Legal news from Thursday, June 9, 2005
20:06 EDT

[JURIST] The International Labour Organization (ILO) [official website] Thursday called for a ban on child labor in mines and quarries [press release] as the focus for the World Day Against Child Labour [press release] on June 12. The agency has urged labor unions, employers and governments to provide financial aid [read more]

20:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Executive Director of Saudi Arabia's recently-formed [press release] National Human Rights Association (NHRA) said Thursday that the commission has received over 2000 valid complaints, roughly a third of which concerned prison abuse in the country. Dr. Lubna al-Ansari said most "have been processed and resolved, either through letters [read more]

19:06 EDT

[JURIST] Federal prosecutors Thursday explained their controversial decision earlier this week to reduce a proposed racketeering penalty [JURIST report] against major tobacco companies from $130 billion to $10 billion, saying that they were focusing on future smokers who might become addicted if the tobacco companies' alleged behavior continues, rather than [read more]

16:06 EDT

[JURIST] Former Alabama Attorney General William Pryor [official profile] was approved for a permanent seat on the US Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals Thursday by a 53-45 floor vote [roll call] in the US Senate. Pryor, who was temporarily seated on the Court of Appeals by a 2004 recess appointment [read more]

16:06 EDT

[JURIST] Former Bank of America broker Theodore C. Sihpol was found not guilty Thursday of aiding a New Jersey hedge fund in illegally trading mutual funds [JURIST report] after the close of the stock market. Sihpol was acquitted of 29 counts of larceny, securities fraud, and falsifying business records but [read more]

16:06 EDT

[JURIST] Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning [official website] filed an appeal Thursday contesting a federal judge's May 12 ruling against the Nebraska same-sex marriage ban. The appeal was expected as Bruning had previously announced in a press release [text] that he would oppose the decision [JURIST report]. Nebraska's overthrown Defense [read more]

