Hicks [JURIST news archive], an Australian detainee held at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] since 2002. Upset that the US has failed to charge Hicks under revised military commission rules, the AGs sent Australian Attorney [read more]

13:11 EDT

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] Tuesday reduced [judgment summary, press release] the sentence of local Bosnian Serb politician Blagoje Simic [ICTY case backgrounder] from 17 to 15 years, after reversing one of his convictions. Simic was convicted [judgment] on charges of crimes against [read more]

09:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Thai cabinet Tuesday approved a measure to lift martial law in 41 of the country's 76 provinces, including Bangkok, despite a recommendation by coup leader and Army Commander-in-Chief General Sonthi Boonyaratglin [BBC profile] Monday to retain martial law in the capital city. Thailand [JURIST news archive] has been [read more]

09:11 EDT

[JURIST] A group of United Nations human rights experts on Tuesday urged the Iraqi government to refrain from carrying out the death sentence [JURIST report] imposed on Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] earlier this month for crimes against humanity [charging instrument, PDF] committed in the Iraqi town of Dujail [JURIST [read more]

08:11 EDT

[JURIST] Two Russian prosecutors were convicted Monday of accepting a $10,000 bribe from a construction company in the country's latest example of corruption in the court and police systems. Sergei Kocherov and Ruslan Fedosenko of the district prosecutor's office in Moscow were sentenced to four years in a maximum security [read more]

07:11 EDT

[JURIST] A North Carolina state court judge Monday ruled that a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the families of four US contractors killed in Iraq against Blackwater Security Consulting [corporate website] could move forward after being stayed for nearly two years. The company has argued that the case should be [read more]

07:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Lebanese cabinet on Monday sent a draft measure [JURIST report] concerning the creation of a UN-supported international tribunal [JURIST news archive] to try suspects accused of assassinating former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri to Lebanese President Emile Lahoud [official website] for his approval. Lahoud is not expected to back [read more]

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