Legal news from Monday, May 14, 2007
20:05 EDT

[JURIST] US President George W. Bush issued an executive order [text] Monday requesting that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US departments of Agriculture, Energy, and Transportation [official websites] cooperate to begin the regulation of vehicle emissions by the end of his term on January 20, 2009. The order [read more]

19:05 EDT

[JURIST] US Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty [official profile] announced Monday that he will resign from his post as second-in-line at the Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] as early as the end of the summer, or when a successor receives Congressional approval. In a letter [PDF text] submitted to [read more]

19:05 EDT

[JURIST] The transitional government of Somalia [JURIST news archive] has agreed to cooperate with a UN probe into alleged human rights violations that occurred during recent fighting in the country's capital, according to UN emergency relief co-ordinator John Holmes [UN profile] Monday. Despite that, the Somali government maintains that no [read more]

18:05 EDT

[JURIST] The Ukrainian Constitutional Court [official website] announced Monday that it will consider whether a second decree by Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko [official website; BBC profile] to dissolve parliament and hold early June elections was constitutional. The court is already mulling [JURIST report] the constitutionality of Yushchenko's first decree [text; [read more]

16:05 EDT

[JURIST] US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff [official profile] met with the European Parliament Civil Liberties Committee [official website; meeting materials (Agenda No 3)] Monday in his latest bid to convince the EU to allow the transfer of detailed information regarding passengers on US-bound flights to all relevant [read more]

15:05 EDT

[JURIST] The court-martial [JURIST report] of the Navy lawyer accused of passing then-undisclosed names of Guantanamo detainees to a lawyer with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) [advocacy website] began Monday. In its opening statement, the prosecution argued that Lt. Cmdr. Matthew M. Diaz, a former staff judge advocate at [read more]

15:05 EDT

[JURIST] The US District Court for the Southern District of Florida [official website] heard opening statements Monday in the federal trial [calender] of US citizen and alleged al Qaeda operative Jose Padilla [JURIST news archive]. The government told jurors that Padilla and his two co-defendants were members of a secret [read more]

15:05 EDT

[JURIST] The German state court in Darmstadt convicted two former Siemens AG [corporate website] officials on Monday of bribing and assisting in the bribery of two managers at Enel [corporate website], Italy's largest utilities company. Andreas Kley, a former finance chief, and Horst Vigener, a former employee-consultant, admitted that they [read more]

15:05 EDT

[JURIST] The Connecticut Supreme Court [official website] heard oral arguments Monday in the case [SC 17716 docket] of eight gay couples who are unhappy with Connecticut's civil unions law and are seeking full marriage rights. Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) [advocacy website] attorney Bennett Klein, representing the couples, [read more]

14:05 EDT

[JURIST] A Syrian court sentenced writer and activist Michel Kilo [AI backgrounder] Monday to a prison term of three years for "speaking false news, weakening national feeling and inciting sectarian sentiments." Kilo was arrested [BBC report] in May 2005 along with nine other Syrians shortly after signing the so-called Beirut-Damascus [read more]

14:05 EDT

[JURIST] Pojaman Shinawatra, wife of former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], her brother Banpot Damapong, and her personal secretary Kanchanapa Honghern, pleaded not guilty Monday to two counts of tax evasion and perjury [JURIST report] at the Bangkok Criminal Court. The three allegedly failed to [read more]

13:05 EDT

[JURIST] Approximately 1.5 million people descended upon Izmir, Turkey Sunday to demonstrate against the Islamist-rooted government of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan [official website, in Turkish; BBC profile], expressing their commitment to the concept of a secular republic. The protesters also denounced the Turkish military [official website, in Turkish] [read more]

13:05 EDT

[JURIST] Four of the fired US Attorneys [JURIST news archive] were dismissed after Republican officials complained they were lax in prosecuting alleged voter fraud in battleground states before the November 2006 elections, the Washington Post reported Monday. Documents and interviews obtained by the Post indicate that White House political adviser [read more]

12:05 EDT

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] Monday adjourned the hearing of petitions filed by suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry [official website; JURIST news archive; BBC backgrounder] after Justice Falak Sher, one of the fourteen justices on the Supreme Court, objected to the presence of more junior judges [read more]

11:05 EDT

[JURIST] The Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs [official website] confirmed the arrest of prominent Iranian-American scholar Dr. Haleh Esfandiari [WWC profile] Sunday, saying that Esfandiari's arrest was "based on law" but did not elaborate on the reason for the arrest. On Saturday, the Kayhan, a state-controlled hardliner newspaper, accused Esfandiari [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] The Iraqi Interior Ministry [JURIST news archive] said Sunday that it will no longer allow news photographers or cameramen at the scenes of bomb attacks. Brigadier General Abdel-Karim Khalaf, head of the ministry's national operations center, told AFP that the prohibition was enacted in response to evidence being disturbed [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] ruled Monday that a US district judge did not abuse his discretion in refusing to allow an Arizona death row inmate to pursue an ineffective assistance of counsel claim after the inmate refused to allow his lawyer to present mitigating [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] Leadership within the Communist Party of Nepal - Maoists (CPN-M) [party website] has called on Nepal's interim parliament to immediately declare the country a federal democratic republic. CPN-M leadership formed a human protest chain through the parliament building on Sunday which police say was long enough to disrupt traffic [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] Joram Gumbo, a Zimbabwean delegate to the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) [official website] and member of the ruling party of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe [BBC profile], expressed outrage and contempt Sunday for the African organization's decision [press release] to send a fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe to investigate allegations of ongoing [read more]

08:05 EDT

[JURIST] Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius [official website] has signed legislation making English the official state language. The bill [PDF text; supplemental note, PDF], which was signed Friday and takes effect July 1, also gives state and local governments the discretion to provide official documents or hold meetings in non-English languages, [read more]

07:05 EDT

[JURIST] Japan's House of Councillors [official website, in English], the upper house of the National Diet, approved legislation [JURIST report] Monday establishing procedures to facilitate a national constitutional referendum. The legislation requires a three-year public consultation period before parliament can vote on possible constitutional amendments, which must be approved by [read more]

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