Legal news from Tuesday, December 19, 2006

[JURIST] The Maryland Court of Appeals [official website] ruled [PDF text] Wednesday that the state's lethal injection procedures are subject to the state's Administrative Procedures Act (APA) and therefore must be developed under the guidance of the Maryland attorney general, a legislative committee and with review and comment by the … [read more]

[JURIST] Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe [official website; BBC profile] outlined plans Tuesday to reform the country's pacifist constitution [text] during his time in office. A national referendum would be required before the constitution could be amended and Abe promised Tuesday to pass a "National Referendum Bill" and accompanying procedures … [read more]

[JURIST] A defense lawyer for former vice-presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby [defense website; JURIST news archive] said Tuesday that Libby will call Vice President Dick Cheney [official website] to testify in Libby's upcoming trial on perjury and obstruction of justice charges [indictment, PDF; JURIST report]. Libby is charged in … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland [diocesan website; diocesan website on clergy abuse] has filed a new bankruptcy plan with the US Bankruptcy Court anticipating a payment of $75 million to settle [JURIST report] outstanding sex abuse claims against some of its clergy. Under the plan submitted Monday, … [read more]

[JURIST] Peruvian President Alan Garcia [official website] has called on lawmakers to authorize the death penalty for terrorism offenses [press release, in Spanish]. In a speech to the Peruvian Congress [official website] Monday, Garcia urged lawmakers to "give the necessary tools to the judges and to the executive branch to … [read more]

[JURIST] Serge Brammertz [official profile], the deputy prosecutor of the International Criminal Court who is heading the UN's independent investigation [UN materials] into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri [JURIST news archive] told the UN Security Council Monday that he has made progress in "developing crime scene … [read more]

[JURIST] Prosecutors at the Iraqi High Tribunal [official website] showed video footage of the aftermath of the so-called "Anfal" campaigns [HRW backgrounder] as Saddam Hussein's genocide trial [JURIST news archive; BBC trial timeline] continued in Baghdad Tuesday. The footage included images of warplanes bombing ethnic Kurdish villages in Northern Iraq, … [read more]

[JURIST] Jackie Arklov, a Swedish citizen who volunteered with a Croatian militia during the Bosnian war, was convicted of war crimes Monday in what the Stockholm District Court called [statement, in Swedish] the first occasion in modern times that a Swedish court has convicted someone of violating international law. Arklov … [read more]

[JURIST] Robert M. McDowell, one of five commissioners that make up the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) [official website], has said that he will not vote [statement, PDF] on the proposed $82.2 billion AT&T-BellSouth merger [AT&T materials] despite being cleared [JURIST report] to do so by FCC general counsel Samuel Feder. … [read more]

[JURIST] A lawyer for a US Marine captain implicated in the deaths of 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha [JURIST report] last November said Monday that his client has been informed that he will face criminal charges. Capt. Lucas McConnell has been told that he will face dereliction of duty charges, … [read more]

[JURIST] Officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) [official website] have said that a program providing temporary housing to victims of Hurricane Katrina [JURIST news archive] could resume this week. US District Judge Richard Leon last month ordered [PDF text; opinion, PDF] FEMA to reinstate certain housing payments for … [read more]

[JURIST] Turkish writer Ipek Calislar was found not guilty Tuesday of "insulting the Turkish identity" in violation of Article 301 [Amnesty backgrounder] of the country's penal code. Calislar went on trial [JURIST report] in October for writing that the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, once left his palace … [read more]

[JURIST] Romanian President Traian Basescu [official website, English version] has told the country's parliament that the "criminal and illegitimate" former Communist regime committed massive human rights violations and crimes against humanity [speech, in Romanian], killing and persecuting as many as two million people between 1945 and 1989 Presenting the 650-page … [read more]

[JURIST] California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger [official website] on Monday ordered [press release] his administration to "correct court-identified deficiencies in California's lethal injection protocol to ensure the death penalty procedure is constitutional." In a memorandum of intended decision [PDF text] issued last week, US District Judge Jeremy Fogel said that California's … [read more]

[JURIST] Five Bulgarian nurses and one Palestinian doctor were convicted and sentenced to death Tuesday for knowingly infecting over 400 Libyan patients, primarily children, with the HIV virus. This is the second time a Libyan court has convicted the medics; the initial guilty verdict was overturned by the Libyan Supreme … [read more]

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