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

[JURIST] British magistrate Timothy Workman [Wikipedia profile] ruled Tuesday that Balkan war criminal Milan Spanovic [Guardian profile] need not return to Croatia [JURIST news archive] to face an international arrest warrant. Workman refused to extradite Spanovic, who was convicted of war crimes [JURIST news archive] in absentia and sentenced to [read more]

20:03 EDT

[JURIST] The UK Ministry of Defence [official website] announced [press release] Tuesday that British armed forces will no longer use certain types of cluster bombs [JURIST news archive; FAS backgrounder]. UK Secretary of State for Defence Des Browne [official profile] said the military will still use "smart" cluster bombs with [read more]

19:03 EDT

[JURIST] US President George W. Bush [official profile] warned Congressional Democrats Tuesday to accept his compromise [text] to allow top White House aides to testify about the firings of US Attorneys [official website] before the Senate Judiciary Committee [official website]. The Senate Judiciary Committee had called for Bush's close ad [read more]

19:03 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] heard oral arguments [transcript, PDF] Tuesday in the case of Fry v. Pliler [Duke Law case backgrounder; merit briefs], 06-5247, a case in which the defendant was convicted on two counts of murder following two mistrials. Fry subsequently filed several [read more]

18:03 EDT

[JURIST] Reporter Rafig Tagi and editor Samir Huseinov, both of the newspaper Senet, went on trial [Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations backgrounder] Tuesday in the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan for allegedly insulting Islam. Both claim the prosecution is politically motivated as authoritarian Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliev [offical website; [read more]

17:03 EDT

[JURIST] France signed an extradition treaty with China [JURIST news archives] Tuesday in Paris over the objections of human rights groups that oppose China's use of the death penalty. After signing the treaty, Justice Minister Pascal Clement [official profile, in French] explained that France may refuse extradition of suspects to [read more]

16:03 EDT

[JURIST] The editor of a website in China [JURIST news archive] that called for political reform has been sentenced to six years in prison by the Ningbo Intermediate People's Court in Zhejiang province for defaming the government. Zhang Jianhong [Reporters Without Borders report] wrote some 60 critical articles on Aiqinghai.net [read more]

16:03 EDT

[JURIST] A defense lawyer for German Holocaust-denier Ernst Zundel [ADL profile; CBC backgrounder] has been charged with incitement, attempting to thwart a prosecution, and using banned Nazi symbols during the original trial of Zundel in 2005. According to prosecutors at the Mannheim State Court [official website], Sylvia Stolz [Tagespiegel profile] [read more]

14:03 EDT

[JURIST] Baltasar Garzon [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], an investigating judge for Spain's National Court [official website, in Spanish], said Tuesday that President George W. Bush and his allies eventually should face war crimes charges for their actions in Iraq. In an opinion piece [text, in Spanish] for El Pais, [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] US Department of Justice Inspector General Glenn Fine [official profile] told [prepared testimony, PDF] the House Judiciary Committee [official website] at a hearing [materials and witness testimony] on Tuesday that the confusion and abuses surrounding the use of National Security Letters (NSL) [CRS backgrounder, PDF] was "unacceptable and inexcusable." [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] The UK Department of Education and Skills [official website] issued school uniform guidelines [backgrounder] Tuesday that allow schools to ban students from wearing Muslim veils [JURIST news archive] if teachers believe the garments can affect safety or a student's learning. Minister for Schools Jim Knight [personal website] noted [press [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] Egyptian cleric Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr [Wikipedia profile; JURIST news archive] said in an interview [Der Spiegel report] published Monday that he will be unable to identify the alleged CIA kidnappers who he says abducted him from Italy in 2003 [JURIST news archive; WP time line] because they wore [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] The US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals [official website] withdrew [judgment, PDF] class action status Tuesday from Enron shareholders who filed a shareholder derivative lawsuit [class action website] in October 2001. US District Judge Melinda Harmon [Houston Chronicle profile] certified the class [opinion and order, PDF] in June 2006, [read more]

12:03 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate voted Tuesday to limit the power of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile; JURIST news archive] to name interim US attorneys, passing the Preserving United States Attorney Independence Act of 2007 [S 214 materials] by a vote of 94-2 [roll call]. The vote came amid increasing [read more]

12:03 EDT

[JURIST] One of Pakistan's three deputy attorneys general resigned Tuesday, telling Reuters that the crisis over President Pervez Musharraf's March 9 suspension [JURIST report] of Chief Justice Iktikhar Chaudhry [official profile; JURIST news archive] for unspecified "misconduct" had made it "very difficult for me to perform my duties." The move [read more]

12:03 EDT

[JURIST] A US military jury recommended Monday that 101st Airborne Staff Sgt. Raymond Girouard be sentenced to 10 years in prison after being convicted [JURIST report] last week of three counts of negligent homicide [Article 32 hearing transcript, DOC] for the deaths of three Iraqi detainees [JURIST news archive] held [read more]

11:03 EDT

[JURIST] The interim government of Bangladesh [JURIST news archive] said Tuesday it plans to set up a national human rights commission in the country to deal with human rights problems there. Human rights groups have recently complained about extra-judicial killings and arbitrary arrests [HRW press release] by the security forces [read more]

10:03 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] ruled Tuesday that parties can contractually allocate the burden of attorneys' fees when litigation involves issues of federal bankruptcy law. In Travelers Casualty v. Pacific Gas & Electric Co. [Duke Law case backgrounder; JURIST report], Travelers sought to recover attorneys' [read more]

09:03 EDT

[JURIST] A former CIA director is recommending in a report to a group of international civic leaders that the United States enact an EU-style cap-and-trade program [UCS backgrounder] and other measures to control greenhouse gas emissions [EPA backgrounder]. The background paper [PDF text] by John Deutch [personal website], who led [read more]

08:03 EDT

[JURIST] The hanging [JURIST report] of Saddam-era Iraqi vice-president Taha Ramadan [JURIST news archive] before dawn Baghdad time Tuesday drew a disavowal from the United States and condemnation from Russia as the international community reacted to an execution that UN officials and rights groups had lobbied intensively against. Bloomberg News [read more]

08:03 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate Monday considered the possibility of taking away the authority of US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile] to unilaterally appoint replacement US Attorneys as comments from the White House regarding his future seemed less than confident and the administration reportedly began considering possible replacements. Nearly 3,000 [read more]

07:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Egyptian Parliament Monday passed a set of 34 amendments [JURIST report] to the country's constitution [text], despite criticism [JURIST report] from opposition leaders that the reforms are a step backward for democracy. The amendments were endorsed by 315 of 454 seats in parliament and members of the banned [read more]

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