Legal news from Tuesday, November 4, 2008
16:11 EDT

[JURIST] Voters in 36 US states considered more than 160 initiatives and referenda [MarketWatch report] at the polls Tuesday, including ballot measures dealing with gay rights, abortion, affirmative action and illegal immigration [JURIST news archives]. Probably the most closely watched ballot measure is in California, where voters will decide whether [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] heard oral arguments [day call, PDF] Tuesday in three cases. In FCC v. Fox Television Stations [oral arguments transcript, PDF; merit briefs], the court will consider whether the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) [official website] acted arbitrarily and capriciously in changing [read more]

14:11 EDT

[JURIST] Iraqi Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi [personal website, in Arabic], one of two Iraqi vice presidents, called Tuesday for a national referendum on a proposed US-Iraqi Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) [CFR materials]. The agreement, which has been the subject of protracted negotiations between Iraq and the US since [read more]

13:11 EDT

[JURIST] The State Council Information Office of China [official site, in Mandarin] announced Tuesday that the country will draft a plan to protect human rights. The panel being formed to draft the plan will receive input from more than 50 groups, including the Chinese Legislature [official site], the Supreme People’s [read more]

12:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Dutch government on Tuesday announced [press release, in Dutch] that it has proposed legislation [text, PDF, in Dutch] that would allow journalists to keep their sources secret from the government. The proposal comes two years after a Dutch trial judge detained two newspaper reporters [RSF press release] for [read more]

12:11 EDT

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit [official website] on Monday reinstated [opinion, PDF] a water pollution lawsuit brought by survivors of the Bhopal disaster [BBC backgrounder] against US chemical producer Union Carbide [corporate website]. The litigation in the case, Sahu v. Union Carbide, concerns water pollution [read more]

12:11 EDT

[JURIST] Chief Justice Allan Lutfy of the Federal Court of Canada [official website] on Monday dismissed a challenge [opinion, PDF] to recent security-related amendments [text] to the country's Immigration and Refugee Protection Act [text], ruling that it was too early to determine whether they would violate immigrant rights. Under the [read more]

12:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Singapore Attorney General's Chambers (AGC) [official website] on Tuesday filed an application [summons, PDF; brief, PDF] accusing the Wall Street Journal Asia (WSJA) [media website] of undermining the independence and integrity of the country's judiciary. Citing two WSJA articles, "Democracy in Singapore" [text] and "Judging Singapore's Judiciary" [text], [read more]

11:11 EDT

[JURIST] South Korea will join the European Union and Japan in supporting a UN General Assembly (UNGA) [official website] resolution [Korean Center report] condemning North Korea's human rights practices, according to a South Korean foreign ministry official Tuesday. The resolution will be submitted to the UNGA's Third Committee [official website] [read more]

11:11 EDT

[JURIST] UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay [official profile] on Saturday warned [UN News Centre report; press conference transcript] that Colombia faces continued human rights struggles, as she concluded a fact-finding mission [UNHRC report] to the country. Pointing to continued hostage takings, arbitrary arrests, and especially extrajudicial executions [read more]

10:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Alaskan Personnel Board [official website] on Monday released a report [text, PDF] finding that governor and Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin [official profile] did not violate state ethics rules when she fired former public safety commissioner Walter Monegan. Monegan had alleged that Palin violated the state's Executive Branch [read more]

09:11 EDT

[JURIST] A US military commission sentenced [DOD press release] Ali Hamza Ahmad Suliman al Bahlul [DOD materials] to life in prison Monday following his Friday conviction [JURIST report] for conspiring with al Qaeda, soliciting murder, and providing material support for terrorism. Al Bahlul, a 39-year old Yemeni citizen, went on [read more]

08:11 EDT

[JURIST] Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) [official website, in Spanish] has urged [press release, in Spanish] the Mexican Senate [official website] to change a law requiring those who file criminal complaints to verify their immigration status. CNDH said Sunday that the country's General Law of Population [PDF, in Spanish], [read more]

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