Legal news from Thursday, April 5, 2007
20:04 EDT

[JURIST] Kosovo's parliament voted 100-1 Thursday in support of a UN plan to establish an independent Kosovar state under UN supervision. The plan was drafted by UN envoy Martti Ahtisaari [advocacy profile], who believes independence from Serbia with international supervision "the only viable option" for Kosovo.The plan needs the approval [read more]

20:04 EDT

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] said Thursday that Mexico's now-closed Special Prosecutor's Office [JURIST report] failed in its effort to address past human rights abuses stemming from the "Dirty War" of the late 1960s to 1970s [GWU Mexico Project report; JURIST news archive]. The office was created by [read more]

19:04 EDT

[JURIST] Three men arrested [JURIST report] last month in connection with the July 7, 2005 London transit bombings [JURIST news archive; BBC News timeline] were charged [press release and press conference statement] Thursday with unlawfully and maliciously conspiring with the suicide bombers to cause explosions on London's transportation system and [read more]

19:04 EDT

[JURIST] A Turkish parliamentary committee okayed legislation Thursday that would censor websites seen as insulting to the founder of modern Turkey, Kemal Atatürk [Turkishnews profile]. Legislators debated whether Turkey [JURIST news archive] should also have the right to censor sites that questioned the unity of the Turkish state, or the [read more]

16:04 EDT

[JURIST] The England and Wales Court of Appeals (Civil Division) [official website] on Wednesday ruled [judgment text] that three Africans formerly living in the Darfur region of Sudan [JURIST news archives] could be granted asylum in the UK, overruling a decision by the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT) [official website] [read more]

15:04 EDT

[JURIST] Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko [official website; BBC profile] said Thursday that officials who refuse to comply with his decree [statement] ordering new elections could face criminal prosecution [press release]. Yushchenko issued the decree Monday, ordering parliament dissolved and new elections in May over what Yushchenko has called "systemic violations [read more]

15:04 EDT

[JURIST] Ecuador's Constitutional Tribunal [official website, in Spanish] on Wednesday upheld last month's decision by the country's Supreme Electoral Tribunal [official website, in Spanish] to dismiss 57 members of the legislature. The lawmakers, who oppose a planned April 15 referendum to amend the constitution [JURIST report], had been reinstated by [read more]

15:04 EDT

[JURIST] The Florida Board of Executive Clemency [official website] on Thursday voted 3-1 to change the Rules of Executive Clemency [PDF text] so that non-violent felons will automatically have their civil rights restored upon release from prison, and released violent offenders can have theirs restored after a board hearing or [read more]

14:04 EDT

[JURIST] New Hampshire's House of Representatives [official website] passed a bill [HB 437 text] Wednesday to allow civil unions for gay and lesbian couples, placing the state in line to become fourth in the country to allow such relationships. The large Democratic majority in the House propelled the 243-129 vote [read more]

08:04 EDT

[JURIST] John M. "Mike" McConnell [official profile], who succeeded John Negroponte as US Director of National Intelligence in February, delivered a policy address [PDF text] to the 2007 Excellence in Government Conference [website] Wednesday criticizing federal surveillance laws as outdated and unresponsive to terrorist threats. McConnell, who previously served as [read more]

08:04 EDT

[JURIST] The Constitutional Court of Uganda [JURIST news archive] Thursday rejected a law criminalizing adultery by women and parts of an estate law according greater rights to surviving husbands than to surviving wives. The adultery legislation effectively permitted married men to engage in extramarital affairs with unmarried women, but punished [read more]

07:04 EDT

[JURIST] Iraq has lost $8 billion through corruption over the past three years, Radi al-Radhi, the head of Iraq's public corruption commission, told AP Wednesday. Al-Radhi said his office has investigated 2,600 cases of wasted or stolen public funds, and blamed a clause of the Iraqi constitution [PDF text] for [read more]

07:04 EDT

[JURIST] Amnesty International [advocacy website] decried worsening conditions at the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] in a report [text; press release] released Thursday, claiming detainees have "suffered harsh treatment throughout their detention, confined to mesh cages or maximum security cells" and that the new facility opened [read more]

07:04 EDT

[JURIST] The family of John Walker Lindh [CNN profile; JURIST news archive] said Wednesday that a clemency petition has been filed on their son's behalf, seeking to reduce his 20-year sentence in light of the nine-month sentence handed down to Australian David Hicks [JURIST report] last week. Lindh, the American [read more]

06:04 EDT

[JURIST] Virginia [JURIST news archive] became the first US state to require by statute that girls be vaccinated against human papillomavirus [JURIST news archive; US CDC materials] when its General Assembly [official website] voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to accept the governor's proposed amendment to a previously passed bill [legislative materials]. The [read more]

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