Legal news from Thursday, May 31, 2007

[JURIST] Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero [BBC profile] and new French President Nicolas Sarkozy [official website; BBC profile] announced Wednesday that they both back proposals for a limited constitutional treaty [official report, in Spanish] that would amend the organization and powers of the European Union (EU). German Chancellor … [read more]

[JURIST] A criminal court in Cairo Thursday refused a plea by public prosecutor Abdel Maguid for the release of jailed Egyptian opposition leader Ayman Nour [BBC profile; JURIST news archive]. Maguid had asked the court to consider Nour's deteriorating health, which is complicated by heart disease and diabetes. Maguid's request … [read more]

[JURIST] The government of Fiji [official website; JURIST news archive] Thursday lifted emergency regulations imposed on the country since unrest in early December. Military commander and self-declared interim Prime Minister Voreqe "Frank" Bainimarama [BBC profile] declared a state of emergency after overthrowing the government in a military coup [JURIST reports] … [read more]

[JURIST] Turkey's parliament [official website, in Turkish] Thursday passed for a second time a constitutional amendment allowing for direct election to the presidency, but complaints of balloting violations arose even before the vote finished. The main opposition party, the secularist Republican People's Party (CHP) [party website, in Turkish], says it … [read more]

[JURIST] Zhao Bingzhi, president of the criminal law research committee of the China Law Society [official website, in Chinese] told China Daily Thursday that China is preparing to enact anti-terrorism legislation [JURIST news archive], which Zhao described as a "separate law" designed to provide a legal framework to better "fight … [read more]

[JURIST] Zdravko Tolimir [ICTY case backgrounder, PDF], a former Bosnian Serb general and a UN-indicted [indictment text, PDF] war crimes suspect, has been arrested, according to Thursday media reports. Tolimir, a close aide to war crimes fugitive Ratko Mladic [ICTY case backgrounder; JURIST news archive], is charged with genocide, conspiracy … [read more]

[JURIST] US District Judge Reggie B. Walton [official profile] said Thursday that he will release more than 150 letters he has received in relation to next week's sentencing of former vice-presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby [defense website; JURIST news archive]. While Libby opposed the release of the letters, saying … [read more]

[JURIST] FBI Assistant Director of Public Affairs John Miller [official profile] said Wednesday during an interview with C-SPAN that an FBI report expected to be released next week will detail a nationwide increase in murders, robberies and other violent crimes for a second straight year. Miller said the report will … [read more]

[JURIST] Judges of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) [official website] who will preside over the Khmer Rouge genocide trials met Thursday to resolve remaining disputes between Cambodian and international jurists concerning the internal regulations of the tribunal. The meeting, announced [JURIST report] earlier this month, is … [read more]

[JURIST] New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch [official profile] signed a bill [HB 437 text; press release] Thursday allowing same-sex couples to enter into civil unions with the "same rights, responsibilities, and obligations as married couples" beginning in January 2008. Lynch hailed the bill as a continuation of "New Hampshire's longstanding … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled [opinion, PDF] 2-1 Wednesday that the brother of dissident Cyrus Elahi, assassinated in Paris in 1990, can collect on a default judgment he holds against Iran by attaching a $2.8 million judgment obtained by the Iranian Ministry of Defense … [read more]

[JURIST] Hundreds of Italian prison inmates have sent a letter [La Repubblica report, in Italian] to Italian President Giorgio Napolitano [official profile] asking him to restore the country's death penalty. More than 300 of the 1,300 prisoners serving life sentences signed the letter, "asking for our life sentence to be … [read more]

[JURIST] Lebanese National Assembly speaker Nabih Berri [official profile] joined Syria Thursday in condemning the passage of UN Security Council Resolution 1757 [PDF text] unilaterally establishing an ad hoc tribunal [JURIST news archive] to investigate and try suspects in the February 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri [JURIST … [read more]

[JURIST] A Zambian court held Thursday that former Zambian President Frederick Chiluba [BBC profile] must go to trial on charges of corruption, despite questions about his health. Lawyers for Chiluba argued that Chiluba was unable to proceed to trial because of a heart condition, but the court held that it … [read more]

[JURIST] Hamid Khan, a lawyer for the Pakistan Bar Council [official website], argued before the Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] Thursday that Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's March 9 suspension [JURIST report] of Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry [official website; JURIST news archive] was unconstitutional, alleging that Musharraf failed to … [read more]

[JURIST] Canadian Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr [Trial Watch profile; JURIST news archive] fired all of his American lawyers on Wednesday, days before he is scheduled to appear for arraignment before a US military commission [JURIST news archive]. According to his former Marine Corps lawyer Marine Lt. Col. Colby Vokey, … [read more]

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) Thursday [advocacy website] urged [press release] international donors to increase their contributions to the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) [official website], echoing a plea by prosecutor Stephen Rapp who warned Wednesday that the tribunal would be forced to release accused former Liberian President … [read more]

[JURIST] Constitutional gridlock continued in Ukraine on Thursday, as the country's parliament [official website, in Ukrainian] again failed to approve a bill that would set a new date for controversial parliamentary elections. Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko [official website; JURIST news archive] and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych [BBC profile] finally reached … [read more]

[JURIST] Approximately 30 Chinese demonstrators carrying banners massed outside the Japanese embassy in Beijing [official website] Thursday, protesting a April 27 court ruling by the Supreme Court of Japan denying compensation claims [JURIST report] made by five Chinese wartime slave laborers. The compensation claims were denied on the grounds that … [read more]

[JURIST] US immigration courts are inconsistent in granting asylum to applicants, according to a new study [materials] by three law professors to be published in the Stanford Law Review. The professors found that factors that contributed to the outcome of applications for asylum include the location of the court, the … [read more]

[JURIST] Japan's Nagoya High Court [official backgrounder] Thursday upheld a district court's denial of compensation to a group of seven South Korean women who were former slave laborers at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.'s aircraft factories during World War II, finding that neither the Japanese government or Mitsubishi were obligated to … [read more]

[JURIST] A Saudi Arabian detainee held at the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] died Wednesday afternoon in what military officials characterized as an apparent suicide [US Southern Command press release]. The officials did not identify the detainee or disclose the manner of death. Approximately 80 of … [read more]

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