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Legal news from Thursday, December 14, 2006

[JURIST] The New Jersey Legislature [official website] passed a bill [text, PDF] Thursday allowing same-sex civil unions [JURIST news archive] in response to a New Jersey Supreme Court [official website] ruling [text, PDF; JURIST report] in October that said the state legislature had 180 days to decide whether the state … [read more]

[JURIST] Lawyers for Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] accused Iraqi officials of interfering with judicial independence Thursday, after a number of public statements [AFP report] from officials that Iraq's Cassation Court, currently considering Hussein's appeal [JURIST report], would ultimately affirm the former Iraqi president's death sentence [JURIST report]. Hussein's lawyers … [read more]

[JURIST] One day after Florida death row inmate Angel Diaz [Amnesty International profile] endured a 34-minute-long - and apparently painful - execution, death penalty [JURIST news archive] critics filed papers with the Florida Supreme Court [official website] seeking to once again halt the death penalty in the state. Petitioners, including … [read more]

[JURIST] The Serbian Supreme Court ordered a retrial Thursday in the case of 14 former members of Serb militias who were convicted [JURIST report] of war crimes for killing some 200 Croatian POWs at a pig farm near Vukovar [BBC backgrounder] in 1991 at the end of a three-month siege … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit [official website] has upheld a lower court ruling [opinion, PDF] that defendants of slaves have no standing to sue companies that allegedly profited from slavery before the practice was abolished. In an opinion by Judge Richard Posner [official profile] Wednesday, … [read more]

[JURIST] The UK High Court on Thursday rejected [judgment text] an appeal [JURIST report] brought by the family of a Brazilian man who was shot and killed by London police [JURIST report] two weeks after the July 2005 London transit bombings [JURIST news archive] when police mistook him for alleged … [read more]

[JURIST] The UN General Assembly held a ceremony [recorded video] Thursday to administer the oath of office to new UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon [official profile; UN materials]. Ban, appointed [JURIST report] to the position in October, will succeed Kofi Annan [official profile] when the two-term secretary-general steps down on December … [read more]

[JURIST] The Argentinean Senate [official website] has unanimously approved a bill that refers to the mass killings of Armenians [BBC Q/A] in Turkey around the time of World War I as genocide and establishes a day of annual commemoration on April 24. The bill has already passed in the lower … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Defense Department Thursday announced the release of 16 Saudi Arabian detainees [press release] from Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive]. Saudi Arabian Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul said that the detainees would now be "subject to the Saudi system." Over 40 Saudi detainees have now been released … [read more]

[JURIST] Chinese human rights attorney Gao Zhisheng [Wikipedia profile] has been convicted by a court in Beijing of inciting subversion of state power [CECC report], his lawyers said Thursday. Gao was convicted after entering a guilty plea, but his lawyers - who were not permitted to attend court proceedings - … [read more]

[JURIST] A federal jury in New Orleans returned a verdict [Merck press release] in favor of pharmaceutical giant Merck [corporate website] Wednesday, concluding that the company did not fail to adequately warn a Tennessee man's doctors about risks associated with the painkiller Vioxx [Merck Vioxx Information Center website; JURIST news … [read more]

[JURIST] The Israeli Supreme Court [official website] ruled [opinion text; summary, DOC] Thursday that not all targeted killings [BBC backgrounder] of Palestinian militants are prohibited by international law. Two Israeli human rights groups filed a petition in 2002 seeking a ban on the Israeli policy, which government officials defend as … [read more]

[JURIST] US District Judge Richard J. Leon [official profile] said Wednesday that systems set up by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) [official website] to manage housing payments for victims of Hurricane Katrina [JURIST news archive] had created a "legal disaster" and ordered several FEMA officials to appear in court … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled [opinion, PDF] Wednesday that a 1982 ban on corporate farming [I-300 text] in Nebraska is unconstitutional because it violates the dormant commerce clause. The federal appeals court upheld a lower court decision [PDF text; JURIST report], which was appealed … [read more]

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