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Legal news from Tuesday, January 2, 2007
by Jeannie Shawl

New UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday that resolving the crisis in Darfur was "very high" on his agenda and would be one of his top priorities. Ban, whose tenure as secretary-general officially began Monday, said that he has already spoken to Jan Eliasson, former UN General Assembly President and current Special Representative …

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by Leslie Schulman

A top Iraqi legal official whose presence at the Saddam execution was required by law told Reuters Tuesday that he threatened to walk out of the execution after Shiite supporters began jeering the ousted leader. Munkith al-Faroon said that hecklers began chanting support for militant Shiite cleric and head of the Mehdi Army militia Moqtada al-Sadr [BBC …

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by Leslie Schulman

Massachusetts lawmakers Tuesday pushed forward a proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Sixty-two members of the Massachusetts legislature voted for the measure and 132 against on a second vote, putting it 12 votes over the 50 vote threshold it needed to stay alive for further consideration by the next legislative session, which can then put it on …

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by Jeannie Shawl

Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi said Tuesday that he would push the United Nations to adopt a universal ban on the death penalty after this weekend's execution of Saddam Hussein. Italy, which assumed a two-year non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council Monday, was …

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by Leslie Schulman

Australian Attorney General Phillip Ruddock said Tuesday that Australian Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks will be among the first of the Guantanamo detainees to be brought to trial before new US military commissions. In a news conference, Ruddock said that US counterpart Alberto Gonzales had assured him that Hicks would be charged soon …

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by Alexis Unkovic

A government official in Nepal said Tuesday that the country's interim constitution will be promulgated by the middle of January when the requisite arms management process outlined in the Nepalese peace plan begins. Nepal's House of Representatives must first approve the interim constitution, which simultaneously provides for the creation …

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by Alexis Unkovic

The government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki initiated an investigation Tuesday into the taping and distribution of a graphic camera phone video showing the actual Saturday execution of ousted Iraqi president Saddam Hussein and the unruly process surrounding it. The video's release has already prompted protest [JURIST …

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by Alexis Unkovic

Sunnis demonstrated in the streets of Iraq Monday in continuing opposition to the Saturday execution of Saddam Hussein, which was captured on camera phone video taken at the scene. Most notably, Sunni protestors in Samarra stormed into a damaged Shiite Mosque bearing a photograph of Hussein and a fake coffin. …

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by Jeannie Shawl

Rizgar Mohammed Amin, the Iraqi Kurdish judge who presided over the Saddam Hussein Dujail trial before resigning in early 2006 over criticisms of his handling of the case, has said that Hussein's execution violated Iraqi law banning executions during the Muslim Eid holiday. Sunnis began celebrating the holiday on …

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by Jeannie Shawl

Federal courts are closed Tuesday under a proclamation issued last week appointing Tuesday as a National Day of Mourning for former US President Gerald R. Ford, who died last week at the age of 93. President Bush ordered most federal offices to be closed Tuesday as a mark of respect …

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