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Legal news from Tuesday, March 24, 2009
15:03 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] heard oral arguments [day call, PDF; briefs] Tuesday in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission [oral arguments transcript, PDF], in which the Court will consider whether federal election law prohibits a corporation from funding a documentary on a candidate in [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] UK Justice Secretary Jack Straw [official website] Monday outlined draft legislation [materials] that would officially recognize certain "rights and responsibilities" for British citizens. The legislation described in a government green paper [PDF text] prior to public consultations would formally declare a number of rights which already exist in the [read more]

12:03 EDT

[JURIST] The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention [official website] said [press release and opinion, PDF] that the detention of Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] violates Myanmar's 1975 State Protection Law [text] and pressed for her immediate release in an opinion made public [read more]

11:03 EDT

[JURIST] Pakistan's Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry [official profile; JURIST news archive] returned to work Tuesday after being reinstated [JURIST report] earlier this week and immediately called for members of the Pakistani judicial system to put an end to corruption [Dawn report]. Chaudhry resumed his position amid great celebration [BBC [read more]

10:03 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] ruled [opinion, PDF] unanimously Tuesday in Knowles v. Mirzayance [Cornell LII backgrounder; JURIST report] that a lawyer’s recommendation that a criminal defendant withdraw an insanity plea does not constitute ineffective assistance of counsel for purposes of a federal habeas claim. [read more]

09:03 EDT

[JURIST] US President Barack Obama [official profile] on Monday nominated [WH press release; YLS press release] Yale Law School Dean Harold Hongju Koh [professional profile] to be legal adviser [official website] to the Department of State (DOS) [official website]. Koh was touted by Obama as an authority on public and [read more]

08:03 EDT

[JURIST] Suspected al Qaeda operative Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri [case materials; JURIST news archive] pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of providing material support to al Qaeda, and his trial date was set for May 26. At an arraignment hearing before the US District Court for the Central District of [read more]

08:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Vermont State Senate [official website] voted 26-4 Monday to approve [Senate journal, PDF] same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive] in the state. This was the second of three readings of the proposed bill [S.0115 text, PDF], entitled “An Act to Protect Religious Freedom and Promote Equality in Civil Marriage." [read more]

08:03 EDT

[JURIST] At least 2,390 people were executed throughout 25 countries in 2008, according to a report [text, PDF; AI press release] released Tuesday by Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website], up from the reported 1,252 executions in 2007 [AI report, PDF]. China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and the US account for [read more]

07:03 EDT

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York [official website] overturned [memorandum and order, PDF] Monday a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) [official website] decision to limit the over-the-counter (OTC) availability of the Plan B emergency contraceptive pill [product backgrounder] to women [read more]

07:03 EDT

[JURIST] A Dutch court Monday convicted a former Rwandan Hutu for the 1994 killing of two Tutsi mothers and at least four of their children. Joseph Mpambara [TrialWatch profile], who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the killings, was allegedly a member of the Interahamwe [GlobalSecurity backgrounder], an [read more]

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