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Legal news from Thursday, October 4, 2007
by Mike Rosen-Molina

The Supreme Court of Canada Thursday ruled that police officers can be held liable for inadequate investigations, in a case that could have major repercussions for the way that Canadian police work is conducted. In a 6-3 decision, judges found that police owe a duty of care to suspects to conduct a conscientious …

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by Alexis Unkovic

Amnesty International Thursday urged medical professionals worldwide to refrain from participating in executions. In a new report examining the practice of execution by lethal injection, Amnesty said doctors and nurses break their ethical oaths by assisting in lethal injections and urged them to withdraw their cooperation. Amnesty also criticized governments for …

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by Alexis Unkovic

The US Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday voted 15-2 to send a federal shield bill, which would protect reporters from being compelled to disclose confidential sources, to the full Senate for consideration. The Bush administration and the US Department of Justice have continuously opposed the enactment of a federal reporter shield law …

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by Alexis Unkovic

Twenty-three family members and former associates of the late former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet were indicted in Chile Thursday on corruption charges. The 23 suspects include five of Pinochet's children, his widow, his longtime secretary, and three retired army generals. Judge Carlos Cerda said the charges stem …

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by Alexis Unkovic

Nicholas Phillips, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, urged Americans to respect human rights and embrace immigrants as a means of fighting international terrorism in an address to the International Law Section of the American Bar Association in London Wednesday. In a speech on the "Impact of Terrorism on …

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by Alexis Unkovic

US District Judge Gladys Kessler of the DC District Court has ruled that Haji Rohullah, an Afghan citizen detained by the US military at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, is entitled to 30 days advance notice of any proposed transfer from that facility. The ruling signaled at least a temporary victory for …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The US House of Representatives voted 389-30 Thursday in favor of a bill to effectively end the "de facto immunity" enjoyed by many private contractors working for the US in Iraq. While Defense Department contractors are already subject to US court jurisdiction through the 2000 Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act (MEJA), …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

A Fijian court Thursday began hearing the case brought by former Fijian Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase against Fiji's current acting government over allegations that the December military coup that ousted him was illegal. Central to the government's defense is the constitutional interpretation of the largely ceremonial powers of Fiji's president. A lawyer for Qarase has …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The Iraqi government will intentionally miss a 30-day deadline to execute former Iraqi defense minister Ali Hassan al-Majid, also known as "Chemical Ali," choosing instead to delay the execution until after the Islamic holy month of Ramadan ends. The BBC reported Wednesday that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki was considering delaying the execution [BBC …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Two secret legal opinions circulated within the US Department of Justice in 2005 endorsed "severe" interrogation techniques, including "head-slapping, simulated drowning and frigid temperatures," the New York Times reported Thursday. The DOJ opinions, the first of which was released soon after Alberto Gonzales became US Attorney General in February 2005, reversed the DOJ's position that such interrogation techniques are …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Lawyers for US Army 1st Lt. Ehren Watada filed an emergency motion with the US District Court for the Western District of Washington on Wednesday, requesting that his court-martial, scheduled to begin next Tuesday, be stayed pending the outcome of his appeal. Watada, a 28-year-old Honolulu native, publicly refused deployment to Iraq …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Myanmar police arrested dozens of people for questioning during nighttime raids late Wednesday night as the government continues its crackdown on dissidents. Also Wednesday, monks crowded into train stations after being ordered to leave their monasteries and return to their hometowns. Police arrested dozens of monks last week in response to widespread anti-government protests, led by the …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Officials from South Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), or North Korea, said Thursday that the two countries will work on a peace treaty formally ending the Korean War to replace a cease-fire agreement reached in 1953 which was never signed by the South Korea. The announcement followed an agreement [CNN fact sheet; US DOS …

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