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Legal news from Thursday, November 1, 2007
by Mike Rosen-Molina

The Supreme Court of Canada Thursday affirmed by 5-4 the murder conviction of a British Columbia man in a case widely seen as a test of the right to remain silent guaranteed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Jagrup Singh alleged that the police had violated his constitutional right to …

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by Nick Fiske

Victims of the 2004 Madrid train bombings expressed outrage Thursday and vowed to appeal after a Spanish court acquitted seven of 28 co-defendants accused of participating in the attacks, including alleged mastermind Rabei Osman Sayed Ahmed. Three defendants were convicted of murder Wednesday and 18 others were found guilty of lesser charges. …

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by Benjamin Klein

The Florida Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision Thursday upholding the state's lethal injection procedures and rejecting the assertion that the state's protocol constitutes "cruel and unusual punishment." The US Supreme Court currently has on its docket a case challenging lethal injection as unconstitutional, and earlier this week the Court granted a stay of execution …

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by Steve Czajkowski

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Thursday renewed its call for access to detainees still being held in Myanmar after the government's crackdown last month on opponents of the ruling military junta. In his second statement calling for access to detainees in the past two weeks, ICRC Director of …

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by Alexis Unkovic

Bosnian Prime Minister Nikola Spiric resigned Thursday, reportedly in protest over proposed voting rule reforms for the Bosnian parliament. Miroslav Lajcak, a Slovak diplomat who is the high representative to the Peace Implementation Council, introduced the new voting rules Wednesday ostensibly designed to streamline the country's reform process. The PIC is …

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by Alexis Unkovic

The government of Ireland said Thursday it will introduce new legislation next year recognizing the rights of both same-sex and unmarried heterosexual couples to enter into civil unions, after debate on a motion to restore the Civil Unions Bill 2006 stalled in the Irish Parliament. The opposition Irish Labour Party re-introduced the …

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by Kiely Lewandowski

US President George W. Bush on Thursday defended the refusal of Attorney General nominee Michael Mukasey to say that waterboarding is illegal. During a press conference Thursday, Bush said:I've submitted a highly competent, smart, independent nominee in Judge Mukasey to the Senate. I am disappointed that the process is taking …

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by Alexis Unkovic

The interim government of Bangladesh Thursday announced that its judiciary has formally separated from the executive branch. The interim government completed all formalities necessary to separate the judiciary in August, meeting a deadline set by the Supreme Court of Bangladesh in July. Lower court judges and judicial magistrates now will be appointed …

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by Kiely Lewandowski

The Supreme Court of Pakistan judge presiding over a case challenging the legality of President Pervez Musharraf's re-election bid said Thursday that the court is unlikely to rule in the case until mid-November. The court has previously said it hoped to issue a decision by the end of this week, but arguments have gone on longer than …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

A London jury Thursday found that the Metropolitan Police violated laws relating to health and public safety when it shot and killed Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes in a London Tube station in 2005, believing him to be a suicide bomber. The prosecution argued that due to several mistakes made …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

A federal judge Wednesday enjoined the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) from implementing new rules that would have limited the number of claims that can be included in a patent application and the number of times a continuation application can be filed for a given invention. …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has signed a bill into law that amends the Zimbabwean Constitution to essentially allow Mugabe to pick his successor. A government publication indicated that the bill came into effect on Tuesday. The Zimbabwean Parliament unanimously passed the bill in September following only one day of debate.The changes allow parliament …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A Bush administration official Wednesday called the Senate's proposed domestic surveillance bill "generally a strong piece of legislation," but repeated several administration demands, including a provision granting blanket immunity to telecommunications companies from privacy lawsuits related to their participation in the NSA warrantless surveillance program, and the elimination of a proposal to extend the jurisdiction of …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The first trial in Zimbabwe involving a white farmer defending his refusal to obey a state-sponsored eviction order was postponed Wednesday until December 17 after prosecutors admitted to the court that they had failed to turn relevant papers and information over to the defendant. The defendant, John Norman Eastwood, had requested in pre-trial motions that the state identify the …

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by Joshua Pantesco

US military lawyers for Canadian Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr are preventing Khadr from speaking with Dennis Edney, his Canadian civil lawyer, in advance of a hearing scheduled for next week, Edney told Reuters Wednesday. Edney said the ban came after he had publicly differed with Khadr's military lawyers and faulted their conduct. …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Thursday sentenced five high-ranking police officers to between 15 days and one month in prison for mistreating Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry when President Musharraf suspended him from duties on March 9, 2007. A videotape of Chaudhry's arrest showed several police officers roughly shoving him …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Not a single condemned prisoner was executed in the United States in the month of October, the first such month in nearly three years, AP reported Wednesday. Across the US, many states have declared a moratorium on lethal injection executions, pending the outcome of a Supreme Court case that challenges lethal injection as a form of …

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by Andrew Gilmore

The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 17-4 Wednesday to send the 1994 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to the full US Senate for ratification. The treaty has been sharply criticized by conservative Republicans who claim it would limit US sovereignty. Foreign Relations Committee ranking minority …

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