Legal news from Thursday, September 13, 2012

[JURIST] An independent expert on Wednesday urged the UN to become a more "equitable" and "democratic" body in its relationship with individual nations and its application of international law. Speaking before the UN Human Rights Council [official website], the recently appointed UN Independent Expert, Alfred de Zayas [official website], made … [read more]

[JURIST] The US House of Representatives [official website] on Wedneday voted to reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendments Act of 2008 (FISA) [text, PDF], a highly contested law designed as a national security protection against terrorism and other foreign threats. The law's Reauthorization Act of 2012 [text, PDF] renews 2008 … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit [official website] on Wednesday refused to reconsider a decision to deny a posthumous appeal [JURIST report] to restore the citizenship of convicted Nazi guard John Demjanjuk [JURIST news archive]. Demjanjuk, a retired Ohio autoworker convicted of being an accessory to … [read more]

[JURIST] UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay [official website] on Thursday told a special session [materials] of the Human Rights Council [official website] that 16 nations have failed to prevent members of their own governments from intimidating and attacking activists and protesters. Based on a UN report not … [read more]

[JURIST] The US House Committee on Foreign Affairs [official website] on Wednesday held a hearing [materials] to discuss the Chinese government's practice of harvesting organs from executed inmates. The hearing included testimony by three witnesses supporting allegations that the government has deliberately executed political prisoners for the purpose of transplanting … [read more]

[JURIST] The trial chamber of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) [official website] ruled [press release] Thursday that the sister-in-law of former Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot [BBC backgrounders] is not mentally competent to stand trial, ordering her release. The tribunal held that Ieng Thirith [ECCC profile], … [read more]

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website] on Wednesday permanently enjoined [opinion, PDF] a US law that allows authorities to detain certain suspects indefinitely if they are found to have aided al Qaeda, the Taliban or "associated forces." Section 1021(b)(2) … [read more]

[JURIST] The Missouri Senate and House of Representatives [official websites] on Wednesday voted to override a veto Governor Jay Nixon [official website] of a bill [SB 749 materials] that prohibits mandatory insurance coverage of birth control for anyone with ethical or religious objections. The Senate voted 26-6 to override the … [read more]

[JURIST] A military judge ruled [order, PDF] Monday that he lacks authority to allow media to broadcast the trial of accused USS Cole [Navy backgrounder] bomber Abd al-Rahim Nashiri [NYT profile; JURIST news archive]. Al-Nashiri's defense lawyers moved [JURIST report] in July for the trial to be televised because there … [read more]

[JURIST] Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev [official website, in Russian] called Wednesday for the release of members of the rock band Pussy Riot [RAPSI backgrounder; JURIST news archive], saying that time served has been severe enough and that anymore time in prison would be counterproductive. Medvedev also said, however, that … [read more]

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