Legal news from Thursday, December 7, 2006
21:12 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] Thursday granted certiorari in five cases [order list, PDF], including two antitrust [JURIST news archive] cases, and three criminal appeals. There are currently two other antitrust cases [JURIST report] to be heard by the court this term. Credit Suisse v. [read more]

19:12 EDT

[JURIST] Canada’s House of Commons [official website] voted 175 to 123 Thursday against reopening debate on same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive]. The result effectively upheld Canada’s 2005 law allowing equal marriage rights for same-sex couples [text; JURIST report], passed under the leadership of former Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin. Canadian [read more]

19:12 EDT

[JURIST] Hewlett-Packard [corporate website] reached a $14.5 million settlement [settlement, PDF] agreement with California Attorney General Bill Lockyer [official website] on Thursday in an unfair business practices suit [civil complaint, PDF] stemming from HP's allegedly fraudulent attempts to obtain certain phone records, a practice known as "pretexting." Lockyer "commend[ed] the [read more]

17:12 EDT

[JURIST] Outgoing Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] Chairman Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) [official website; JURIST news archive] presented a bill Thursday that would prevent federal prosecutors from exerting what he sees as excessive pressure on companies and executives in fraud investigations. Specter said he hoped the move would put pressure [read more]

16:12 EDT

[JURIST] Charles McArthur Emmanuel, also known as Roy Belfast Jr. and Charles Taylor Jr., son of former Liberia [JURIST news archive] president Charles Taylor, pleaded not guilty in a US district court in Florida Thursday to charges [indictment] of committing torture in the first prosecution brought under a federal anti-torture [read more]

14:12 EDT

[JURIST] Interim Fiji Prime Minister Dr. Jona Senilagakali admitted Thursday that the military coup [JURIST report] carried out in the country earlier this week is "illegal" but defended the takeover as necessary "to clean up the mess of a much bigger illegal activity of the previous government." Fiji [JURIST news [read more]

11:12 EDT

[JURIST] Russia has opened a criminal investigation into the death of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko [BBC timeline], the Russian Prosecutor General's office said Thursday. Litvinenko, who once worked for the Russian Security Federal Bureau, was poisoned in London on November 1, and passed away due to radiation poisoning [Reuters [read more]

11:12 EDT

[JURIST] Scientists produced new evidence Wednesday supporting the claim of innocence of five Bulgarian nurses [JURIST report] and one Palestinian doctor accused [JURIST news archive] of infecting over 400 Libyan patients, primarily children, with the HIV virus. An analysis published in Nature [report] of 44 HIV and hepatitis virus samples [read more]

10:12 EDT

[JURIST] Elizaphan Ntakirutimana, convicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website] in 2003 for crimes relating to the Rwandan genocide, was released from prison [press release] Wednesday after serving his sentence, becoming the first person freed after serving a tribunal sentence. Ntakirutimana, a Seventh Day Adventist pastor, [read more]

10:12 EDT

[JURIST] Federal Bureau of Investigation [official website] Director Robert S. Mueller [official profile] told the Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] Wednesday that the FBI has launched internal investigations into media leaks of details relating to several public corruption probes. The FBI had pending investigations of Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA) [official [read more]

10:12 EDT

[JURIST] The Bulgarian Parliament [official website] voted Wednesday to open the archives of the nation's former communist secret service [Wikipedia backgrounder] in order to disclose information about 29 categories of people who currently hold or have held positions of responsibility in Bulgaria [JURIST news archive]. The law, which passed with [read more]

10:12 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] heard no oral arguments Wednesday despite it being a scheduled argument day, an unusual development reflecting a gap in its docket caused by a decrease in the number of cases it chooses to hear [SCOTUSblog report]. Compared to last year, [read more]

09:12 EDT

[JURIST] US Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) [official website; JURIST news archive], outgoing chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee [official website], and current ranking member of the committee Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) [official website] have introduced a bill which would restore habeas corpus rights to military detainees [JURIST news archive] and [read more]

08:12 EDT

[JURIST] Russian President Vladimir Putin [official profile] on Wednesday signed into law [press release] a controversial bill that eliminates a rule requiring at least 50 percent of voters to turn out in order for poll results to be validated. Putin signed the measure despite opposition by Ella Pamfilova [official profile], [read more]

07:12 EDT

[JURIST] Royal Canadian Mounted Police Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli [official profile] resigned Wednesday after admitting that he gave incorrect testimony to a Canadian House of Commons [official website] committee about the Maher Arar [advocacy website; CBC timeline; JURIST news archive] case. Arar is a Canadian citizen who, on suspicion of ties [read more]

07:12 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate [official website] unanimously passed the Secure Access to Justice and Court Protection Act [HR 1751 summary] Wednesday, a bill that will increase security measures for judges [JURIST report] both in and out of courtrooms across the country. The bill was written in response to the increased [read more]

06:12 EDT

[JURIST] The Iraq Study Group (ISG) [official website; fact sheet] recommended Wednesday that the Bush administration provide "strong" support and funding for US Justice Department efforts in Iraq "to establish courts; to train judges, prosecutors, and investigators; and to create institutions and practices to fight corruption." In its report [PDF [read more]

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