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Legal news from Wednesday, September 19, 2007
18:09 EDT

[JURIST] A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Tennessee's execution procedures constitute "cruel and unusual" punishment, derailing plans to execute a death row inmate next week. US District Judge Aleta Trauger [official profile] held that revised death penalty protocols [PDF text; JURIST report], devised by the Tennessee Department of Corrections in [read more]

15:09 EDT

[JURIST] Canadian Liberal Party opposition leader Stephane Dion [official profile] Wednesday joined calls [press release] urging Prime Minister Stephen Harper [official profile] to pressure the US government for the immediate release of Canadian Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr [TrialWatch profile; JURIST news archive]. Following a meeting with lawyers appointed to represent [read more]

15:09 EDT

[JURIST] A Japanese district court Wednesday rejected demands for compensation by 22 South Korean women, as well as the surviving relatives of other women, who were forced to work [JURIST news archive] at a Japanese military hardware factory during World War II. Although the Toyama District Court recognized that the [read more]

15:09 EDT

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Argentina [official website] has ordered [PDF text, in Spanish] the government to provide the indigenous people of the Chaco region with basic necessities while it investigates claims that their land has been illegally sold to commercial farmers. The amparo action, brought by the office of [read more]

14:09 EDT

[JURIST] US President George W. Bush Wednesday urged [speech text; WH fact sheet] Congress to make permanent a law broadening the government's ability to conduct warrantless surveillance of terror suspects abroad, echoing recent statements by intelligence officials. The Protect America Act 2007 [S 1927 materials], passed [JURIST report] by Congress [read more]

14:09 EDT

[JURIST] Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev [BBC profile] Wednesday called for a national referendum on amending the Kyrgyzstan constitution [constitutional materials, in Kyrgyz] to elect parliament members by party list rather than by direct election, saying such a change would help defeat a "constitutional deadlock." Critics say the change would hurt [read more]

13:09 EDT

[JURIST] A measure in the US Senate [official website] that would have overturned the current ban on habeas corpus petitions [SA 2022 materials] for detainees at Guantanamo Bay was unable to achieve the 60 votes needed [roll call] to cut off debate Wednesday. Sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and [read more]

11:09 EDT

[JURIST] Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan [IHT backgrounder] Tuesday urged the government of Turkey to remove the current ban on the wearing of headscarves at state universities [JURIST report], saying that the ban effectively denies some Muslim women access to higher education. Erdogan, whose Muslim-rooted AK Party promised a [read more]

11:09 EDT

[JURIST] A Zimbabwean parliamentary debate on a draft constitutional amendment bill that could essentially give Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe [BBC profile] the authority to appoint his successor concluded without challenge Tuesday. Floor debate lasted only one day [JURIST report], and the swift conclusion was dubbed an "historical collaboration" by state [read more]

11:09 EDT

[JURIST] UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official website] urged the US and nine other countries to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty [PDF text] on Tuesday, saying [press release] that the ratification would "move us toward the larger goals of ridding the world of nuclear weapons and preventing their proliferation." UN diplomats [read more]

10:09 EDT

[JURIST] German Minister of Justice Brigitte Zypries [official profile, in German] on Tuesday proposed [press release, in German] adding two new criminal offenses to Germany's anti-terrorism law in the wake of the September 4 arrest [IHT report] of three suspected Islamic militants who are accused of planning a series of [read more]

09:09 EDT

[JURIST] Protesters in Buenos Aires on Tuesday marked the one-year anniversary of the disappearance of Jorge Julio Lopez [JURIST report], who is believed to have been kidnapped after testifying against Miguel Etchecolatz [Project Disappeared profile] in the latter's trial [JURIST report] for crimes committed during Argentina's Dirty War [Global Security [read more]

09:09 EDT

[JURIST] Cambodian officials on Tuesday arrested former Khmer Rouge official Nuon Chea [GenocideWatch backgrounder] and escorted him to a hearing before the co-investigating judges of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) [official website; JURIST news archive], the court established to try former Khmer Rouge leaders. At the [read more]

08:09 EDT

[JURIST] Former Milberg Weiss partner William S. Lerach has agreed to plead guilty [press release] to conspiracy to obstruct justice charges in a plot in which Milberg Weiss allegedly paid up to $11.3 million in illegal kickbacks since 1984 to individuals to serve as lead plaintiffs in class action and [read more]

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