Legal news from Friday, January 26, 2007
21:01 EDT

[JURIST] The Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston South Carolina [diocesan website] has agreed [press release, PDF] to set aside $12 million to compensate victims and relatives of victims of clergy sex abuse [JURIST news archive] going back before 1980, according to a statement released by the diocese Friday. A judge [read more]

16:01 EDT

[JURIST] Spain Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos [official website, in Spanish] argued for an expanded European constitution [official website; JURIST news archive] in his opening statement at the “Friends of the EU Constitution” summit [press release, in Spanish; additional declaration in English, PDF] that got under way in Madrid Friday. [read more]

15:01 EDT

[JURIST] Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper [official website] formally apologized [official press release and text of letter] to Maher Arar [JURIST news archive; recorded video] on behalf of the Canadian government Friday for its role in the US deportation of Arar to Syria in 2002 and announced a settlement with [read more]

14:01 EDT

[JURIST] Guantanamo defense lawyer and Reprieve [official website] senior counsel Zachary Katznelson [Reprieve profile] told Reuters in an interview published Friday that since December at least 160 Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees have been moved to solitary confinement in the new part of the facility called "Camp 6" [ [read more]

13:01 EDT

[JURIST] EU Freedom, Security and Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini [official website; BBC profile] urged the 27 EU nations on Friday to adopt EU-wide laws criminalizing denial of the Holocaust [JURIST news archive] and incitement of hatred and racial violence. Frattini's remarks come the day before Holocaust Memorial Day [official UK [read more]

13:01 EDT

[JURIST] The UN Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) [official website] has delayed the trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] until June 4, giving Taylor’s lawyers more time to prepare their defense. While the defense had asked the court to push the start of [read more]

12:01 EDT

[JURIST] British Prime Minister Tony Blair intervened Friday in a renewed furor over criminal sentencing [JURIST report] that broke out after a judge cited the Home Secretary's recent urgings [JURIST report] to keep non-dangerous offenders out of overcrowded prisons [BBC backgrounder; Guardian Q&A] in suspending the sentence of a man [read more]

12:01 EDT

[JURIST] Rwanda [JURIST news archive] plans to release 8,000 prisoners implicated in the country's 1994 genocide [BBC backgrounder; HRW backgrounder], despite warnings from human rights groups that their liberation could produce violence against genocide survivors. Chief prosecutor Martin Ngoga told Reuters that the releases will "exclude key masterminds of the [read more]

11:01 EDT

[JURIST] The new constitution of Thailand [JURIST news archive] will be finalized and ready to face a referendum by July 6, according to an announcement Friday from the Constitutional Drafting Committee. The 35-member committee began work on the document on Friday and project that a first draft will be complete [read more]

11:01 EDT

[JURIST] North Korea [JURIST news archive] accused South Korea [JURIST news archive] of Internet censorship Friday, saying that preventing the South Korean public from accessing pro-North Korea websites violates their citizens' basic human rights and freedom to access information. Since 2004, South Korea has blocked more than 30 such websites, [read more]

10:01 EDT

[JURIST] The UK House of Commons [official website] passed the Fraud (Trials Without a Jury) Bill [PDF text; backgrounder] 281-246 on its third reading Thursday, sending the bill to the House of Lords [official website]. The proposed bill will allow defendants in serious and complex fraud cases to be tried [read more]

09:01 EDT

[JURIST] Both the Maine House of Representatives and Senate approved a joint resolution [DOC text; SP 113 summary] Thursday refusing to implement the federal Real ID Act [PDF text; JURIST news archive]. The resolution had broad support across both parties, with the House of Representatives approving the resolution 137-4 and [read more]

09:01 EDT

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice [official website] asked [submission, PDF; declaration, PDF] the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Thursday to drop the DOJ's appeal [JURIST report] of a lower court ruling [PDF opinion] declaring the NSA domestic surveillance program [JURIST news archive] unconstitutional. The Justice Department [read more]

07:01 EDT

[JURIST] Some non-Cambodian judges involved in the multinational Khmer Rouge [JURIST news archive] genocide trials may resign because of a protracted dispute over procedural rules among the various jurists overseeing the upcoming tribunal, the International Herald Tribune reported Thursday. Tribunal judges convened in November to establish court rules for the [read more]

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