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Legal news from Wednesday, July 2, 2008
by Mike Rosen-Molina

The International Criminal Court (ICC) Wednesday ordered the release of Congolese ex-militia leader Thomas Lubanga after finding that past prosecutorial misconduct would prevent him from having a fair trial. The release order will go into effect in five days, barring an appeal by prosecutors and assuming the completion of …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Washington DC police are launching a new voluntary program to reduce the number of guns in the city after the US Supreme Court ruled last month that a city ban on private handgun ownership violated the Second Amendment to the US Constitution. Under the Safe Homes Initiative, police will ask residents for permission …

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by Devin Montgomery

Belgium's Court of Cassation Tuesday approved the transfer of former Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) rebel leader Jean-Pierre Bemba to the International Criminal Court (ICC) where he will face prosecution for war crimes. Bemba, who was arrested by Belgian authorities in May, had …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Private security contractors operating in Iraq will no longer receive immunity from prosecution under a US-Iraqi agreement now in negotiation, Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told AFP Tuesday. Contractors have worked largely above the law due to legal loopholes because the US government exempted its employees and contractors from Iraqi law when Iraq was still under US administration. …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The Cambodian lawyer representing former Khmer Rouge head of state Khieu Samphan before the Extraordinary Chambers of the Court of Cambodia (ECCC) resigned Tuesday, citing health problems. Some have speculated [ECCCReparations op-ed] that Say Bory's resignation is related to controversial tactics employed by French co-counsel Jacques Verges. In February, Verges said …

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by Andrew Gilmore

A divison of the New York State Supreme Court dismissed remaining charges against former New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) CEO Richard Grasso on Tuesday. Former NY Attorney General Eliot Spitzer had brought six charges against Grasso over his controversial $187.5 million compensation package from NYSE. Four of the charges were dismissed [JURIST …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

A proposed Ethiopian law regulating non-governmental organizations, which it terms Civil Society Organizations (CSO), would severely undermine human rights efforts in the country, according to two separate reports issued Tuesday by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW). The groups said that Ethiopia's Charities and Societies Proclamation [Mahder.com backgrounder] would bar foreign CSOs from …

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by Devin Montgomery

The Supreme Court of Rhode Island Tuesday overturned a 2006 jury verdict holding paint manufacturers liable for contamination caused by lead-based paint. The court rejected state arguments that the paint companies had created a public nuisance, finding that they had no control over how the paint was used:But however grave the problem of …

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by Kiely Lewandowski

The Shanghai People's Higher Court will broadcast its hearings online, a Shanghai judge announced Tuesday. China began televising live court cases in 1998, and the internet broadcasts are the newest element of its effort to increase judicial transparency. Speaking at a conference last week, Supreme People's Court (SPC) Chief Justice Wang Shengjun recommended: We …

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by Deirdre Jurand

A report from the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) has found that while US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is not responsible for the 2006 deaths of two detainees, ICE officials do not always adhere to proper medical protocols. The medical standards chapter of the ICE Detention …

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by Devin Montgomery

Millions of Swedish citizens have filed electronic petitions against the country's newly approved electronic wiretapping law, according to news reports Wednesday. The law was narrowly approved earlier this month and gives the country's National Defence Radio Establishment broad authority to monitor international telephone and electronic communications passing …

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by Kiely Lewandowski

US Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) has criticized the Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) warrantless searches and seizures of travelers' laptops and other digital devices at the US border, calling the searches an unacceptable invasion of privacy. The Supreme Court has held that reasonable suspicion is not necessary to conduct routine searches at the border, …

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