Legal news from Tuesday, March 18, 2008
19:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Parliament of Kenya [official website] Tuesday voted unanimously to approve a power-sharing agreement [JURIST report] between Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki [official profile] and opposition leader Raila Odinga [campaign profile]. The Kenya Accord and Reconciliation Act 2008 [text], intended to end violence sparked by the country's disputed 2007 presidential [read more]

18:03 EDT

[JURIST] Nepalese police arrested 50 protesters Tuesday after roughly 200 Tibetan exiles demonstrated near the country's UN headquarters in Katmandu, demanding a UN investigation into China's recent crackdown against pro-Tibet protests [BBC backgrounder]. The protesters, who were arrested after refusing to leave the site, began a hunger strike early Tuesday [read more]

18:03 EDT

[JURIST] Judges ousted by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf after his declaration of emergency rule [text; JURIST report] last November can only be reinstated if the newly elected members of the National Assembly of Pakistan [official website] strike down constitutional changes Musharraf introduced following the dismissals, Pakistani Attorney General Malik Qayyum [read more]

18:03 EDT

[JURIST] Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr [DOD materials; JURIST news archive] said in an affidavit released Tuesday that US interrogators in Afghanistan threatened him with rape, physically abused him, and forced him to swear to false statements. The 63-item statement, signed by Khadr on February 22, was heavily redacted by [read more]

17:03 EDT

[JURIST] The War Crimes Chamber [HRW backgrounder] of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina [official website] Tuesday indicted [press release; case materials] a Bosnian Serb ex-soldier for crimes against humanity allegedly committed against Muslims in the Bosnian war of the early 1990s. Miodrag Nikacevic is accused of raping two Muslim [read more]

17:03 EDT

[JURIST] A German state administrative court Tuesday upheld [press release, in German] a ban on teachers wearing religious headscarves [JURIST news archive] during school. The court in the federal district of Baden-Wuerttemberg [government website] ruled that the teacher who brought the lawsuit had violated her obligation to keep religious expression [read more]

16:03 EDT

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit [official website] Tuesday rejected an appeal by three former Enron Broadband Services [JURIST news archive] executives seeking the dismissal of remaining charges after a jury failed to reach a verdict on all counts in their 2005 fraud trial. Former VP [read more]

16:03 EDT

[JURIST] Chief Human Rights Officer Norah Niland of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan [official website] Tuesday called on the Afghan government to do more to protect human rights and see that human rights violators are brought to justice. Speaking at a press conference [transcript] in Kabul, Niland said [read more]

15:03 EDT

[JURIST] The trial [HRW case history] of Chinese human rights activist Hu Jia [advocacy blog] began Tuesday on charges of inciting subversion of state power [JURIST news archive]. Hu was formally charged last month after he made public [JURIST reports] letters and recordings from Chinese lawyer Gao Zhisheng alleging that [read more]

15:03 EDT

[JURIST] Rights groups Tuesday marked the anniversary of a March 2003 crackdown on dissidents in Cuba by calling for the release of political prisoners detained during that round-up. Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) [advocacy website; CPJ report], Human Rights First (HRF) [advocacy website; press release] and other groups urged new [read more]

14:03 EDT

[JURIST] French "rogue trader" Jerome Kerviel [BBC profile] was released from prison Tuesday after a French court ordered that he be freed while the investigation continues into fraudulent activity allegedly conducted by Kerviel while employed at French Bank Societe Generale [corporate website]. The court ordered Kerviel not to leave the [read more]

14:03 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers for four Kuwaiti Guantanamo Bay detainees have asked the US Court of Military Commission Review [official website] to order prosecutors not to speak to detainees without the consent of their lawyers. In an emergency petition filed with the court last week, the lawyers accused prosecutors of violating ethics [read more]

14:03 EDT

[JURIST] Beleaguered investment bank Bear Stearns [corporate website] was hit with two major lawsuits Monday in the wake of its announced acquisition [press release] by JPMorgan Chase [corporate website]. The first suit [complaint, PDF], filed in US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website], alleged that [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] heard oral arguments Tuesday in District of Columbia v. Heller [Duke Law case backgrounder; merit briefs], 07-290, a case where the Court considered whether the Second Amendment [text] to the US constitution prohibits the District of Columbia from banning private [read more]

12:03 EDT

[JURIST] The National Assembly of Armenia [official website] voted during an emergency session [press release] Monday to place restrictions on rallies and demonstrations. By a vote of 90-6, the parliament empowered the government to ban rallies if a "trustworthy" report indicates that a demonstration would pose a risk to "national [read more]

10:03 EDT

[JURIST] The US Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California [official website] filed charges [PDF text; press release] on Monday against San Francisco Bay maritime pilot John Joseph Cota for allegedly causing the negligent discharge of approximately 58,000 gallons of heavy fuel oil in San Francisco Bay. Cota, who [read more]

10:03 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] ruled Tuesday that Washington's system for primary elections does not violate the First Amendment right of freedom of association. The decision came in the consolidated cases of Washington State Grange v. Washington State Republican Party and Washington v. Washington State [read more]

09:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has submitted incomplete and inaccurate information to be added to the US government's consolidated terrorist watchlist [FBI FAQ] over the last three years, according to a report [PDF text] released Monday by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of the Inspector General [read more]

09:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs [official website] has ruled that the Palestinian Authority (PA) [JURIST news archive] does not enjoy sovereign immunity and can be sued in Israeli courts for its alleged involvements in terrorism. The ministry, in a statement [text] released Sunday, said that Vice Prime Minister [read more]

06:03 EDT

[JURIST] UN special police forces on Monday retook the UN courthouse recently occupied by Serbian protesters demonstrating against Kosovo's declaration of independence [text; JURIST report] last month. The Serbian group took control [JURIST report] of the courthouse in the northern city of Mitrovica on Friday, demanding a deal with UN [read more]

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