Legal news from Thursday, August 4, 2011

[JURIST] The Mississippi Supreme Court [official website] heard arguments Wednesday in a challenge by the State Auditor to the state Attorney General [official websites] practice of paying fees to hired private counsel directly out of litigation awards. State Auditor Stacey Pickering is appealing [AP report] a lower court ruling last … [read more]

[JURIST] US President Barack Obama issued a directive Thursday barring war criminals and human rights violators [press release] from entering the country. Under the new proclamation, which took effect immediately, the Secretary of State determines which criminals or violators will be allowed into the US. Additionally, Obama commissioned the Atrocities … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit [official website] has vacated a previous ruling [text] declaring Hazelton, Pennsylvania's immigration laws unconstitutional. Hazleton's Illegal Immigration Relief Act and Landlord Tenant Ordinance [texts, PDF] deny permits to businesses that employ illegal immigrants and fine landlords who extend housing to … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] on Wednesday ruled [opinion, PDF] that former US attorney general John Ashcroft [JURIST news archive] is entitled to absolute immunity from the claims of a Muslim American detained for two weeks after the terrorist attacks on September 11, … [read more]

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the District of Montana [official website] ruled [order, PDF] Wednesday that Congress' removal of the Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf [Yellowstone Insider backgrounder] from the Endangered Species Act (ESA) [materials], not through amending it but through attaching a "wolf rider" to an … [read more]

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Tuesday that former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld [JURIST news archive] can be sued by a former US military contractor who claims he was tortured while imprisoned in Iraq. The man, whose identity … [read more]

[JURIST] A commission of the French Court of Cassation [official website, in French] on Thursday ordered an investigation into the newly appointed Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) [official website], Christine Lagarde, for her involvement in a $400 million arbitration agreement with French businessman Bernard Tapie. Tapie won … [read more]

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] announced on Wednesday that their affiliates are sending approximately 375 requests for information in 31 states to reveal how law enforcement uses location data tracking on cell phones [press release]. Smartphones now come with built-in global positioning systems (GPS), allowing users' … [read more]

[JURIST] The UN Security Council (UNSC) [official website] released a statement [press release] Wednesday condemning human rights violations and use of force against civilians in Syria. The statement, delivered by Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri [official profile] of India serving as August president, conveyed the UNSC's regret regarding the civilian deaths … [read more]

[JURIST] Ten human rights groups said Thursday they would boycott a UK government inquiry into allegations that its secret services were complicit in torture of detainees in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. The groups, including Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy websites], sent a letter [text, … [read more]

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