Legal news from Wednesday, October 17, 2007
22:10 EDT

[JURIST] The Venezuelan National Assembly [official website] on Wednesday debated a set of proposed amendments to the constitution, including reforms that would eliminate presidential term limits and augment the president's emergency powers. In August, the proposed amendments passed a preliminary vote [JURIST report] in the Assembly; after the current round [read more]

18:10 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Wednesday afternoon issued an order [DOC text] staying the execution of Virginia death row inmate Christopher Scott Emmett [advocacy profile], who had been scheduled to be put to death at 9 PM ET. The Court stayed the execution "pending final disposition of [read more]

18:10 EDT

[JURIST] The High Administrative Court of Ukraine has delayed validating the results of the Sept. 30 parliamentary election [JURIST report] pending the outcome of a legal challenge by the Communist Party of Ukraine [party website], a court spokesperson said Wednesday. The Communist Party argues that the vote was invalid due [read more]

17:10 EDT

[JURIST] Former Khmer Rouge official Nuon Chea [GenocideWatch report] on Wednesday asked the Extraordinary Chambers in the Court of Cambodia (ECCC) [official website; JURIST news archive] to release him on bail. Nuon Chea's family earlier this week expressed concern over his health and urged the tribunal to release him [AFP [read more]

16:10 EDT

[JURIST] US Attorney General nominee Michael B. Mukasey [White House fact sheet; firm profile] told the Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] Wednesday that he opposes presidential authorization of torture, calling the controversial "Bybee Memo" [PDF text; PBS backgrounder] "unnecessary" and "a mistake." The 2002 memo, in which the Department of [read more]

16:10 EDT

[JURIST] A Philippines military tribunal Wednesday dismissed charges against four military officers connected with a failed mutiny [BBC report] in July 2003 in which 300 soldiers from elite special forces took over buildings in Manila in an effort to overthrow the government of President Gloria Arroyo [official website; JURIST news [read more]

15:10 EDT

[JURIST] Japan's cabinet Wednesday approved new anti-terror legislation which would grant a one-year extension to a Japanese refueling mission in the Indian Ocean. The bill, which restricts its application to allied ships on anti-terrorism patrols, is a compromise [AFP report] between the leading Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) [official website, in [read more]

15:10 EDT

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website; JURIST news archive] has increasingly turned its focus to terrorism and immigration offenses since 2000, according to a Washington Post report Wednesday. Statistics from the Executive Office for US Attorneys [official website] provided to the Post showed significant decreases in prosecution [read more]

14:10 EDT

[JURIST] An Iranian court sentenced three university students to prison terms ranging from two to three years for insulting Islam and Islamic clerics, the students' lawyer said Tuesday. Officials arrested the students [AFP report], Majid Tavakoli, Ahmed Ghassaban and Ehsan Mansouri, in May along with five other students on charges [read more]

14:10 EDT

[JURIST] The planned execution [JURIST report] of Ali Hassan al-Majid [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], better known in Western media as "Chemical Ali," has been further delayed while Iraqi lawmakers debate the role of the country's Presidency Council and the scope of the authority of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki [read more]

13:10 EDT

[JURIST] The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) [official website] Tuesday revised security procedures relating to headwear [press release], merging procedures involving headwear with the broader category of bulky clothing. The move came less than a week after the TSA and the Sikh Coalition [advocacy website] held a "community meeting" [press [read more]

12:10 EDT

[JURIST] The United States has gained ground as a country protecting press freedom, according to the sixth annual Worldwide Index of Freedom [press release] issued Tuesday by Reporters Without Borders (RWB) [advocacy website]. RWB listed Eritrea, North Korea, and Turkmenistan at the bottom of the survey, while Iceland and Norway [read more]

11:10 EDT

[JURIST] US Attorney General nominee Michael B. Mukasey [WH fact sheet; PBWT profile] told the Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] Wednesday that he will work to balance national security and civil liberties if confirmed as the next attorney general. During a hearing on his nomination [witness list], Mukasey said in [read more]

10:10 EDT

[JURIST] Pakistani Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sher Afgan Niazi said Tuesday that martial law may be declared in the country if the Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] rules against President Pervez Musharraf's bid for re-election. Niazi said that his statement should not be regarded as a threat, but rather [read more]

09:10 EDT

[JURIST] Representatives in the US House have begun to pull back support for a resolution [HR 106 materials; text] labeling as genocide the World War I-era killings of over one million Armenians by Turkish soldiers [ANCA backgrounder; Turkish DC Embassy backgrounder], with nearly a dozen members of Congress changing their [read more]

09:10 EDT

[JURIST] Officials in Myanmar [JURIST news archive] have arrested close to 3,000 people for participating in recent peaceful protests, the junta said in a statement published Wednesday in the state-run New Light of Myanmar [official website]. The junta also said that the 500 people still in detention were those who [read more]

00:10 EDT

[JURIST] Corporate Officers & Directors Assurance Ltd. (CODA), a subsidiary of ACE Bermuda [corporate website], has filed a petition in a New York trial court requesting an order compelling former Tyco International [corporate website] CEO L. Dennis Kozlowski [JURIST news archive] to pay the insurer approximately $1.97 million. CODA provided [read more]

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