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Legal news from Wednesday, June 27, 2007
by Leslie Schulman

The Council of Europe (COE) reported Wednesday that several member states frequently fail to comply with judicial decisions against public authorities handed down by their own domestic courts. A COE expert panel determined last week that general non-enforcement of court decisions is widespread in Georgia, Moldova, Bulgaria, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine. In a statement …

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by Leslie Schulman

Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev signed legislation Wednesday amending Kyrgyzstan's criminal codes and abolishing the death penalty. According to the law, death penalty sentences will be replaced with life sentences. The legislation also mandates that arrest warrants be issued by courts and that prison sentences for some crimes be reduced. The Kyrgyzstan constitution was amended …

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by Leslie Schulman

The US Senate Wednesday voted down two proposed amendments to the comprehensive immigration reform bill formally revived Tuesday. Both proposals were part of Amendment 1934, sponsored by Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA). A proposal by Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) to limit permanent legal residency status only to immigrants who have been in …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Wednesday ruled 5-4 against reinstating a conspiracy charge against former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and two of his former associates. The holding affirmed a lower court decision that the charge of conspiring to violate the state's election code …

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by Michael Sung

The US Senate Judiciary Committee issued formal subpoenas to the White House, the Vice President's Office, the Department of Justice, and the National Security Council Wednesday, seeking documents related to the warrantless domestic surveillance program. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said the subpoenas were necessary …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The Louisiana State Legislature Tuesday approved a ban on dilation and extraction (D&X) abortions, establishing fines between $10,000 and $100,000 and a jail term from one to ten years for any physician who performs the procedure when it is not necessary to save the life of the mother. The D&X abortion …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The Council of Europe (COE) Wednesday called on member states to act with greater transparency and exercise greater oversight of military and foreign intelligence services, giving support to a report delivered earlier this month that accused Poland and Romania of assisting the US Central Intelligence Agency …

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by Michael Sung

The US Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics announced Wednesday that the US prison and jail population, already the largest in the world, increased by 2.8 percent to reach over 2.2 million prisoners in 2006. The findings, released in the DOJ's annual Prison and Jail Inmates report, represent the largest increase in …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

Adelphia Communications founder John Rigas and his son Timothy were ordered Wednesday to begin serving their prison sentences on August 13th; the two men have been free on bail since their 2004 convictions as they appealed their case. Judge Leonard Sand of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York said that because the …

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by Michael Sung

Pakistani government lawyer Malik Muhammad Qayyum told reporters Tuesday that he supports giving suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry a public trial, saying that the government should respect Chaudhry's desire that the proceedings be open to public access. Government lawyers have previously opposed a public trial, preferring the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) try Chaudhry …

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by Michael Sung

US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairman Christopher Cox defended the SEC's record from Democratic and Republican criticism before the US House Financial Services Committee Tuesday, testifying that the SEC should not be perceived as being either pro or anti-business, but rather as a partnership with businesses to ensure …

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by Michael Sung

The European Commission (EC) reported Wednesday that new EU members Bulgaria and Romania need to do more to achieve judicial reform, fight corruption and organized crime. A report on Bulgaria's progress in adhering to EU norms noted its passage of constitutional amendments relating to the judiciary as a positive step …

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by Michael Sung

The Seoul Administrative Court granted asylum Tuesday to a Chinese dissident who exposed allegations of human organ trading, overturning a ruling by the Ministry of Justice that denied asylum to the dissident and his family. The dissident, who is a member of the banned Chinese Democratic Party and has been in South Korea since …

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by Michael Sung

US Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) on Tuesday urged federal appellate court Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to recuse himself in "all pending and subsequent cases involving detainees and enemy combatants," after the Washington Post reported Monday that Kavanaugh, while serving as the assistant to the president and staff secretary to President Bush, participated …

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by Michael Sung

Three former officials from Saddam Hussein's regime, including Hussein's cousin Ali Hassan al-Majid - known in the Western media as "Chemical Ali", will likely be executed in the Kurdish cities of Irbil or Halabja if their death sentences are upheld by the Appeals Chamber of the Iraqi High Tribunal, an …

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