Legal news from Wednesday, May 2, 2007
20:05 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] issued a subpoena [PDF text; press release] to US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile] Wednesday, demanding that he turn over any e-mails he received from White House political adviser Karl Rove [official profile] relating to the US Attorney firing scandal [JURIST [read more]

19:05 EDT

[JURIST] The Oregon Senate [official website] passed a bill [HB 2007 text] Wednesday allowing same-sex couples to enter into contractual domestic partnerships with the same state benefits as married couples. The measure covers state benefits including inheritance, child custody, and hospital visitation rights, but does not affect federal benefits for [read more]

18:05 EDT

[JURIST] An Egyptian court Wednesday sentenced a television reporter with Al Jazeera [media website] to six months in prison for producing a film that depicts police torture. Howayda Taha [AELME profile] was tried in absentia for her role in creating a film that Egyptian authorities say includes phony shots of [read more]

16:05 EDT

[JURIST] China has officially banned the sale of human organs effective Wednesday following an April 6 decision [JURIST report] by the State Council [official website], according to reports by Chinese state media. Any doctors caught trafficking in organs will have their licenses revoked, any hospitals caught will be suspended from [read more]

16:05 EDT

[JURIST] The Canadian Senate [official website] Wednesday passed a US-style bill to have federal elections on fixed dates every four years [Privy Council backgrounder]. An Act to Amend the Canada Elections Act [Bill C-16 text and materials] requires that an election be held on the third Monday of October four [read more]

15:05 EDT

[JURIST] Several Pakistani protesters and an opposition lawmaker were injured and dozens of people were arrested Wednesday after members of a religious party tried to break through a police line to bring water to hundreds of lawyers and opposition activists gathered in front of the Supreme Court building in Islamabad [read more]

15:05 EDT

[JURIST] Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan [BBC profile] Wednesday said he would push for constitutional amendments to change Turkey's system for electing its president. Under the proposed amendments, the president would be elected by a direct vote rather than chosen by parliament. The announcement is an attempt to calm [read more]

11:05 EDT

[JURIST] Two French judges accompanied by police officers on Wednesday attempted to search France's presidential palace as part of an investigation into the 1995 death of French judge Bernard Borrel [advocacy website, in French] in Djibouti. The search was targeted at the African affairs department, however, the judges were not [read more]

11:05 EDT

[JURIST] Human rights activist Umida Niyazova was sentenced to seven years in prison after an Uzbek court convicted her Tuesday of illegal border crossing, smuggling, and distributing Islamic extremist propaganda. Niyazova worked for Human Rights Watch [advocacy group] and was arrested earlier this year after returning to Uzbekistan from Kyrgyzstan [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] The Iraqi Parliament on Wednesday received a draft oil law [JURIST news archive] that would regulate how profits from the country's oil wells will be shared by the different ethnic groups in the country. President Bush has said he believes that the agreement will help to end violence in [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] refused Tuesday to prevent the US military from transferring Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee Abu Abdul Rauf Zalita to his home country of Libya, rejecting Zalita's arguments that he faced a "grave risk of arbitrary detention, torture, persecution and [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] The number of domestic wiretap applications granted by US state judges rose 20 percent in 2006 to 1,378, while federal judges granted only 461 applications, a drop of 26 percent, according to a new report filed [press release] by the Administrative Office of the US Courts [official website]. The [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate Intelligence Committee [official website] questioned top intelligence officials, including National Intelligence Director John M. "Mike" McConnell and National Security Agency Director Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander [official profiles], Tuesday at a hearing [committee materials] on the Bush administration's proposed amendments to the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] The International Criminal Court [official website] has issued arrest warrants [press release; ICC Q&A] for two top suspects accused of committing war crimes in the Darfur region of Sudan, according to an announcement from the court Wednesday. Ahmad Muhammad Harun [arrest warrant, PDF], former Sudanese interior minister and current [read more]

08:05 EDT

[JURIST] A secret court approved a record number of US government requests to search or eavesdrop on suspected terrorists or other persons for "foreign intelligence" purposes in 2006, endorsing all but one warrant, according to statistics [DOJ letter, PDF] made public by the US Department of Justice Tuesday. According to [read more]

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