Legal news from Wednesday, June 18, 2008
16:06 EDT

[JURIST] Burundi military officials Wednesday announced the arrests of nearly 100 members of the Forces for National Liberation (FNL) [GlobalSecurity backgrounder], a Hutu separatist group engaged in an ongoing conflict with the Burundian government. The FNL denied accusations [Reuters report] that the arrests were a government response to the alleged [read more]

16:06 EDT

[JURIST] New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo [official profile] announced [press release] Wednesday that the state had settled with two law firms accused of defrauding the state pension system. For years the two firms, Girvin & Ferlazzo, PC and Hogan, Sarzynski, Lynch, Surowka & DeWind LLP [firm websites], had arranged [read more]

16:06 EDT

[JURIST] Bulgarian officials said Wednesday that they had frozen 10 National Road Infrastructure Fund [backgrounder] projects worth almost 90 million euros ($137 million) in order to avoid possible sanctions for using the money inappropriately. The funds are mostly grants from the Phare program [Bulgaria program materials; EU Bulgaria finance page], [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] US President George W. Bush vetoed the new Farm Bill [HR 6124 materials; White House press release] for the second time on Wednesday, saying that the proposed legislation was fiscally irresponsible. The original version of the text sent to Bush for signature last month inadvertently omitted [JURIST report] a [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) [official website] unanimously ruled [decision; press release] Tuesday that Armenia's National Television and Radio Commission had improperly denied a broadcast license to the A1 Plus [media website] television station. ECHR found that the denial violated Article 10 of the European Convention on [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Swedish parliament Tuesday rejected a proposed warrantless wiretap law [text, in Swedish] that would have given the National Defence Radio Establishment [official website] wide leeway to eavesdrop on international telephone and electronic communications passing through the country. The government said that the law was necessary for national security, [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] Russian authorities have formally charged three men in the killing of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya [BBC obituary; JURIST news archive]. Sergey Khadzhikurbanov, and brothers Dzhabrail and Ibragim Makhmudov, all from Chechnya [JURIST news archive], were among those arrested last August [JURIST report] in connection with the investigation into Politkovskaya's [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] China's State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) [official website] Wednesday announced an anti-monopoly investigation into Microsoft [corporate website] and other international software companies suspected of dominating the Chinese software market, unfairly raising prices and bundling software. Software companies will likely face increased liability for alleged anti-competitive practices beginning August 1, [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] US President George W. Bush Wednesday called for Congress to relax restrictions on oil exploration [statement text], saying that it should end a long-standing prohibition against offshore oil drilling [JURIST news archive] and also allow drilling to begin in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge [official website] in Alaska. Bush [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] A UN observer who arrived in Zimbabwe Sunday to monitor the human rights situation has been ejected from the country after only two days, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour [official profile; statement, recorded audio] said Wednesday. Zimbabwe government agents told the UN envoy that he had [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] The California First District Court of Appeal [official website] Tuesday rejected a petition [PDF text] by anti-same-sex marriage group Liberty Counsel [advocacy website] to block the issuance of new sex-neutral marriages licenses [PDF text; JURIST report]. Liberty Counsel had argued that same-sex marriage licenses should not be issued until [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] The European Parliament (EP) [official website] adopted a new European Union directive to combat illegal immigration on Wednesday. The new rules [legislative materials; EP press release] are intended to normalize immigration procedures across the EU. Under the directive, illegal aliens caught in the EU must leave within 30 days, [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] A Virginia circuit court judge approved an $11 million state settlement agreement [template, PDF; press release] Tuesday for the families of 24 people killed in the April 2007 shootings at Virginia Tech [JURIST news archive]. The settlement, which many of the families involved tentatively approved [JURIST report] in April, [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] A telephone caller threatened the life of the Serbian prosecutor responsible for the arrest and extradition of war crimes suspect Stojan Zupljanin [ICTY indictment] to the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website], the Serbian Prosecutor's Office said Tuesday. The death threat, which was traced to the [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] The UK House of Lords [official website] Wednesday passed a bill [text; explanatory notes] to ratify the EU reform treaty [JURIST news archive], formally known as the Treaty of Lisbon [official website; PDF text], rejecting an amendment pushed by Conservative peers to postpone the upper chamber vote until October [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Norwegian parliament approved a law [legislative materials, PDF, in Norwegian] Tuesday allowing same-sex marriage in the country. The new law replaces 1993 legislation that granted same-sex couples the right to enter into civil partnerships. The bill was proposed [JURIST report] in the Norwegian parliament, the Storting [official website], [read more]

09:06 EDT

[[JURIST] Physicians For Human Rights [official website] Wednesday released a report [PDF text; executive summary, PDF] saying that abuse and torture claims made by former detainees held by the US in Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay and Iraq [JURIST news archives] are supported by medical examinations performed by the group. The exams [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] A panel of judges in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Tuesday reversed [opinion, PDF] the conviction of former White House official David Safavian [JURIST news archive] because of previous judicial error and the use of incorrect legal standards at the trial court level. A [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] Tuesday denounced a recent Burundi [CIA backgrounder] Constitutional Court decision to dismiss 22 former members of the ruling party from the National Assembly, the National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy (NCDD-FDD) [GlobalSecurity backgrounder]. The Constitutional Court ruled [read more]

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