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Legal news from Friday, November 30, 2007
by Mike Rosen-Molina

US Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) Friday praised Pakistan's lawyers for standing up for the rule of law and emphasized the county's need for an independent judiciary as a guard against overreaching executive power. In a statement to JURIST, Leahy said:The protest by Pakistan's lawyers was an iconic moment about the importance …

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by Eric Firkel

Spanish police Friday arrested at least 40 of 56 defendants accused of supporting Basque separatist group ETA in 2005, according to a court official cited by AP. Forty-six found guilty of belonging to various organizations are believed to have provided financial, political, media, and international support to ETA. Those arrested have been out on bail …

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by Josh Camson

Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs Per Stig Moeller said Friday that Denmark has rejected a US request to accept the transfer of several detainees from Guantanamo Bay. Moeller said that the detainees could be potential security risks.Approximately 70 detainees have been cleared for release, but the US has not yet found …

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by Katerina Ossenova

A Rwandan court has ordered that a defense investigator for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) be provisionally released from police custody, according to Friday media reports. Leonidas Nshogoza was arrested in June 2007 for allegedly bribing witnesses and "minimizing" the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Prosecution spokesman Jean Bosco Mutangana said Nshogoza …

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by Katerina Ossenova

The Federal Court of Canada Thursday struck down a refugee agreement between Canada and the US, noting that the US does not meet international refugee protection requirements or respect international conventions against torture. Justice Michael Phelan essentially nullified the 2004 Safe Third Country Agreement, which barred foreign refugees who first arrived in …

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by Patrick Porter

Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen said Thursday that the state will wait until the US Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of lethal injections before modifying the state's execution protocols in accordance with a September federal court ruling. Though Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper plans to appeal the September court decision which struck down already revised …

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by Katerina Ossenova

Britain's Proscribed Organisations Appeal Commission Friday ruled that the UK should remove the People's Mujahedeen Organization of Iran (PMOI) from its list of terrorist organizations. PMOI is Iran's main political opposition organization and part of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), an umbrella coalition of Iranian opposition groups. The …

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by Katerina Ossenova

European Union (EU) lawmakers adopted a legislative report Thursday to tighten gun control laws and establish an extensive firearms database. The new rules are the result of 18 months of negotiations between the European Parliament, national governments and gun advocates. The rules would prohibit anyone under 18 from buying a gun with the …

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by Patrick Porter

The Israeli Supreme Court ruled Friday that the government cannot proceed with plans to cut electricity to the Gaza Strip this weekend. The court did allow, however, a continuation of fuel supply cuts to the region, which began last month. According to AP, the three-judge panel wrote that "we were not convinced that the decision …

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by Jaime Jansen

The special Constitutional Assembly in Ecuador charged with rewriting Ecuador's constitution suspended Ecuador's congress Thursday pending approval of a new charter in a nation-wide referendum, expected late next year. The special assembly, controlled by leftist President Rafael Correa, will assume legislative duties until the new constitution is approved and the …

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by Jaime Jansen

Philippine authorities have taken 50 military officers and supporters into custody following Thursday's attempted overthrow of Philippine President Gloria Arroyo. About a dozen officers on trial in the Philippines in connection with a failed 2003 mutiny Thursday walked out of court, took control of a Manila hotel, and …

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by Jaime Jansen

A Sudanese court Thursday convicted British school teacher Gillian Gibbons of insulting Islam and sentenced her to 15 days in prison for allowing her students to name the class teddy bear Muhammad. Gibbons will serve 10 more days in prison, after having already served five, and will then be deported. Gibbons had originally been charged with inciting …

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by Jaime Jansen

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday signed into law a measure that will suspend the nation's responsibilities under the 1990 Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty. The Federation Council of Russia, Russia's upper house, unanimously approved the measure earlier this month following a unanimous vote in the State Duma in favor of …

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by Jaime Jansen

All convicted federal felons must provide DNA samples to a federal database available to police departments throughout the country, a divided panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled Thursday. Judge Margaret McKeown, writing for the majority, upheld a 2004 amendment to the DNA Analysis Backlog Elimination Act (DNA Act), requiring …

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by Jaime Jansen

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has formally asked US President George Bush to hand over Ali Hassan al-Majid, better known in the Western media as "Chemical Ali," and two other former members of Saddam Hussein's former regime, Iraqi officials said Thursday. In a letter to President Bush Tuesday, Maliki demanded that the …

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