Legal news from Thursday, February 3, 2005
18:02 EDT

[JURIST] The federal judge who earlier this week ruled [JURIST report] that Guantanamo Bay prisoners may not be deprived of liberty without due process of law and that military tribunals set up to review their detentions fall short of the due process standard put her ruling on hold Thursday and [read more]

18:02 EDT

[JURIST] In Thursday's environmental law news, the EPA has filed a complaint against Puerto Rican agriculture company Martex Farms [corporate website] for violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) [text]. The complaint lists 338 counts of violations that include not properly posting information on pesticides being used [read more]

17:02 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate has voted 60-36 to confirm White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales as US Attorney General, succeeding John Ashcroft. He will be the first Hispanic to hold the office.5:17 PM ET - AP now has more.7:28 PM ET - The Senate has posted the full roll call vote. [read more]

17:02 EDT

[JURIST] Speaking late Thursday afternoon on behalf of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, Chef du Cabinet Mark Malloch Brown [UN press release] said that the UN would take immediate disciplinary action against staff named as wrongdoers by the Volcker commission interim report [JURIST report] into the UN Oil for Food [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] The Bush administration plan to curb class action lawsuits gained a victory today as the Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] left intact language that would send many class action lawsuits from state courts to federal courts. The committee approved the bill, dubbed the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] Following up on a story reported this morning on JURIST's Paper Chase, the Independent Inquiry Committee [official website] (IIC) into the UN Oil-for-Food program [official website] has released its interim report [PDF text]. The report concludes that the conduct of program head Benon Sevan [official profile] in soliciting oil [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Thursday's corporations and securities law news, prosecutors have announced that former HealthSouth Corp. [corporate website] president and director James P. Bennett has been indicted on charges of fraud, conspiracy, insider trading, money laundering and lying to the FBI in connection with a scheme to sell company stock worth [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] Zimbabwe's main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) [party website] will field candidates in the country's parliamentary elections to be held next month. MDC contends, however, that the polls will not be fair and free and will participate under protest:More than ever the electoral playing field remains [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] A group of conservative European Union [official website] lawmakers from eastern Europe have proposed an EU ban on communist symbols, including the red star and the hammer and sickle. The ban would match a proposed EU ban on the display of Nazi symbols. Members of the European Parliament [official [read more]

12:02 EDT

[JURIST] Retired Serbian General Vladimir Lazarevic [ICTY case backgrounder] turned himself in to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia [official website] Thursday to face war crimes charges for his role in the violence in Kosovo in the late 1990s. Lazarevic had remained in hiding for 15 months after [read more]

12:02 EDT

[JURIST] Conservative groups have applauded several legal reforms and initiatives proposed by President Bush Wednesday night in his State of the Union address [text; JURIST report], in particular his renewed support for a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and his call for restrictions on abortion and stem-cell research. Concerned [read more]

11:02 EDT

[JURIST] British prosecutors Thursday dropped the remaining charge against Lance Cpl. Darren Larkin, one of three UK soldiers on trial [JURIST report] for charges of abusing Iraqi captives. Prosecutors said they could not prove that Larkin was the soldier who forced two of the captives to strip and simulate sex [read more]

10:02 EDT

[JURIST] Six of Iraq's 18 provinces reported partial election returns Thursday that showed the United Iraqi Alliance [Wikipedia profile], a Shiite party, with strong results in the National Assembly race. The Alliance had been endorsed by the country's most powerful Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani [personal website], and led [read more]

10:02 EDT

[JURIST] In Thursday's international brief, Israel [government website] has announced its approval of a plan to release as many as 900 detained Palestinians in coming weeks. The details of the exact number of prisoners to be released, and the conditions for their release, have yet to be determined, but the [read more]

10:02 EDT

[JURIST] Ulster County Court Judge J. Michael Bruhn reinstated 24 criminal misdemeanor charges against New Paltz Village [official website] Mayor Jason West late Wednesday for marrying 24 gay couples in February 2004. West was charged with the misdemeanor counts last year, but the charges were dropped when a town court [read more]

09:02 EDT

[JURIST] Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy [party profile] has reportedly left the country after the country's parliament stripped him of immunity, exposing him to liability for defamation. Cambodia's National Assembly [official website] Thursday achieved the two-thirds majority needed to overturn rules protecting Rainsy and two other members of the Sam [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] UN Secretary General Kofi Annan [official website] says he expects to see "harsh judgments" of the UN in an interim report to be released Thursday on the purported mismanagement of the $64 billion Oil-for-Food program. Annan set up a blue-ribbon inquiry [official website] chaired by former US federal reserve [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] French Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin [official profile in French; Wikipedia profile] has called on French lawmakers to back a new proposal to break up all neo-Nazi groups numbering some 3,000 in France. De Villepin said the groups were responsible for 65 acts of violence in 2004. The minister [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] Michael Chertoff [JURIST report], President Bush's nominee for Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security [official website] faced repeated questions Wednesday from Democrats at his Senate confirmation hearing about any role he might have played while at the Justice Department in sanctioning improper interrogation techniques used on alleged alleged [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] Lord Goldsmith, Britain's attorney general, announced Thursday [AP report] that seven British soldiers suspected of murdering an Iraqi civilian in southern Iraq will stand trial. The troops, who had been extensively questioned about the death of Nadhem Abdullah on May 11, 2003, will face court martial in Germany. This [read more]

07:02 EDT

[JURIST] Here's a run-down of law-related events, expected developments and live webcasts on JURIST's docket for Thursday, Feb. 3.The US Senate [official website] convenes at 9:00 AM ET today, and it is expected to vote on the nomination of Alberto Gonzales for attorney general. Watch a live webcast via C-SPAN [read more]

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