Legal news from Wednesday, April 2, 2008
20:04 EDT

[JURIST] Five prominent members of the Hindu Rights Action Force [organization website] who are being detained in Malaysia [JURIST report] "have been deprived of their personal liberty in defiance of the law," a defense lawyer argued at a Wednesday Federal Court hearing. The five activists are accused of being involved [read more]

19:04 EDT

[JURIST] The US House Energy and Commerce Committee [official website] Wednesday voted 38-12 to approve the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act [HR 1108 text and amendment, PDF; JURIST report], a bill that would give the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory power over tobacco products. Supporters say the [read more]

18:04 EDT

[JURIST] US Attorney General Michael Mukasey [official profile] told Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) in a letter [PDF text] Monday that the State Secrets Protection Act [S 2533 summary] currently before Congress, introduced by committee leaders to enact a "safe, fair, and responsible" state secrets privilege [JURIST news [read more]

18:04 EDT

[JURIST] Jury selection began Wednesday for the UK trial of eight men accused of plotting to blow up US-bound jetliners [JURIST report] over the Atlantic. In August 2006, prosecutors charged [press release; JURIST report] the eight with conspiracy to commit murder and endangering aircraft bound for the United States and [read more]

18:04 EDT

[JURIST] An Egyptian prosecutor Wednesday appealed the six-month prison sentence [JURIST report] handed down last week against a former editor of the weekly al-Dustour [media website, in Arabic] newspaper, insisting it was too lenient. Ibrahim Eissa [al-Ahram profile] was convicted on charges of spreading "rumors" about the health of Egyptian [read more]

16:04 EDT

[JURIST] One of two alleged leaders of the Southeast Asian terror group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) [CFR backgrounder; JURIST news archive] Wednesday denied involvement in a series of 2002 Bali night club bombings [GlobalSecurity backgrounder; JURIST news archive] and other attacks allegedly committed by JI. At trial, Abu Dujana [BBC profile] [read more]

15:04 EDT

[JURIST] The US Department of Defense (DOD) [official website] plans to file unspecified terrorism-related charges against one of two UK residents [JURIST report] still remaining at Guantanamo Bay, US and British officials told the New York Times Wednesday. UK officials have reportedly objected to plans to try Ethiopian detainee Binyam [read more]

15:04 EDT

[JURIST] Seventeen states Wednesday filed a petition [PDF text; press release] in the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit seeking to compel the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) [official website] to comply with last year's Supreme Court ruling [text; JURIST report] that the EPA has the authority under [read more]

14:04 EDT

[JURIST] Human rights groups Tuesday filed an appeal [PDF text; press release] of a March Federal Court of Canada ruling [PDF text; JURIST report] that the protections of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms [text] do not extend to Afghan detainees captured by Canadian soldiers. Amnesty International Canada and [read more]

13:04 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers for Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr [DOD materials; JURIST news archive] have asked the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit to reverse a military Combatant Status Review Tribunal (CSRT) determination that their client is an "enemy combatant," arguing that the determination "was inconsistent with the laws [read more]

13:04 EDT

[JURIST] Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine [official website] Tuesday issued a stay of all executions [press release] in the state until the US Supreme Court rules in Baze v. Rees (07-5439) [docket; merit briefs], a case challenging the constitutionality of using lethal injection [DPIC backgrounder] as a method of execution. [read more]

10:04 EDT

[JURIST] European Union Advocate General Damaso Ruiz-Jarabo on Monday advised [opinion, in French] the European Court of Justice (ECJ) [official website] that pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) [corporate website] has engaged in abusive practices that contravene EU antitrust laws in connection with a lawsuit filed by Greek drug wholesalers against GSK. [read more]

10:04 EDT

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice advised the US Department of Defense [official websites] in 2003 that military interrogators could employ a wide range of interrogation methods when questioning foreign detainees outside the United States without fear of criminal liability or constitutional sanction, according to a 2003 memorandum [PDF text] [read more]

08:04 EDT

[JURIST] The US Department of Defense (DOD) is circumventing legal limits on its relatively narrow power to issue so-called national security letters (NSLs) [FAS backgrounder; example, PDF] by getting the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to use its broader NSL-issuing powers on the DOD's behalf, the American Civil Liberties Union [read more]

07:04 EDT

[JURIST] The National League for Democracy (NLD), the main opposition party in Myanmar [JURIST news archive], on Wednesday urged citizens to reject the proposed constitution put forth by Myanmar's military government. In a statement to Reuters, an NLD spokesman appealed to citizens to vote against the constitution when they go [read more]

07:04 EDT

[JURIST] The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) [official website] passed a resolution [press release] by a 32-0 vote Tuesday "extending the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression for three years," and adding extra oversight to require reporting [read more]

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