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Legal news from Wednesday, January 23, 2008
by Andrew Gilmore

Former Chadian dictator Hissene Habre will not go on trial this year for crimes against humanity, according to an EU official sent to Senegal to advise the court where Habre will be tried. Bruno Cathala, Registrar of the International Criminal Court (ICC), said Wednesday that the length of …

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by Deirdre Jurand

Addressing a special session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour said Wednesday that Israel's policy of collective punishment, disproportionate use of force and targeted killings, coupled with the Palestinian militant practice of indiscriminate firings of bombs and rockets, has led to the current …

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by Deirdre Jurand

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that the healthcare provided in California prisons does not meet constitutional standards even though medical services have improved significantly since the court assumed oversight of the system in 2005. US District Judge Thelton Henderson of the Northern District of California acknowledged the progress of the current supervisory team, led by receiver Robert …

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by Alexis Unkovic

The UK Identity and Passport Service will delay issuing ID cards to British nationals until 2010, according to documents leaked from the UK Home Office. Plans are still underway for foreign nationals living in the UK to be issued biometric visas later this year, while people in …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

US Vice President Dick Cheney Wednesday urged the US Congress to renew and expand the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) when it meets for a scheduled Thursday vote. In a speech to the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank, Cheney called on Congress to amend FISA to grant immunity to telecommunications companies from …

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by Katerina Ossenova

A Dutch appeals court Wednesday overturned the convictions of seven men who were charged with being in a terrorist network that included Muslim extremist Mohammed Bouyeri. Bouyeri confessed to the November 2004 murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh. The seven men were suspected of belonging to the Dutch …

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by Katerina Ossenova

The Dutch government plans to ban burqas in schools and government offices, rejecting a proposal by Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders to prohibit wearing burqas in public altogether, according to Wednesday media reports. Wilders submitted a legislative proposal in July 2007 which would punish those wearing burqas in public …

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by Katerina Ossenova

The US Senate Tuesday passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, a military spending bill that includes a provision exemptimg Iraq from US lawsuits dating back to the regime of ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. Sponsored by Congressman Ike Skelton (D-MO), the bill passed the Senate 91-3 [roll …

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by Brett Murphy

The office of Serbian War Crimes Prosecutor Vladimir Vukcevic said Wednesday that Vukcevic has received death threats for his involvement in pursuing war crimes fugitives indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for their roles in the 1990 Balkan Wars. Four war crimes suspects are still at large, including former Bosnian Serb commander …

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by Brett Murphy

Pojamarn Shinawatra, wife of former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, told the Thailand Supreme Court Tuesday that Thaksin will return to Thailand in May to battle corruption charges laid against him after he was ousted in a military coup in September 2006. Pojamarn herself faces charges of conflict of interest and malfeasance …

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by Leslie Schulman

Israel and the United States plan to boycott a special session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva Wednesday called to discuss possible human rights violations in Gaza in the wake of a blockade imposed by Israel on the area last Friday. Israel closed crossings into Gaza after more than 45 …

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by Leslie Schulman

The City Council of Farmers Branch, a Dallas, Texas suburb, on Tuesday approved a measure that would require all adults to apply for a city license before they can lease a house or apartment. The application obliges rental applicants to disclose whether they are a US citizen or a legal …

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