Legal news from Friday, November 30, 2007
17:11 EDT

[JURIST] US Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) [official website] 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 [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] Spanish police Friday arrested at least 40 of 56 defendants [JURIST report] accused of supporting Basque separatist group ETA [BBC backgrounder] 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 [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs Per Stig Moeller [official profile] said Friday that Denmark has rejected a US request to accept the transfer of several detainees from Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive]. Moeller said that the detainees could be potential security risks.Approximately 70 detainees have been cleared for release [read more]

14:11 EDT

[JURIST] A Rwandan court has ordered that a defense investigator for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website; JURIST news archive] 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 [read more]

14:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Federal Court of Canada [official website] Thursday struck down a refugee agreement [judgment, PDF] 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 [official profile] essentially nullified the 2004 Safe Third Country [read more]

13:11 EDT

[JURIST] Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen [official website] 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 [JURIST report]. Though Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper plans to [read more]

13:11 EDT

[JURIST] Britain's Proscribed Organisations Appeal Commission [official website] Friday ruled [judgment, PDF] that the UK should remove the People's Mujahedeen Organization of Iran (PMOI) [group website] 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) [read more]

13:11 EDT

[JURIST] European Union (EU) [official website] lawmakers adopted a legislative report [press release] 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 [official website], national governments and gun advocates. The rules would [read more]

13:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Israeli Supreme Court [official website] ruled Friday that the government cannot proceed with plans to cut electricity to the Gaza Strip [BBC backgrounder] 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 [read more]

11:11 EDT

[JURIST] The special Constitutional Assembly in Ecuador charged with rewriting Ecuador's constitution [text, in Spanish] 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 [official website, in Spanish; personal website], will assume [read more]

11:11 EDT

[JURIST] Philippine authorities have taken 50 military officers and supporters into custody following Thursday's attempted overthrow [JURIST report] of Philippine President Gloria Arroyo [official website; BBC profile]. About a dozen officers on trial in the Philippines [JURIST news archive] in connection with a failed 2003 mutiny [BBC report] Thursday walked [read more]

10:11 EDT

[JURIST] A Sudanese court Thursday convicted [AFP report] 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 [read more]

10:11 EDT

[JURIST] Russian President Vladimir Putin [official website] on Friday signed into law a measure that will suspend the nation's responsibilities under the 1990 Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty [text; backgrounder]. The Federation Council of Russia, Russia's upper house, unanimously approved [JURIST report] the measure earlier this month following a unanimous [read more]

08:11 EDT

[JURIST] 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 [opinion, PDF] Thursday. Judge Margaret McKeown, writing for the majority, upheld a 2004 amendment [summary] to [read more]

07:11 EDT

[JURIST] Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki [BBC profile] has formally asked US President George Bush to hand over Ali Hassan al-Majid [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], 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 [read more]

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