Legal news from Friday, December 1, 2006
16:12 EDT

[JURIST] Mexican President-elect Felipe Calderon [campaign website, in Spanish; BBC profile] was formally sworn in [transcript] as President of Mexico [official website] in a hasty ceremony before the Mexican Congress [official website, in Spanish] Friday after a midnight swearing in by outgoing President Vicente Fox [BBC profile] several hours earlier. [read more]

16:12 EDT

[JURIST] The Iraqi Interior Ministry [JURIST news archive] has announced that it is forming a specialized unit to monitor news coverage. A ministry spokesman told AP the unit was designed to correct “fabricated and false news” that he claims gives the Iraqi people the wrong idea that the situation is [read more]

15:12 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] granted certiorari in three cases Friday, most notably Morse v. Frederick (06-278) [docket; cert. petition, PDF], which addresses whether a school board had the right to suspend a then-high school senior for holding a banner that read "Bong Hits 4 [read more]

15:12 EDT

[JURIST] Four of six Dutch terror suspects on trial [JURIST report] for planning attacks against Dutch politicians and government facilities were found guilty in Amsterdam Friday. The convicted include 20-year-old Samir Azzouz [Wikipedia profile], who was sentenced to a prison term of eight years for his central role in the [read more]

15:12 EDT

[JURIST] The US Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles [diocesan website; diocesan website on clergy abuse] announced [statement] Friday that it has settled 45 lawsuits concerning 22 priests accused of clergy sexual abuse [JURIST news archive] for $60 million. Ray Boucher [profile], the lead attorney for the plaintiffs, told AP [read more]

14:12 EDT

[JURIST] Serb nationalist war crimes suspect Vojislav Seselj [BBC profile; ICTY case backgrounder], who has been on hunger strike [JURIST report] for since Nov. 11, agreed Friday to medical examination by an "independent" team of doctors composed of a Serb, a French and a Russian national. Seselj had previously refused [read more]

14:12 EDT

[JURIST] Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf [official website; BBC profile] signed new legislation Friday allows rape cases to be tried in either secular or Islamic courts, reduces the evidentiary burden necessary for conviction, and substitutes a fine and five-year prison term for persons found guilty of having sex outside of marriage. [read more]

13:12 EDT

[JURIST] Maryland's solicitor general urged the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit [official website] Thursday to overturn a district court decision [PDF text; JURIST report] striking down Maryland's Fair Share Health Care Fund Act [PDF text]. The law would have required companies with more than 10,000 employees to [read more]

12:12 EDT

[JURIST] A California appeals court has ruled [PDF text] that a 2005 referendum authorizing the transfer of land, on which a 29-foot cross commemorating veterans [background] sits, to the federal government did not violate the California constitution [text]. The land, owned by the city of San Diego, has been the [read more]

11:12 EDT

[JURIST] Lebanese President Emile Lahoud [official website] Friday reiterated his rejection [JURIST comment] of the Lebanese cabinet's approval [JURIST report] of a measure that would establish a UN-supported international tribunal [JURIST news archive] to try suspects accused of assassinating former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, telling JURIST that he "considered the [read more]

11:12 EDT

[JURIST] A Japanese court on Friday ordered the government of Japan [JURIST news archive] to pay 468 million yen to 61 Japanese plaintiffs who were displaced as children in China after World War II. The plaintiffs - known as "war orphans" - alleged that the government failed to promptly remove [read more]

11:12 EDT

[JURIST] The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) [official website] has abandoned plans to decrease the frequency of reporting requirements for the release of toxic chemicals by polluting companies, it was announced Thursday. The changes would have required polluters to report every other year rather than the current mandate of annual submissions. [read more]

10:12 EDT

[JURIST] Protestors demonstrated Thursday outside the Dutch Parliament building against the Netherlands' plan to completely ban [JURIST report] the wearing of the full-length Muslim burqa [Wikipedia backgrounder] and the niqab [BBC backgrounder], the Muslim headscarf for women that leaves only the eyes visible. Twenty-seven of the approximately 80 demonstrators wore [read more]

10:12 EDT

[JURIST] In two separate rulings on Friday, Chinese courts rejected the appeals of a journalist and rights activist who challenged the government. In a five-minute session, the Beijing High Court rejected an appeal by Zhao Yan [JURIST news archive], a New York Times researcher who was sentenced to three years [read more]

09:12 EDT

[JURIST] The Central African Republic (CAR) [CIA backgrounder] has violated international law by arbitrarily detaining people, holding detainees for extended periods without charges and trials, and maintaining prisons in degrading conditions, according to a study [text] released Thursday by Amnesty International [advocacy website]. The study documents the cases of over [read more]

08:12 EDT

[JURIST] Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts [official website] Justice Judith Cowin [official profile] ruled Thursday that all seven of the court's justices will hear a request to put a measure effectively banning same-sex marriage [text, DOC] on the 2008 Massachusetts ballot if legislators fail to vote on the issue before [read more]

07:12 EDT

[JURIST] The US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals [official website] heard arguments Thursday on whether unintroduced non-sensitive evidence from the criminal trial of Zacarias Moussaoui [JURIST news archive] should be turned over to families of 9/11 [JURIST news archive] victims as requested [motion 1, PDF; motion 2, PDF] by and [read more]

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