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Legal news from Wednesday, November 21, 2007
by Bernard Hibbitts

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf promulgated an ordinance Wednesday invoking his power to unilaterally amend the country's constitution under Article 2(1) of the current Provisional Constitution Order and making the November 3 declaration of emergency and accompanying orders immune from any legal challenge by deeming them always to have been validly made. The Constitution (Amendment) Order, 2007 …

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by Caitlin Price

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour called on Pakistan to restore judicial independence in comments to AFP Wednesday, saying that an independent judiciary is just as important as free elections to a democracy. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf dismissed 14 Supreme Court judges, including Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry, in the wake of …

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by Caitlin Price

Prosecutors argued before a hearing of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) Wednesday that former Khmer Rouge official Kaing Guek Eav should be denied bail to prevent violence that could threaten public order. Lawyers said that Kaing Guek Eav, better known as "Duch," is a flight risk and, if …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The Supreme Court of Georgia Wednesday unanimously overturned a state law that prohibited registered sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of schools, playgrounds and other areas where children gather. Civil rights groups had criticized the law as overly strict, saying that the state's roughly 11,000 registered sex offenders would have …

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by Caitlin Price

The UN General Assembly Third Committee Tuesday approved a draft resolution imploring Iran to "respect fully its human rights obligations." The draft expressed concern about ongoing human rights violations in Iran despite previous resolutions condemning acts including torture, public executions, and discrimination against minorities and women. The draft calls on the …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

UN Special Representative for the Children and Armed Conflict Unit Radhika Coomaraswamy Tuesday expressed concern about the prosecution of Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr, saying that prosecuting Khadr for alleged war crimes committed while he was a minor could set a dangerous precedent. Coomaraswamy made the comments to US State Department legal adviser John …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

A French judge Wednesday opened a formal investigation into former French President Jacques Chirac for his alleged involvement in a corruption scheme during his tenure as the mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995. Chirac allegedly financed the Rally for the Republic (RPR), now renamed as the Union for a Popular …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The US federal judge who presided over the Zacarias Moussaoui terrorism conspiracy case suggested from the bench Tuesday that she might order a new trial for a Muslim cleric convicted of soliciting treason, saying that she could no longer trust representations made by the US government in light of recent revelations that it had withheld evidence …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The UN General Assembly Third Committee Tuesday passed a draft resolution condemning the recent crackdown against political dissidents in Myanmar, calling on the country's military government to release all political prisoners and to cooperate with UN special envoy to Myanmar Ibrahim Gambari. The resolution passed 88-24, with 66 abstentions, and now goes to the General …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

Pakistani police Wednesday stopped ousted Pakistani Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry from leaving his official residence in Islamabad notwithstanding a statement by an Interior Ministry spokesman Tuesday that he and other deposed Supreme Court of Pakistan judges were "free to move" after being under virtual house arrest. Justice Rana Bhagwandas, also dismissed from the …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

Pakistani officials said Wednesday that upwards of 5000 lawyers, activists and others detained in the aftermath of President Pervez Musharraf's November 3 declaration of emergency rule have been released. Government Law Minister Afzal Hayder said on state television that the government had freed 5,634 detainees, and that 600 others still in custody were to be released soon. …

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