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Legal news from Friday, January 9, 2009
by Bernard Hibbitts

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled on rehearing Friday that it had no jurisdiction over Guantanamo detainees' petitions for subject-matter review of "enemy combatant" status decisions by Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRT) in the wake of the US Supreme Court's ruling last year in Boumediene v. Bush [Duke Law …

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by Tarah Park

The office of the Bosnian war crimes prosecutor on Thursday indicted eight Bosnian Serbs on charges of taking part in war crimes early in the Bosnian war. Damir Ivankovic, Zoran Babic, Gordan Djuric, Milorad Radakovic, Milorad Skrbic, Ljubisa Cetic, Dusan Jankovic and Zeljko Stojnic are suspected to have taken part in the August 21, 1992 …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

US President-elect Barack Obama on Friday announced his nominations for the top posts in the US intelligence community, designating Admiral Dennis Blair to be Director of National Intelligence and Leon Panetta to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Obama also announced that John Brennan will serve as Homeland Security Advisor …

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by Tarah Park

A three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on Thursday ruled that Congress acted beyond its authority when it enacted a law that allows indefinite federal civil commitment of "sexually dangerous" offenders beyond the end of their sentences. The indefinite civil commitment was authorized by 18 U.S.C. § 4248, as part …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The US Supreme Court granted certiorari Friday in four cases. In the consolidated cases of Republic of Iraq v. Beaty [docket; cert. petition, PDF] and Republic of Iraq v. Simon [docket; cert. petition, PDF], the Court will consider whether Iraq has sovereign immunity from the jurisdiction of US courts in cases …

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by Devin Montgomery

French president Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday announced plans to end the country's use of magistrate-led investigations in criminal cases. Sarkozy made the announcement at the annual opening of the Court of Cassation, and said the changes would better administer justice …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

US Attorney General Michael Mukasey on Wednesday ruled that aliens may no longer challenge deportation hearings based on ineffective assistance of counsel. Mukasey's opinion, which is binding on immigration courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals, holds that immigrants have no constitutional right to a new deportation hearing if their lawyers make …

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by Devin Montgomery

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay Friday called for an independent investigation of possible war crimes and human rights violations in the ongoing conflict between Israel and combatants in the Gaza Strip. Pillay made the comments at a special session of the UN Human Rights Council, …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

A committee of the Illinois House of Representatives on Thursday voted unanimously to recommend the impeachment of Governor Rod Blagojevich. The committee was appointed last month to gather evidence and testimony regarding the charges against Blagojevich. US federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald asked the committee to limit …

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by Andrew Morgan

Bangladeshi Law, Justice, and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shafique Ahmed on Thursday declared his government's desire to restore Bangladesh's 1972 constitution. The move signals an intent to return to the four principles of nationalism, democracy, secularism, and socialism that Bangladesh endorsed after its independence from Pakistan in 1971. Ahmed told the Daily Star …

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by Andrew Morgan

A Chinese court on Wednesday sentenced democracy advocate Wang Rongqing to six years in jail on charges of subverting state power. The 65-year-old activist, who has pressed for democracy since the 1970s, was tried in Hangzhou City Intermediate People’s Court, in the eastern province of Zhejiang, on charges relating to his organization of the China Democracy Party …

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