Legal news from Thursday, November 13, 2008
23:11 EDT

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] on Thursday urged [press release] the European Union (EU) [official website] to adopt a series of specific human rights benchmarks Russia should meet before moving forward with the EU-Russian Partnership and Cooperation Agreement [text and materials]. HRW said Russia must focus on carrying [read more]

23:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Italian Court of Cassation [official website, in Italian], the country's highest court, ruled Thursday that the father of Eluana Englaro [materials, in Italian], who has been in a vegetative state for 16 years, can remove her feeding tube. Last month, Italy's Constitutional Court [official website, in Italian] rejected [read more]

22:11 EDT

[JURIST] State and national housing advocates filed a class action lawsuit [complaint, PDF; press release, PDF] Wednesday arguing that Louisiana's Hurricane Katrina recovery program, Road Home Louisiana [program website], discriminates against African-American homeowners. The federally-funded program awards grants to homeowners in the lesser of the following two amounts: the pre-storm [read more]

12:11 EDT

[JURIST] A panel for the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit [official website] on Wednesday dismissed [opinion, PDF] an appeal by Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) [official profile; JURIST news archive] seeking to have bribery charges against him dropped. Jefferson argued that the grand jury indictment against him was [read more]

12:11 EDT

[JURIST] Former Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian [BBC profile] continued a hunger strike in the Tucheng jail in suburban Taipei Thursday after being incarcerated [JURIST report] Wednesday, according to local media reports. While there are no official charges against Chen, the former leader of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) [official website] [read more]

12:11 EDT

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] said Wednesday that the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] needs more vocal support [HRW press release] from its member countries in a memorandum [text, PDF] sent to member governments in advance of their annual meeting [press release]. Citing recent efforts to convince [read more]

12:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA) [advocacy website] and the Asociacion Pro Derechos Humanos de España (APDHE) [advocacy website, in Spanish] filed suit [complaint; CJA press release] Thursday in Spain's National Court [official website, in Spanish] against Alfredo Cristiani [profile], the former president of El Salvador. The groups [read more]

10:11 EDT

[JURIST] Germany's lower house of parliament [official website] voted Wednesday to approve a new law [materials, in German] which would expand the power of Germany's federal police agency, the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) [official website, in German], to undertake online and telephone surveillance. Under the proposed law, a judge would be required [read more]

10:11 EDT

[JURIST] Authors of a new report [text, PDF] on detainees released from US detention in Guantanamo Bay [Global Security backgrounder; JURIST news archive] are urging US president-elect Barack Obama [official website; JURIST news archive] to form an independent, nonpartisan commission with subpoena powers to investigate the treatment of US detainees [read more]

10:11 EDT

[JURIST] The European Court of First Instance [official website; JURIST news archive] on Wednesday denied an appeal by the Danish company Lego [corporate website] to restore its EU trademark for its interlocking toy bricks. The decision [opinion text] upheld an Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) [official website] [read more]

09:11 EDT

[JURIST] A court in Brandenburg, Kentucky began civil trial proceedings Wednesday against the Kentucky-based Imperial Klans of America over injuries sustained to then-16-year old Jordan Gruver, a US citizen of Panamanian descent, during a racially motivated beating allegedly perpetrated by members of the IKA. The lawsuit, brought on behalf of [read more]

08:11 EDT

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] on Wednesday announced [press release] that it had filed an Alabama Open Records Act [text and materials] request to obtain documents related to the Hankins Middle School [official website] policy of educating students in a single-sex environment. In a letter [text, [read more]

08:11 EDT

[JURIST] UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official profile] voiced concern Wednesday about the lengthy and "severe" prison sentences recently issued by a Myanmar [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] court against pro-democracy demonstrators. He called for the country's military junta to release the more than 30 activists, along with all other political [read more]

08:11 EDT

[JURIST] Connecticut Superior Court Judge Jonathan Silbert signed a final order [GLAD press release; materials] on Wednesday allowing same-sex marriage in the state. Last month, the state Supreme Court [official website] ruled in a 4-3 decision [opinion, PDF] that state statutes [text] barring same-sex marriage violated the state constitution by [read more]

07:11 EDT

[JURIST] The South African Constitutional Court [official website] Wednesday refused to hear an appeal brought by former president Thabo Mbeki [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] of a lower court ruling that dismissed corruption charges against his rival, African National Congress (ANC) [party website] president Jacob Zuma [BBC profile; JURIST news [read more]

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