16:06 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Thursday's international brief, 54 residents from a state-created squatter settlement on the northern border of Zimbabwean captal city Harare have taken their attempt to prevent the government from demolishing their homes to the nation's Supreme Court. Residents of the Hatcliffe Extension, which houses several hundred families and was [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] Concluding a four-day party congress Thursday, Syria's ruling Baath party [Wikipedia entry] called for political reforms and a broadening of press freedom in an effort to move away from the emergency law in place since the party took power in 1963. Though an immediate abandonment of the emergency law [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said Thursday that the trial of Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] will commence in a "matter of months" and Hussein may face the death penalty if convicted in a fair trial. The death sentence was suspended in Iraq in 2003 under the US Coalition [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] US Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns [official profile] said Thursday that the US would release $10 million in economic aid to Serbia that had earlier been frozen due to Washington's unhappiness with Serbia's apparent unwillingness to cooperate with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia [official website]. Read [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] Despite increasing pressure to close the US military prison [JURIST report] for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay, US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld [official profile] said Thursday that the government did not have any plans to shut down the facility any time soon. Rumsfeld told a NATO news conference [MP3 [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) [official website] of the Strasbourg-based Council of Europe released a report [PDF text] Thursday criticizing the United Kingdom's treatment of terrorist suspects in custody at Belmarsh Prison [official website]. In an accompanying press release, the CPT said that its visit to [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers for Mikhail Khodorkovsky [defense website, in English], former CEO of Russian oil firm Yukos [official website], appealed his conviction on tax evasion and fraud charges [JURIST report] Thursday to the Moscow City Court. Khodorkovsky was sentenced to nine years in prison [JURIST report] on May 31 after a [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] As part of an administration effort to rally support for reauthorization of key provisions of the Patriot Act due to expire later this year [JURIST report], President Bush Thursday credited the Act with helping to secure the convictions of over 200 suspects [White House transcript] and denied that it [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] Qatar's new constitution [text] came into force Thursday, replacing the provisional constitution of 1970. The new charter permits parliamentary elections and provides the citizens of Qatar with the power to elect two-thirds of those members. The Emir will appoint the remaining one-third. A referendum held in April 2003 showed [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] Recently appointed US Senior Advisor to the Secretary and Coordinator for Iraq Richard Jones [press release] said Thursday that Iraq should look to Malaysia [constitutional text] as a model for the development of the Iraqi constitution. Jones pointed out that both countries have dealt with tensions resulting from multi-religious [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] In a program set to begin again this year on Friday, the US government plans to fly close to 34,000 illegal Mexican immigrants back to their home country [CBP press release] in what officials describe as an effort to reduce deaths resulting from human smuggling. Rights groups have charged [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] A broad-based group of booksellers, websites, and Internet service providers filed suit in federal court [complaint, PDF] in Utah Thursday, challenging a Utah law [ACLU press release] that calls for the state attorney general to create a list of websites "harmful to minors" and requires ISPs to provide customers [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda [JURIST news archive; official website] put former Rwanda education minister Andre Rwamakuba on trial [official website] Thursday despite his refusal to attend the proceedings [official press release]. Rwamakuba is accused of making lists of Tutsi people to be killed and participated in killings [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said on Wednesday that thousands of prisoners are being held in Iraq without due process, constituting "one of the major human rights challenges" faced by the country. In a report to the UN Security Council [official website] he noted that:Despite the release of some detainees, [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] A French pensions court Thursday awarded disability benefits for a non-cancer illness contracted by soldier who participated in French nuclear testing [Wikipedia backgrounder] over 40 years ago in the Sahara desert. The ruling marked the first example in Feench law of testing compensation for diseases other than cancer, and [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Canada [official website] Thursday overturned a section of a Quebec law that prevented people from buying private insurance for procedures covered by public health care. The Quebec Hospital Insurance Act [text] was challenged [Canadian Press report] when a Montreal man complained that he would have [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] A Kenyan judge Thursday acquitted four men charged in the 2002 bombing of a hotel near Mombasa [Jersualem Post file report], ruling that prosecutors had failed to show a link between the men and the bombers or al Qaida, and that the men should not even had been charged [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic [JURIST news archive] denied at his trial on Wednesday that he was in charge of the unit shown killing six Bosnian Muslim youths [JURIST report] in a gruesome video that led to the arrest [JURIST report] of eight soldiers. Milosevic, under cross examination before [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] President Bush granted seven pardons on Wednesday to people who have all long since served their sentences for relatively minor offenses. Most of the recipients had been found guilty of commiting various white-collar crimes - one had been convicted of conspiracy to possess marijuana. Bush has issued 46 pardons [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] The British government Thursday is reintroducing controversial legislation designed to curb religious hatred, despite criticism that the law would overly restrict speech. The law [Home Office backgrounder] was introduced last year, but didn't get through parliament before the general election. While the government defended the bill [Politics.co.uk report] as [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] A German appeals court Thursday upheld the acquittal of Abdelghani Mzoudi, a Moroccan man charged with helping the September 11 hijackers. A lower court had previously decided there was not enough evidence against him. Despite the ruling [AP report], German authorities say that since Mzoudi's student visa is no [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] In response to Sunni demands for a greater role [JURIST report] in crafting Iraq's new constitution, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani [Wikipedia profile] announced Thursday that Sunnis will be given as many as 25 new seats on the committee with "full rights like other members who were elected by the [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] While jurors in the trial of former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy [JURIST news archive] still have not reached a verdict, the company itself settled SEC charges [SEC press release] on Wednesday related to his conduct and a company scheme to overstate earnings. HealthSouth [corporate website] will pay $100 million [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] Israel's Supreme Court [official website] ruled Thursday that the government's plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip [JURIST news archive] and four West Bank settlements does not violate settlers' rights. Judges voted 10-1 [Jerusalem Post report] in favor of the Disengagement Implementation Law [Israel Foreign Ministry backgrounder on disengagement [read more]

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