Legal news from Wednesday, June 20, 2007

[JURIST] A German Presidency policy paper proposing that European Union nations abandon talks on a constitutional treaty [JURIST news archive] circulated Wednesday, just prior to Thursday's summit meeting of European Council [EU Council press release] in Brussels. Last week German Chancellor Angela Merkel [official website], the summit chair, expressed doubts … [read more]

[JURIST] The Colombian Senate [official website, in Spanish] voted 34-29 against landmark gay rights legislation Tuesday. The bill, endorsed by President Alvaro Uribe [official website in Spanish; BBC profile], was approved by the lower house [JURIST report] 62-43 last week. Many of the 102 Senators were not present Tuesday for … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) [official website] Wednesday moved to ease accounting procedures [meeting agenda; recorded video, (00:41:15) WMV] required for foreign companies trading on US exchanges. The SEC commissioners voted 5-0 to amend federal regulations to accept financial statements prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting … [read more]

[JURIST] The New York State Assembly [official website] Tuesday passed a bill [A08590 bill information] to legalize same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive] following three hours of often emotional debate. The bill was proposed [press release; JURIST report] in April by New York Governor Eliot Spitzer [official website], and was sponsored … [read more]

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California (ACLU/SC) [advocacy website] brought a federal class action lawsuit against the US Tuesday on behalf of two immigrants who said they were forcibly drugged with sedatives during deportation proceedings. The ACLU/SC began an investigation [press release] into the alleged incidents soon … [read more]

[JURIST] US President George W. Bush Wednesday followed through on his promised veto [press release] of a Democrat-backed bill that would have relaxed funding restrictions on embryonic stem cell research [S 5 materials]. The Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007, sent by Congress to the White House earlier this … [read more]

[JURIST] European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso [official profile] urged EU member states to compromise to resolve key differences in negotiations over the proposed constitutional treaty [JURIST news archive] during a press conference [video excerpts; talking points, PDF] Tuesday, reiterating that the EU must continue to demonstrate pragmatism, flexibility, and … [read more]

[JURIST] The US House of Representatives Wednesday overwhelmingly passed the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act [HR 923 bill information] by 422-2 [roll call]. The bill would establish an Unsolved Crimes Section within the civil rights [JURIST news archive] divisions of the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau … [read more]

[JURIST] The Libyan Supreme Court announced Wednesday it will rule on the appeal of six foreign medics [JURIST news archive] in three weeks. The five Bulgarian nurses and one Palestinian doctor were convicted [JURIST report] last year of knowingly infecting over 400 Libyan patients with the HIV virus. Analysts say … [read more]

[JURIST] The Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) [official website] on Wednesday convicted [press release, PDF] three former leaders of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council [MIPT backgrounder] of crimes against humanity including collective punishments, murder, rape, conscripting or enlisting child soldiers, enslavement, and pillage. The verdict, the first judgments to … [read more]

[JURIST] Serge Brammertz [official profile], the deputy prosecutor for investigations at the International Criminal Court, resigned [press release] on June 14, according to a Tuesday announcement from the International Criminal Court [official website; JURIST news archive]. Brammertz will continue to head the UN International Independent Investigation Commission (IIIC), which is … [read more]

[JURIST] Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski [official profile] said Tuesday that Poland plans to appeal a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) [official website; JURIST news archive] that found Poland in violation of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights [text] for prohibiting a pregnant … [read more]

[JURIST] Members of the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence [official website] expressed reservations Tuesday about the nomination of John Rizzo [official profile] as CIA general counsel, questioning the career CIA-lawyer's decision to sign off on the controversial 2002 "Bybee Memo" [PDF text; PBS backgrounder] in which the Department of … [read more]

[JURIST] Taiwanese President Chen Shui-Bian [BBC profile] is proceeding with plans to hold a largely symbolic national referendum on whether Taiwan [JURIST news archive] should attempt rejoining the United Nations (UN) [official website] under the name of Taiwan, despite opposition from China, the United States, and members of the opposition … [read more]

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