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Legal news from Friday, February 9, 2007
17:02 EDT

[JURIST] South African President Thabo Mbeki [official profile] promised in his annual state of the nation address [text] Friday to reduce crime by increasing the police force and reducing unemployment. South Africa [CIA backgrounder; JURIST news archive] has one of the highest crime rates in the world; averaging 50 murders [read more]

16:02 EDT

[JURIST] A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit [official website] ruled unanimously [opinion, PDF] Friday that US citizen and suspected terrorist Shawqi Omar [JURIST news archive] has a right to argue his case before a US court. In a simultaneous 2-1 [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] The US Environmental Protection Agency [official website] on Friday finalized a regulation [text and materials] intended to slash toxic emissions from automobiles and related sources through the year 2030. EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson said [press release] the new standards will be phased in for fuel containers in 2009, for [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] A North Carolina State Senator proposed a bill [text] Thursday that will protect doctors who assist in executions [JURIST news archive] from disciplinary actions. Senate Bill 114, filed by Republican State Senator Phil Berger [official website], will shield health care professionals including doctors, nurses, and pharmacists from any disciplinary [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] Russian prosecutors said Friday their case against former Yukos [corporate website] CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky [defense website; JURIST news archive] and his business partner, Platon Lebedev [defense website], is solely a criminal matter and not politically motivated. A spokesperson for the Prosecutor General’s Office [official website, in Russian] said Khodorkovsky [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] The US District Court of Maine [official website] has ruled that the Maine Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) [official website] cannot compel Verizon Communications [corporate website] to disclose whether the telephone company participated in the warrantless domestic surveillance program [JURIST news archive] run by the US National Security Agency (NSA) [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] The government of Spain [JURIST archive] agreed Friday to declassify and deliver to Spanish High Court [official website] Judge Ismael Moreno intelligence documents he ordered from Spain's National Intelligence Center [official website] pertaining to secret CIA "rendition flights" [JURIST news archive] that transferred suspected terrorists between countries. The documents [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] The European Commission [official website] proposed Friday that all EU member nations criminalize serious environmental offenses and impose minimum sanctions for violations. Commission Vice President for Justice, Freedom and Security Franco Frattini [official profile] said [press release] the proposed directive [Q/A] would prevent environmental criminals from exploiting discrepancies between [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] Australian Attorney General Philip Ruddock [official website] Friday denied contentions by lawyers representing Australian Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee David Hicks [JURIST news archive] that comments [JURIST report] made by the head of the US military prison indicated he would not get a fair trial. US Navy Rear [read more]

12:02 EDT

[JURIST] The Constitutional Court of Colombia [official website] has ruled [summary] that same-sex couples must be accorded the same property rights as other unmarried couples. With eight votes in favor and one abstention, the court held unconstitutional a 1990 law creating a presumption that property held by "a man and [read more]

10:02 EDT

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California filed a class action lawsuit [complaint, PDF; press release] against the federal government Thursday, alleging that "its practice of indefinitely delaying citizen applications" violated due process rights protected by the Constitution and federal statutes and regulations governing immigration. The immigrant plaintiffs [read more]

09:02 EDT

[JURIST] UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour [official profile] filed an amicus curiae or "friend of the court" brief [PDF text; press release] with the Iraqi High Tribunal [official website] Thursday arguing that imposing the death penalty on former Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan [Trial Watch profile; [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] The US military's determination that there is not sufficient evidence to support allegations of abuse [statement, PDF; JURIST report] at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] prompted Amnesty International [advocacy website] Thursday to renew its calls for an independent investigation into the allegations. In a statement [text], Amnesty called the [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] US Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald [official website] rested the prosecution's case Thursday in the trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby [defense website; JURIST news archive]. As the prosecution's final witness, Tim Russert [official profile], Washington bureau chief for NBC News, testified Wednesday that he was unaware of former undercover [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] Italy's Cabinet approved a controversial proposal [PDF text, in Italian; JURIST report] Thursday that would give legal rights to unmarried heterosexual and same-sex couples [JURIST news archive]. The proposal, which has been harshly criticized by the Italian justice minister and the top Italian bishop [JURIST reports], would give unmarried [read more]

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