Legal news from Tuesday, March 13, 2007
20:03 EDT

[JURIST] Sudan on Tuesday attempted to prevent the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) [official website] from considering a report by a UNHRC team sent to investigate conditions in Darfur [JURIST news archive]. The report [DOC text], issued Monday, calls for immediate protection [JURIST report] of victims in the war-ravaged region [read more]

19:03 EDT

[JURIST] US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile] said Tuesday he will not resign [AP recorded video] from his position in response to growing controversy over the firings last year of eight US Attorneys that may have been politically motivated [JURIST report]. Gonzales nonetheless accepted responsibility and admitted "mistakes were [read more]

19:03 EDT

[JURIST] High-ranking officials in the Australian government pressured the US government to reduce terror charges against Australian Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks [JURIST news archives], according to a report in The Australian on Tuesday. Attorney General Philip Ruddock [official profile] and other officials personally asked the US Department of Defense [read more]

17:03 EDT

[JURIST] Lawmakers dismissed last week by Ecuador's Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) [official website] fought police as they tried to enter the Congress of Ecuador [official website] on Tuesday, sparking violence that led to the suspension of the legislature's activities for a week. Meanwhile, the Constitutional Tribunal [official website] rejected an [read more]

16:03 EDT

[JURIST] Charges were dropped Tuesday against the last of seven British soldiers [BBC trial timeline] accused of causing the 2003 death of Iraqi civilian Baha Musa [Herald report]. A military panel cleared Major Michael Peebles and Warrant Officer Mark Davies of negligently performing their duties. Charges against Lieutenant Colonel Jorge [read more]

16:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Washington State House of Representatives [official website] has passed a bill [summary] by a vote of 73-22 that will require public and private schools to provide information about human papilloma virus (HPV) [CDC fact sheet], a sexually transmitted disease that causes cervical cancer, and its newly-developed vaccine to [read more]

16:03 EDT

[JURIST] Testimony began Tuesday in the trial of a civil suit [JURIST report] brought against Sudan [JURIST news archive] by families of US military personnel killed in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole [Wikipedia backgrounder; US DOD inquiry report; JURIST news archive]. The families say Sudan has provided material [read more]

14:03 EDT

[JURIST] Zimbabwe opposition presidential hopeful Morgan Tsvangirai [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], arrested [JURIST report] by government forces at a protest in Harare Sunday, was taken to a hospital Tuesday after a brief appearance in court along with 50 other detainees. On Monday, Tsvangirai's lawyer and party officials said he [read more]

14:03 EDT

[JURIST] The trial of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] and former lawyer David Mills began Tuesday in Milan on charges of corruption arising from Berlusconi's alleged payment of $600,000 to Mills for favorable testimony at trials in the 1990s. Last month, the Italian Court [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] The French Cour de Cassation [official website, in French] held [judgment; press release, in French] Tuesday that same-sex marriages [JURIST news archive] are not valid under French law and that marriage can only be between a man and a woman. The case arose in 2004 when Stephane Charpin and [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] Chinese Chief Justice Xiao Yang [official profile] reported Tuesday that nine high ranking Chinese officials were convicted by courts in 2006 as a result of China's anti-corruption campaign [JURIST news archive]. In a working report to the annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC) [official website], the country's [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Council of Europe's European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) [official website] called on Russia [JURIST news archive] to deal with allegations of torture and abuse in the volatile Chechnya [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] region in a record third [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] Media giant Viacom [corporate website] filed a lawsuit Tuesday for copyright infringement against the website YouTube and owner Google [corporate websites], seeking over $1 billion in damages and an injunction that would prohibit further infringement. Viacom, which owns Comedy Central, MTV, VH1 and other media outlets, alleges in its [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] Pakistan's Supreme Judicial Council [governing constitutional provisions] held a hearing Tuesday on the alleged misconduct of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry [official profile] as Pakistanis protested in the streets and lawyers boycotted courts across the country. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf [official website; BBC profile] suspended [JURIST report] Chaudhry Friday [read more]

12:03 EDT

[JURIST] The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) [official website] endorsed [press release] a declaration against torture [PDF text] drafted by 17 evangelical scholars, a move some say signifies an end to US President George W. Bush's alliance with Christian evangelicals. The declaration, written by Evangelicals for Human Rights [official website], [read more]

11:03 EDT

[JURIST] A United Nations human rights expert urged the Philippines [statement] Monday to amend or repeal its new anti-terrorism law [JURIST report]. Martin Scheinin, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism [official website], specifically expressed concern that the law allows house arrests without strong [read more]

11:03 EDT

[JURIST] A British judge said Monday that he dropped prisoner abuse charges [JURIST report] against the most senior British military officer charged with abusing detainees last week because his superiors approved some of the techniques. A British Army major testified in November 2006 that a military legal adviser approved techniques [read more]

08:03 EDT

[JURIST] A US federal judge has approved a settlement under which Arthur Andersen [Wikipedia backgrounder] will pay $72.5 million to investors who sued the firm for its involvement in the Enron scandal [JURIST news archive]. US District Judge Melinda Harmon [official profile] signed an order approving the settlement, ending the [read more]

08:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Tokyo High Court [official backgrounder] Tuesday ruled against a group of Chinese plaintiffs seeking $682,000 in damages for injuries caused by chemical weapons leaks left by the Imperial Japanese Army [Wikipedia backgrounder] at the end of World War II. The court upheld a 2003 ruling by a Tokyo [read more]

07:03 EDT

[JURIST] Former White House counsel Harriet Miers [official profile] suggested to an aide of US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile] that all 93 US Attorneys be fired at the beginning of President Bush's second term, but that suggestion was ultimately dismissed as impractical, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino [Wikipedia [read more]

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