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Legal news from Friday, March 12, 2010
by Bernard Hibbitts

Three special masters sitting in the US Federal Court of Claims Friday rejected three compensation actions brought in a coordinated omnibus proceeding by families of autistic children who had argued that their children's autism was induced by vaccines containing mercury-laden thimerosol. The families had sought compensation under the no-fault National Vaccine …

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by Amelia Mathias

UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar Tomas Ojea Quintana released a report Friday criticizing the government of Myanmar for long-standing human rights abuses and said some of those might qualify as war crimes prosecutable by the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Quintana observed:there is a pattern of gross and systematic violation …

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by Amelia Mathias

Taiwanese Justice Minister Wang Ching-feng resigned Thursday in defense of her position against the death penalty. Though Taiwan has not executed a criminal since 2005, Wang said she would not sign the execution warrants of any of the 44 prisoners still on death row. Her resignation was sparked by possible criticism [Reuters …

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by Sarah Miley

US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg endorsed a ban on the election of judges at the state and local level on Thursday while speaking at a conference for the National Association of Women Judges. Ginsburg said she supported her former colleague, retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, in her campaign …

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by Sarah Miley

The Chinese government responded on Friday to the release of a US human rights report critical of China by issuing its own report criticizing the US human rights record. The report covered issues relating to crime, racial discrimination, and poverty, and accused the US of using its hegemonic power to continue "trampling" on the sovereignty of …

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by Patrice Collins

The US Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday unanimously approved a bill [bill; S. 1789] to reduce sentencing disparities for powder and crack cocaine offenses. The Fair Sentencing Act, introduced by Senator Dick Durbin [D-IL; official profile], is intended to bridge the gap between crack and powder cocaine sentencing by amending the Controlled Substances Act and the Controlled …

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