Legal news from Tuesday, June 14, 2005
21:06 EDT

[JURIST] JPMorgan Chase [corporate website] agreed Tuesday to settle with investors by paying $2.2 billion to cover claims that shareholders were misled about Enron Corportation revenue because JPMorgan hid the company's debt. The announcement follows Citigroup's decision to settle [JURIST report] an Enron-related class-action lawsuit against them for $2 billion [read more]

20:06 EDT

[JURIST] Sgt. Kevin Benderman [defense website], a US Army soldier from Georgia who faces charges because he refused orders to redeploy to Iraq [JURIST report] in January, will also be court-martialed for accepting $2,922 in bonuses and tax breaks typically reserved for soldiers serving in combat. An Army investigator urged [read more]

19:06 EDT

[JURIST] UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said in a statement Tuesday that 5,000 Rwandan refugees who fled to the Songore camp in Burundi to escape the 1994 genocide [BBC backgrounder] had been involuntarily returned to Rwanda on Sunday and Monday. Burundian authorities had declared the refugees "illegal immigrants" [JURIST report] [read more]

19:06 EDT

[JURIST] The opening of the Sudanese domestic tribunal created [JURIST report] to try 160 alleged Darfur war criminals [Wikipedia backgrounder] that was originally set for Tuesday [JURIST report] has now been delayed until Wednesday, according to court chairman Mahmud Saeed Abkem. No reasons were given for the delay but Abkem [read more]

18:06 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Tuesday’s corporations and securities law news, the SEC [official website] announced today that it had reached an agreement with Ford Motor Credit Company [corporate website] over illegal marketing of the “Ford Money Market Account.” The agreement includes $700,000 in fines, an agreement to cease and desist the marketing [read more]

16:06 EDT

[JURIST] US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld [official website] said in a Pentagon news conference [RP video] Tuesday that the US government had gone to great length and enormous expense to ensure that terror detainees at Guantanamo Bay were well-treated and that there was no reason to consider closing the military [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] Colombian President Alvaro Uribe [official website, in Spanish] announced Tuesday that his administration is planning to draft a bill which would effectively disband the right-wing paramilitary fighters supported by umbrella group United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) [ICT backgrounder]. The US recently criticized the Colombian government for its leniency [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Tuesday's states brief, the Supreme Court of Ohio heard arguments today in a case concerning the visitation rights of grandparents. Since the 2002 US Supreme Court decsion in Troxel v. Granville [PDF opinion] Ohio courts have issued conflicting rulings on the state's custody law. The grandparents are appealing [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] A New Jersey appellate court Tuesday ruled against seven same-sex couples who had argued that they were entitled to marry under the state constitution [text]. The court ruling [PDF text] upheld a lower court decision that had concluded that state legislators must first change marriage laws [JURIST report] in [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] Financial filings released Tuesday show that Bill and Hillary Clinton have finally paid off the legal bills incurred during Whitewater [Washington Post backgrounder] and the impeachment scandal. Lucrative book contracts and numerous speaking arrangements helped settle their debt, the result of assembling a costly legal defense team that was [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] A US federal court judge Tuesday renewed for a fouth time a restraining order [JURIST report] prohibiting former UN Oil-for Food Independent Committee Inquiry [IIC website] investigator Robert Parton from releasing confidential documents to the two US congressional committees that had subpoenaed the documents [JURIST report]. Parton took the [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Tuesday's international brief, the Argentine Supreme Court [judicial website in Spanish] has struck down the nation's two amnesty laws preventing former military and government officials from being investigated and prosecuted for alleged crimes and human rights abuses during the 1970s and '80s military dictatorship and the anti-leftist campaign [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] A Romanian court Tuesday freed the militant leader of the Mineworkers Confederation of Romania, a man who led the 1991 miners' riot that overthrew Romania's first post-communist government. Miron Cozma [Open World Conference of Workers backgrounder] had served seven years of his eighteen year jail sentence when former President [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] The chairman of the Kyrgyzstan Supreme Court said Tuesday that the court was getting back to work on Tuesday after a month of disruptions cause by protests [JURIST report] and occupation of their courthouse in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek. Supporters of defeated political candidates from elections earlier in the [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate Tuesday confirmed former Senate Legal Counsel Thomas Griffith [DOJ biography] to the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia by a vote of 73-24 [roll call]. President Bush had originally chosen Miguel Estrada [DOJ biography] for the seat, but the Senate Democrats had [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] Ten Kuwaiti legislators signed a request Tuesday to put Sunday's appointment [AP report] of Massouma al-Mubarak as the first female Cabinet minister in Kuwait up for debate in parliament, claiming it to be unconstitutional [AP report]. The move comes a month after Kuwait granted women the right to vote [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour, formerly a justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, said Monday in an interview that the Canadian high court will likely have to revisit a 2002 deportation ruling that may conflict with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights [text], [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] After a referendum to liberalize Italy's fertility laws failed [JURIST report] on Monday, church leaders and Italian politicians are sending some conflicting signals about the legal future of abortion in the country, which legalized abortion in 1978 and strongly supported choice in a 1981 referendum. Cardinal Camillo Ruini, chairman [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] The House of Assembly and Senate of Swaziland [government website] have approved a new constitution [link to PDF]. King Mswati III [BBC profile] must now approve the document, which fuses centuries-old traditions and Western democratic principles. The constitution is a product of eight years of consultations and includes a [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Ulamas Council, the conference of Islamic clergy in Afghanistan, passed a resolution on Tuesday demanding an apology from the US for incidents of abuse of the Koran at Guantanamo. While the Newsweek story that initially sparked deadly rioting in that country and outrage elsewhere in the Muslim world [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] A new report [PDF] released Monday by the US Justice Department Inspector General [official site] says the government's terrorism suspect watch list co-ordinated by the new Terrorism Screening Center [US DOJ press release] is missing some names [AP report], based on incomplete and inaccurate information [The Register report], and [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] A senior European Union official called for a break in EU expansion Monday, addressing the media days before EU leaders will meet to discuss fallout from rejections of the EU Constitution in France [JURIST report] and the Netherlands [JURIST report]. EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner [official website] stated [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] After a businessman he was connected with was convicted of corruption and fraud [JURIST report], South African Deputy President Jacob Zuma [profile] was fired Tuesday by President Thabo Mbeki [BBC profile]. Zuma had appeared ready to one day become president, and Mbeki cautioned that he should be presumed innocent, [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] Shirin Ebadi [Wikipedia profile], a human-rights lawyer who won the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize, spoke out Monday against the introduction of special Islamic tribunals in Canada. A Muslim group in Ontario proposed setting up the tribunals to settle family disputes among members of the Islamic community there. Ebadi complained [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] The UN East Asia and Pacific Regional Consultation Against Violence [conference website] began in Bangkok Tuesday with a call for a ban on corporal punishment [press release, PDF] of children. The conference is part of the UN Secretary General's study on violence against children [PDF]. Paulo Pinheiro, an independent [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] The UN war crimes prosecutor for the former Yugoslavia called for the arrest of three men responsible for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre [Wikipedia profile] of Bosnian Muslims in an address to the UN Security Council [press release] Monday. Carla del Ponte [BBC profile] outlined the successes of the International [read more]

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