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Legal news from Tuesday, February 6, 2007
by Ryan Olden

The US Army on Tuesday set a trial date for Lt. Col. Steven Lee Jordan, the only military officer to face charges in connection with abuses of detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. In July 2008, Jordan will face a court-martial for seven violations of the Uniform …

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by Alexis Unkovic

US Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced a bill Tuesday entitled the "Personal Data Privacy and Security Act of 2007" designed to protect the personal information of American consumers. The legislation resembles a bill Leahy co-sponsored with then-Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) in 2005, which was …

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by Alexis Unkovic

Murat Kurnaz, a Turkish citizen born in Germany and formerly held at Guantanamo Bay, plans to request the release of secret military documents pertaining to his detention, according to his lawyer as reported in Wednesday's Der Tagesspiegel. Kurnaz seeks the documents in relation to a …

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by Ryan Olden

The Ku Klux Klan is experiencing "a surprising and troubling resurgence" largely on the issue of Hispanic immigration, according to a report released Tuesday by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). In addition to exploiting fears of non-white immigration, the KKK is also using gay marriage and urban crime to fuel the …

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by Lisl Brunner

US Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty testified before the US Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday that thirteen or more federal prosecutors who have been removed over the past two years were not victims of political retaliation, as some Democrats have alleged. McNulty specifically denied that the removal of former US Attorney Carol Lam [US Department …

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by Lisl Brunner

A judge has ruled that Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi and former PM Silvio Berlusconi will not give evidence at the preliminary hearing of Nicolo Pollari, the former head of Italian Intelligence and Security Services, to determine his involvement in the alleged 2003 CIA kidnapping and …

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by Joe Shaulis

The Inter-American Conference on Human Rights (IACHR) has scheduled a hearing to explore whether failing to curb greenhouse gas emissions constitutes a human rights violation. The environmental group EarthJustice announced Tuesday that it had received a letter in which the IACHR said it would hold a hearing on the topic. …

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by Katerina Ossenova

The office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights announced Tuesday that UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Philip Alston will go to the Philippines next week to investigate political murders in the country. Alston will report his conclusions to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour …

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by Brett Murphy

Afghan President Hamid Karzai is expected to reject a proposed amnesty resolution that would grant pardons for crimes committed during the 25 years of war in Afghanistan, according to spokesman Karim Rahimi on Monday. Rahimi said the president believed the bill to be against basic constitutional principles and Islamic laws, because only …

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by Brett Murphy

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled on Tuesday that a class-action lawsuit against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. for allegedly discriminating against female employees should go to trial, upholding a 2004 certification of the class. The court stated that expert opinions, together with factual, statistical, and anecdotal evidence, presented …

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by Katerina Ossenova

Texas Senator Jane Nelson (R), Chairwoman of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, urged Texas Governor Rick Perry Tuesday to rescind his executive order making Texas the first US state to require that girls be vaccinated for the human papilloma virus (HPV), which is the primary …

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by Brett Murphy

UK senior judges have agreed that full Islamic veils should not be worn in British courts and tribunals, according to a report in Tuesday's London Times. After consulting with legal advisers, a panel of senior judges have included in a set of proposed new court guidelines the preference for Muslim women not to wear the niqab, but …

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by Brett Murphy

Australian Prime Minister John Howard said Monday that the Australian government will do more to pressure the US to expedite the trial of David Hicks. In a cabinet meeting on Monday, officials informed Howard of the growing public concern about the case, and Howard later told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that …

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by Katerina Ossenova

About 60 nations pledged Tuesday to refrain from the illegal and unacceptable use of child soldiers in armed conflicts during the second day of Free Children from War, a global conference in Paris. Hosted by the French Foreign Ministry and UNICEF, the conference adopted the Paris Commitments and formally unveiled …

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by Brett Murphy

A proposed bill on corporate manslaughter came to a standstill in the UK House of Lords on Monday when Conservative and Liberal Democrats voted for an amendment which broadened the scope of the law to include deaths in prisons and police cells. The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Bill was proposed by the …

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by Katerina Ossenova

The government of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) promised to continue fighting to adopt legislation that would grant legal recognition to same-sex partnerships after Australia's attorney general recommended Tuesday that the country's federal government overturn a proposed civil unions law for the second time. In December 2006, ACT Attorney General Simon Corbell introduced …

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by Natalie Hrubos

The US military judge in the court-martial of 1st Lt. Ehren Watada prohibited international and constitutional law scholars from testifying Monday about the legality of the war. Watada faces charges of missing movement and conduct unbecoming an officer for his refusal to be deployed to Iraq with his unit in June 2006. …

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by Natalie Hrubos

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law Monday a bill moving the Russian Constitutional Court from its current Moscow location to St. Petersburg. The bill received final parliamentary approval last month with a 147-2 vote in Russia's Federation Council [official website. The bill allows the Court to hold visiting sessions anywhere …

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by Jeannie Shawl

Efforts by Russian prosecutors to bring new charges against jailed oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky raise "serious questions about the rule of law in Russia," US State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack said during a press briefing Monday. Prosecutors charged the former Yukos CEO with money laundering and embezzlement Monday based …

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by Natalie Hrubos

Archbishop of York John Sentamu criticized the British government Monday for its latest effort to extend the current 28-day maximum detention period for terror suspects. UK Home Secretary John Reid said last week that in light of the complexity of the investigation of the August transatlantic airplane bombing plot he would …

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by Jeannie Shawl

The Canadian government has violated native Canadian children's human rights by underfunding child-welfare services for native peoples, according to the Canadian Assembly of First Nations (AFN). The group plans to file a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission this month against the federal government, alleging that the government has not adequately funded welfare programs, forcing 27,000 …

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by Holly Manges Jones

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Monday urged the government of Lebanon to ratify an agreement with the UN to create a UN-supported international tribunal to try suspects accused of assassinating former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in February 2005. The agreement was signed by Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Saniora last week …

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by Holly Manges Jones

An American Bar Association (ABA) panel has proposed revisions to its judicial code of conduct so that judges are advised to avoid impropriety but would no longer be subject to formal discipline for failing to do so. In the rewritten ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct, judges are still instructed to "avoid …

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