Legal news from Tuesday, February 15, 2005
18:02 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate late Tuesday afternoon approved the nomination of federal appeals judge Michael Chertoff as the new Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. The vote, originally scheduled for last week, had been delayed while Senate Democrats unsuccessfully sought further information on an FBI internal memo written in [read more]

16:02 EDT

[JURIST] The European Court of Justice [official website] ruled Tuesday that a merger between Tetra Laval [corporate website] and Sidel [corporate website] can proceed over the objections of the European Commission's antitrust office [EU Competition website]. The decision is one of the first setbacks to the EU's antitrust division and [read more]

16:02 EDT

[JURIST] Microsoft [corporate website] has denied reports in the Danish media that Chairman Bill Gates threatened the Danish prime minister that the company would eliminate jobs in the country if it did not back an EU patent law proposal. Danish publication Børsen reported [in Danish] Tuesday that Gates told Danish [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] The Iranian Judiciary [official website] Tuesday denied accusations by Nobel Prize winning lawyer Shirin Ebadi [Nobel biography; BBC News profile] that it had harassed her and placed restrictions on her representation of political prisoners. A judiciary spokesman said that no restrictions were placed on Ebadi, and that Iranian citizens [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Tuesday's corporations and securities law news, the judge in the trial of former Enron [corporate website; JURIST Hot Topic] Chairman Ken Lay [Wikipedia profile] and ex-Chief Executive Jeff Skilling [Wikipedia profile] is asking defense attorneys and prosecutors for potential scheduling conflicts between June and September. The dates indicate [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] The Russian Supreme Court [official website, in Russian] Tuesday rejected a petition for the legalization of same-sex marriage. In its opinion, the court held that it could not alter the Russian Family Code to allow for same-sex marriages. The plaintiffs in the case filed for a marriage certificate in [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] The Food and Drug Administration [official website] announced Tuesday that it will create an independent drug safety board, in response to criticism in the wake of the Vioxx recall. The FDA already has an Office of Drug Safety [official website], but lawmakers have said it lacks sufficient independence and [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] President Bush Tuesday recalled the US ambassador in Syria [US Embassy in Syria website] amid rising tensions over the recent assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik al-Hariri in Beirut. Syria quickly condemned the murder in a press release issued by its US embassy in Washington, but the White [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] In Tuesday's international brief, Deputy US Ambassador to the UN Stuart Holliday [official profile] introduced a draft resolution to the UN Security Council [official website] on Monday proposing the creation of a 10,000 member peacekeeping force to be deployed to the Sudan [government website]. The proposal leaves the geographical [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] The Japanese cabinet has approved a draft bill that would allow the Japanese defense minister to order the shooting-down of incoming missles without obtaining cabinet consent. The bill now goes to the country's parliament for a vote later this week. The legislation is seen as a response to concerns [read more]

12:02 EDT

[JURIST] The Department of Justice [official website] is expected to file a brief this week urging the Supreme Court not to hear the appeal of 17 American pilots who were captured and abused by Iraqis during the 1991 Persian Gulf conflict. The POWs filed suit in federal court in 2002 [read more]

11:02 EDT

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit [official website] has upheld a contempt ruling against two reporters who refused to disclose their sources to investigators looking into the leak of an undercover CIA agent's name to the press. The court concluded that no federal shield law exists [read more]

11:02 EDT

[JURIST] Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer [official website] has conceded that claims by Mahdouh Habib [Prisoners Without Trials profile], a former Guantanamo Bay detainee, that he was tortured while held in Egypt may be true. Downer, who made the comments during a radio interview Monday, was responding to an interview [read more]

11:02 EDT

[JURIST] AP is reporting that defrocked Roman Catholic priest Paul Shanley has been sentenced to 12 to 15 years in prison for repeatedly molesting a boy in the 1980s.11:35 AM ET - An AP report is now available. [read more]

10:02 EDT

[JURIST] Following up a Monday report in JURIST's Paper Chase, a spokesman for the Prince of Wales [official website] has disputed a report by BBC Panorama that Prince Charles' upcoming marriage to Camilla Parker Bowles is illegal. Four legal experts were consulted, and all concluded that members of the royal [read more]

10:02 EDT

[JURIST] The UK government has informed at least two of the four British men [BBC News profile] recently released [JURIST report] from Guantanamo Bay that they cannot obtain passports. An attorney for Martin Mubanga and Feroz Abbasi said that both had received a letter from the government informing them that [read more]

09:02 EDT

[JURIST] Iraqi political parties have filed at least six challenges to the results of the Jan. 30 elections, the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq [official website] reported Tuesday. The Commission has given parties until Wednesday to challenge the election results [JURIST document report], which it announced [JURIST report] on Sunday, [read more]

09:02 EDT

[JURIST] Australian Prime Minister John Howard [official website] has refused to respond to charges by a former intelligence officer that the Australian government knew of abuses by coalition troops in Iraq, despite claims to the contrary. Rod Barton, formerly an officer with the Defense Intelligence Organization [official website], said he [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] The European Court of Human Rights [official website] ruled Tuesday that two British activists found guilty in the UK of libel against fast food chain McDonald's [corporate website] did not have a fair trial and were deprived of their freedom of expression. Helen Steel and David Morris were subject [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] International Committee of the Red Cross [official website] president Jakob Kellenberger met with President Bush Monday to discuss ICRC concerns about detainees [ICRC press release] at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST Hot Topic archive]. The Red Cross regularly visits the detainees and, according to a leaked memo, has accused the US [read more]

07:02 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations [official website] has said that former head of the UN Oil-for-Food program [official website] Benon Sevan [official profile] made over $1 million from allocating oil from Saddam Hussein's regime. An independent UN inquiry into the Oil-for-Food program concluded [read more]

00:02 EDT

[JURIST] Here's a run-down of law-related events, expected developments and live webcasts on JURIST's docket for Tuesday, Feb. 15.The US Senate [official website] convenes at 9:45 AM ET today and is scheduled to consider the nomination of Judge Michael Chertoff [nomination history] for Secretary of Homeland Security. A vote on [read more]

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