Legal news from Thursday, March 31, 2005
23:03 EDT

[JURIST] Following a marathon UN Security Council [official website] session ending late Thursday evening, the US abstained from voting on a draft resolution authorizing the International Criminal Court [official website] to prosecute war crimes cases in Darfur, Sudan [government website]. The French-sponsored resolution passed with 11 Security Council members voting [read more]

21:03 EDT

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice [official website] announced Thursday that Sandy Berger [National Press Club profile], former national security advisor in the Clinton administration, will plead guilty to charges of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material. Berger is scheduled to appear in federal court Friday, facing the possibility [read more]

21:03 EDT

[JURIST] The International Criminal Court [official website] is investigating possible human rights violations during Colombia's 40 year civil war [Washington Post article], and has asked the Colombian government for its help. According to ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno [official profile], indicators point to upwards of 1,000 casualties, kidnappings and displacements [read more]

20:03 EDT

[JURIST] In the wake of Wednesday's second interim report of the UN's Independent Inquiry Committee into the Oil-for-Food Program [IIC homepage] chaired by former Federal Reserve head Paul Volcker, the UN has issued a charge letter to Under-Secretary-General Dileep Nair [Wikipedia biography], head of the UN's Office for Internal Oversight [read more]

19:03 EDT

[JURIST] Civil rights activist Fred Korematsu [InfoPlease profile] has died at daughter's home in California. The American-born son of Japanese immigrants who passed away Wednesday is best remembered for defiantly refusing to voluntarily submit himself to US internment camps during World War II. His conviction for violating the order to [read more]

15:03 EDT

[JURIST] The parliament of Turkey [JURIST news archive] voted Thursday to delay the implementation of the country's new penal code [JURIST report] until June 1. The reforms, passed in September as part of Turkey's efforts to join the European Union [official website], were scheduled to take effect Friday, but legislators [read more]

15:03 EDT

[JURIST] Minority shareholders of embattled Russian oil company Yukos [corporate website; JURIST news archive] have begun to coordinate their efforts to ensure that losses incurred after Russia's dismantling of the oil company will be recouped. Shipston Group, a Bahamas-based investment fund, is coordinating the efforts and Shipston's manager said Thursday [read more]

14:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Canada [official website] Thursday unanimously upheld Quebec language legislation known as Bill 101 [text], which makes French-speaking parents send their children to francophone schools. Under the bill, parents must have received the majority of their own schooling in English to be able to have their [read more]

14:03 EDT

[JURIST] In Thursday's international brief, a US administration official said Wednesday night that the US would accept a pending French resolution, delayed from Wednesday [JURIST report], authorizing the International Criminal Court [official website] to investigate and try possible human rights abuses in the Darfur region of Sudan [government website]. The [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] According to Iranian doctor Shahram Azam, Iranian-Canadian photographer Zahra Kazemi [CBC backgrounder] was tortured and raped during her detention by Iranian authorities before her death in July 2003. The claims by Dr. Azam [Globe and Mail report] contradict the conclusions of Iranian authorities who said the death could have [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] The World Bank [official website] has unanimously approved the nomination of US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz [DOD biography] as the next president of the 184-nation development bank. Wolfowitz was seen as a controversial choice [JURIST rpeort] because of his role as architect of the Iraq war and his [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Mark Lagon has said the United States will seek international censure of Cuba's human rights record by presenting a resolution at the annual meeting of the UN Commission on Human Rights [official website]. The resolution will look at prior actions taken by the [read more]

11:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe [official website] on Thursday called on ousted Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev [BBC News profile] to resign his post to ensure stability in the Central Asian country. Akayev has given conflicting messages on whether he would resign [JURIST report] as leader or [read more]

11:03 EDT

[JURIST]In Thursday's environmental law news, Australian state and territory leaders have agreed to establish their own carbon-trading system which would set a cap on the total volume of greenhouse gases an industry can emit. They would then divide the cap into permits, equivalent to one ton of carbon dioxide, which [read more]

11:03 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Thursday's corporations and securities law news, Canada has retaliated against several US goods by levying a 15% surtax on cigarettes, oysters, and live swine. The action is a response to the Byrd Amendment [text] which allows American companies to keep the proceeds that Washington collects in anti-dumping disputes. [read more]

10:03 EDT

[JURIST] Rwanda's main group of Hutu [Wikipedia entry] rebels denounced the 1994 genocide [Human Rights Watch backgrounder] of Tutsis [Wikipedia entry] for the first time Thursday and announced they were ending their war against the Rwanda government. Ignace Murwanashyaka, president of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), [read more]

09:03 EDT

[JURIST] A family spokesman says that severely brain-damaged Florida woman Terri Schiavo has died.10:02 AM ET - Terri Schiavo's death comes nearly 14 days after removal of her feeding tube. Her death has been confirmed by George Felos, attorney for Terri's husband Michael Schiavo. News reports are giving her time [read more]

09:03 EDT

[JURIST] A presidential commission on Thursday said US intelligence agencies know "disturbingly little" about threats posed by the nation's most dangerous adversaries, and the commission recommended more than 70 changes that President Bush can make to improve intelligence. The WMD Presidential Commission [official website] appointed [executive order] by President Bush [read more]

09:03 EDT

[JURIST] An appeals court in Afghanistan has reduced the sentences of three US citizens who had been convicted of torturing Afghans and running a private jail in Kabul. The three men, Jonathan Idema [BBC profile], Brent Bennett and Edward Caraballo, who were in Afghanistan on a freelance terrorist hunt, were [read more]

08:03 EDT

[JURIST] Israel's Supreme Court [official website] ruled Thursday that the country can recognize non-Orthodox conversions to Judaism not performed in Israel, a decision which challenges the Orthodox monopoly over Israili religious affairs. Up to this time, converts who sought Israeli citizenship needed an Orthodox rabbi to perform the conversion in [read more]

08:03 EDT

[JURIST] Myanmar's military junta announced Thursday that it has adjourned talks to draw up a new democratic constitution for the country. Military officials blamed high temperatures and the upcoming monsoon season for the closing of the National Convention, suggesting the talks will not restart until November at the earliest. Western [read more]

08:03 EDT

[JURIST] A military court in Germany Thursday found US Army Captain Rogelio "Roger" Maynulet [advocacy petition website] guilty of assault with intent to commit voluntary manslaughter in connection with the shooting death of an Iraqi civilian last year, a lesser charge than that sought by military prosecutors who wanted him [read more]

08:03 EDT

[JURIST] In what is expected to be the very last high court appeal by the parents of Terri Schiavo [JURIST new archive], the US Supreme Court [official website] late Wednesday rejected another petition [text, PDF] to have Schiavo's feeding tube reinserted pending a legal review. The petition against a Wednesday [read more]

00:03 EDT

[JURIST] Here's a run-down of law-related events, expected developments and live webcasts on JURIST's docket for Thursday, March 31.The US Senate and US House [official websites] are in recess until April 4.The American Society of International Law is hosting a speech by Human Rights Watch Deputy Director Joanne Mariner on [read more]

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