Legal news from Wednesday, September 26, 2007
18:09 EDT

[JURIST] A US district judge ruled [PDF text] Wednesday that two provisions of the USA Patriot Act [JURIST news archive] that deal with physical search and electronic eavesdropping are unconstitutional. Brandon Mayfield [JURIST news archive], the Oregon attorney arrested [JURIST report] and detained for two weeks in May 2004 after [read more]

17:09 EDT

[JURIST] Somalia and Myanmar rank as the world's most corrupt nations in 2007 according to the latest annual Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index [corruption index; press release] released Wednesday. The index ranked 180 countries based on observations by businesspeople and analysts, giving each a score between 1 and 10. Myanmar [read more]

15:09 EDT

[JURIST] A Russian court began hearings against a renowned political commentator Tuesday, with prosecutors using expanded anti-extremism laws originally designed to combat racism and xenophobia but broadened in July [JURIST reports] to include activities taken for "political or ideological hatred." Prosecutors claim that several books by author Andrei Piontkovsky [fellowship [read more]

15:09 EDT

[JURIST] Violence erupted in Myanmar [JURIST news archive] Wednesday as police opened fire on a crowd of 10,000 demonstrators, leaving as many as eight dead. Up to 300 protesters were arrested in the fray, including many Buddhist monks. The violence broke out just one day after the nation's military government [read more]

14:09 EDT

[JURIST] The European Union is monitoring possible human rights violations in Bangladesh [JURIST news archive], the Bangladeshi New Age reported Wednesday. The paper quoted Netherlands EU ambassador Bea Ten Tusscher as saying that the EU is concerned about several particular human rights cases, despite claims by the the interim military [read more]

14:09 EDT

[JURIST] Haitian President Rene Preval Tuesday declared his intent to continue investigating former Haitian president Jean-Claude Duvalier [BBC backgrounder], despite the latter's recent plea for forgiveness from the people of Haiti [JURIST news archive]. Duvalier, who became president in 1971 at the age of 19, is accused of embezzling money [read more]

13:09 EDT

[JURIST] Approximately 2000 lawyers and activists, led by the Malaysian Bar Council [profession website], launched a large protest [press release] in Malaysia's capital, Wednesday, calling for an investigation into judicial corruption. Unrest has grown in the country following last week's release of a 2002 video [Bar Council report and streaming [read more]

12:09 EDT

[JURIST] Egypt [JURIST news archive] Wednesday called US criticism of its alleged rights violations "unacceptable," labeling a Monday White House statement [text; JURIST report] about the closure of the Association for Human Rights Legal Aid [advocacy website] as "interference" in Egypt's domestic matters. The Egyptian Foreign Ministry said that the [read more]

11:09 EDT

[JURIST] US President George W. Bush Tuesday withdrew [press release] John Rizzo [official profile] as the White House nominee for CIA general counsel in light of concerns from Democrats over Rizzo's support for certain interrogation techniques. During a hearing on his nomination in June, Rizzo, currently serving as acting CIA [read more]

11:09 EDT

[JURIST] Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi [official website] urged all nations to institute a moratorium on capital punishment in an address [PDF text] delivered to the UN General Assembly Tuesday. Prodi said that such action would mark great progress in ethics and that:A United Nations resolution against the death penalty [read more]

10:09 EDT

[JURIST] US Army Spc. Jorge G. Sandoval pleaded not guilty at his court-martial in Iraq Wednesday to charges that he and two other soldiers killed three unarmed Iraqis and then placed weapons next to the bodies. Sandoval, along with Staff Sgt. Michael A. Hensley and Sgt. Evan Vela, was charged [read more]

10:09 EDT

[JURIST] Chinese lawyer and outspoken critic of the Chinese government Gao Zhisheng [JURIST news archive] has been arrested again, this time for writing a letter to the US Congress asking the US to help the human rights situation in his home country, a friend of Gao said Tuesday. According to [read more]

09:09 EDT

[JURIST] Texas continued with the lethal injection execution of a convicted murderer Tuesday, despite the US Supreme Court's grant of certiorari [cert. petition, PDF] in a case reviewing whether the method is cruel and unusual and therefore unconstitutional. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments in Baze v. [read more]

08:09 EDT

[JURIST] US federal Magistrate Judge Joan M. Azrack [official profile] has ruled that the government must obtain warrants in order to place taps on phones that would reveal dialed digits. Under the Patriot Act [JURIST news archive], government agents are permitted to use a wiretap without a warrant so long [read more]

07:09 EDT

[JURIST] Micronesian Legal Service Corporation (LSC) [official website] attorney Omar Calimbas said Tuesday that beginning October 15, 2007, the US will permit Micronesians living on the US mainland to receive free legal aid services. The decision will change a 1983 US Congressional act that prevented the representation of aliens, with [read more]

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