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Legal news from Thursday, November 15, 2007
by Alexis Unkovic

US President George W. Bush on Thursday criticized the Senate's judicial confirmation process as overzealous and said the legislature's constitutional mandate to "advise and consent" can be turned into a method by which to "search and destroy" a nominee's reputation. In a speech Thursday evening at the 2007 National Lawyers Convention hosted by the Federalist Society …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The house arrest order against former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has been lifted, Pakistani police said Thursday. Bhutto was placed under house arrest for seven days early Tuesday in an effort to block her from leading a planned 160-mile march from Lahore to Islamabad protesting President Pervez Musharraf's imposition of emergency rule …

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by Nick Fiske

The Supreme Court of Canada declined on Thursday to hear the appeals of two US military deserters who sought refugee status within the country. Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey, both soldiers in the US Army, fled to Canada in 2004 to avoid deployment in Iraq and applied for asylum before the Canadian …

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by Benjamin Klein

The Parliament of the Georgian Republic approved a presidential decree on Thursday bringing an end to the country's national state of emergency effective Friday. Chairwoman of the Parliament Nino Burjanadze announced the decision following calls by both the US and EU to end emergency rule. US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack welcomed the …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The Constitutional Council of France Thursday approved a controversial amendment to an immigration law that would allow voluntary DNA testing to establish family ties between recent immigrants and relatives already living in France. The Council also rejected an amendment that would have allowed for the collection of ethnic data to promote diversity. …

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by Alexis Unkovic

An official with Russia's Union of Right Forces (SPS) told a news conference Thursday that the opposition political party had filed a lawsuit with the country's Supreme Court requesting that Russian President Vladimir Putin not be allowed to run as a candidate in the country's upcoming parliamentary elections. Putin …

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by Kiely Lewandowski

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit threw out planned federal fuel economy standards for light trucks and SUVs Thursday, ruling that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) did not adequately consider the environmental impact of the proposed standards. The ruling came in a lawsuit brought by several …

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by Alexis Unkovic

The Tianhe District Court in China convicted lawyer and dissident writer Yang Maodong of conducting "illegal business activity" and sentenced him to serve five years in prison and pay more than $5,000 in fines, according to his lawyer. Yang's trial began in July on charges stemming from his publication of a book …

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by Alexis Unkovic

The US Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the execution of Florida death row inmate Mark Dean Schwab "pending the timely filing and disposition of a petition for a writ of certiorari." Schwab was scheduled to be executed at 6 PM ET on Thursday. The stay will terminate automatically if Schwab's petition for …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Paulo Sergio Pinheiro told reporters at the end of a five-day visit to Myanmar Thursday that he was able to meet with a number of prominent political prisoners, but that his request to meet with opposition leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi [JURIST news …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

A British court ruled Thursday that the radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri can be extradited to the United States on charges of supporting terrorism. Abu Hamza, who is currently serving a seven-year sentence in the UK for urging his followers to kill Jews and other non-Muslims, faces US charges …

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by Steve Czajkowski

The US Justice Department has not yet made a decision on whether it will file criminal charges against Blackwater USA employees involved in the killings of 14 Iraqi civilians during a September 16 incident that took place in West Baghdad, a DOJ spokesperson said Wednesday. The comments came in response to reports from the New …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued a per curiam opinion on Thursday overturning a district court order to stay the execution of Florida death row inmate Mark Dean Schwab. The federal district court blocked Schwab's execution on Wednesday pending the US Supreme Court's decision in Baze v. Rees …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Polish prosecutors have charged six Polish soldiers with murder and violations of the Geneva Conventions in connection with an August 16 incident in Afghanistan in which the soldiers allegedly fired into a crowd of civilians who posed no threat of harm to the soldiers. Six people, including three children, were killed by the Polish soldiers, and three …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A delegation of lawyers from the Iraqi bar association Wednesday hand-delivered a four-page letter to several US lawmakers that criticizes the US government for not devoting adequate financial resources to ensure the rule of law in Iraq, according to the Hill. The Iraqi lawyers, led by Iraqi bar association president Aswad al-Minshidi, delivered the letter to House Minority Whip …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

The retired Supreme Court of Pakistan judge who unsuccessfully challenged General Pervez Musharraf in his recent bid for legislative re-election as president of Pakistan is bringing an application before the current high court challenging its constitutional status to rule on the pending case concerning Musharraf's eligibility for re-election while still Army chief of staff. Justice (retd) Wajihuddin …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A US military spokesperson on Wednesday acknowledged that a 238-page operating manual for the US facility at Guantanamo Bay was leaked on the Internet, but said the document is out-of-date and does not reflect current procedures. The manual, titled Camp Delta Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), is dated March 28, 2003, and is labeled "Unclassified/for …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

Dismissed Pakistani Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry warned the registrar of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in a letter Wednesday that any effort by the government to remove him from his official residence in the capital, Islamabad, would amount to kidnapping. Chaudhry was responding to indications that he might be taken by police from Chief Justice …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The European Parliament committee on CIA activities in Europe (TDIP) will reopen its investigation into the alleged operation of secret CIA prisons in Europe, two committee members said Wednesday. Giulietto Chiesa and Claudio Fava said that new evidence of secret prisons and rendition flights in Ukraine prompted the TDIP to reopen the …

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