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

[JURIST] In a swift reversal from its announcement last week, the Pakistani government has taken away the passport of gang-rape victim Mukhtar Mai [BBC profile], according to an official from the US State Department speaking Tuesday. The official, who asked not to be named because of sensitive US-Pakistan relations, said [read more]

20:06 EDT

[JURIST] The British government Tuesday weathered an attempt by opposition MPs and some Labour Party backbenchers to stop its proposed [JURIST report] Racial and Religious Hatred Bill [BBC backgrounder; bill text] when an amendment to block the bill failed by a vote of 303-246. The controversial measure has been criticized [read more]

20:06 EDT

[JURIST] The White House Tuesday snubbed a proposal to create an independent commission to look into detainee abuse at US detention facilities, especially Guantanamo. White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan pointed to some 10 previous investigations [press release] and maintained that Defense Department and Pentagon investigations would continue as necessary [read more]

20:06 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Tuesday's corporations and securities law news, the New York Stock Exchange [corporate website] has announced that it is investigating the possibility that more traders have acted inappropriately. In April, 17 NYSE traders were charged with securities fraud violations [JURIST report]. Reuters has more. In other corporations and securities [read more]

17:06 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Tuesday's states brief, the Indiana Supreme Court heard oral arguments today [RP recorded audio] on whether abortion clinics should be allowed to pursue their challenge to the state's abortion "implied consent" law [text], which requires women seeking an abortion to have in-person counseling and then wait at least [read more]

17:06 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Tuesday's international brief, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has appointed Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka [official profile], Executive Director of the UN Human Settlements Programme [official website], as Special Envoy to Zimbabwe [government website] to investigate the continuing mass evictions [JURIST report] taking place under Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe [Wikipedia profile] [read more]

16:06 EDT

[JURIST] A military court sentenced 12 French soldiers to prison for up to one year on Tuesday for robbing an Ivory Coast bank [Africa News report] regularly while stationed with France's Licorne Force [Wikipedia entry, in French] backing up a UN peacekeeping mission [official website]. The Licorne forces are supporting [read more]

16:06 EDT

[JURIST] Former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet [JURIST news archive; BBC profile] suffered a stroke Tuesday and was taken to the hospital a day before the Santiago Appeals Court was to consider whether he could be tried for crimes against his regime's opponents. Pinochet, who reportedly collapsed while eating breakfast and [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit Tuesday ruled [opinion, PDF text] that the US Securities and Exchange Commission [official website] should reconsider its rule that requires mutual funds to be run by boards with independent chairmen. The SEC originally enacted the rule to combat trading and [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski [official website] said Tuesday that holding a planned referendum in Poland on the EU constitution [JURIST news archive] in October was "unrealistic." Kwasniewski, set to leave office after his second term expires this October, said he would allow his successor to decide when a referendum [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union [advocacy website] released a report [PDF text] Tuesday describing what it calls an "assault on scientific and academic freedom" by the Bush Administration. The report purports to detail how the US government has attacked the free exchange of technology information in the name of [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] A federal appeals court in Chicago has thrown out a lawsuit filed by student journalists at Governors State University [official website] who claimed that the Dean of Student Affair's demand to review their newspaper before it went to press was a violation of their First Amendment rights. The US [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] Edgar Ray Killen [JURIST news archive] has been convicted of three counts of manslaughter in connection with the 1964 killings of three civil rights workers. The conviction came on the 41st anniversary of the rights workers disappearance and a day after jurors reported being deadlocked at 6-6. Killen faces [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] Attorney General Alberto Gonzales urged judges on Tuesday to adhere to federal sentencing guidelines, citing a growing disparity since the US Supreme Court invalidated mandatory guidelines in US v. Booker [JURIST report]. Addressing the National Center for Victims of Crime [advocacy website], he said he has seen a "drift [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] In a speech to the Philadelphia Bar Association Monday Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Arlen Specter [official website] implied that he does not expect to see the resignation of any Supreme Court Justice by the end of the current term. Specter based his comments on observations of Chief Justice Rehnquist [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] Iran's Interior Ministry [official website, in Arabic] Tuesday warned of the danger of fraud in Friday's scheduled run-off presidential vote, with a spokesman referring darkly to "some people who are ready to do anything to stay in power." The Ministry spokesman also alluded to fraud in the first round [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] Abdel Hussein Shandal, Iraq's Sunni justice minister, accused the US on Tuesday of trying to delay Iraqi efforts to interrogate Saddam Hussein. While he said he expects Saddam's trial for war crimes [JURIST news archive] to be over by the end of the year [AHN report], he also said [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] A federal immigration judge ruled on Monday that John Demjanjuk [Wikipedia profile], who lost his US citizenship [JURIST report] for serving as a guard at a concentration camp, can be deported. The case dates back to 1977 [Cleveland Plain Dealer report], when the Justice Department originally asked for his [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] Luxembourg leaders say they will stick to their original plan for a July 10 referendum on the embattled European Union constitution [JURIST news archive]. Following popular rejection of the charter in France and the Netherlands, seven other European countries have thusfar postponed similar votes [JURIST report] and the ratification [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] British Attorney General Lord Peter Goldsmith [official profile] Tuesday announced a government plan to abolish jury trials in complicated fraud cases. The move follows the collapse of a fraud trial [Guardian report] earlier this year, partly because of jury problems. Goldsmith estimates about 15 to 20 trials each year [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] According to documents obtained by the Associated Press Monday, the Transportation Security Administration [official website] collected private information about commercial airline passengers who flew in June 2004, despite Congressional instructions not to do so. The documents indicate the information was gathered to test Secure Flight [official website], a passenger [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] A Turkish court sentenced Metin Kaplan [BBC profile] Monday to life imprisonment for plotting to kill members of the country's ruling elite by flying a plane into the mausoleum of Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the modern Turkish republic. Kaplan's lawyer did not agree with the ruling, stating "we [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Cambodian government announced Tuesday that it will accept Japan's offer of $11 million [JURIST report] to fund a shortfall in the estimated budget for trying former leaders of the communist Khmer Rouge [Wikipedia backgronder] regime, considered responsible for the genocide of the "killing fields" in Cambodia [Yale CGP [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice [official website] called for democratic reforms by US allies across the Middle East [text; recorded audio] in a major foreign policy address in Cairo Monday, and publicly called on Saudi Arabia to release "three individuals...imprisoned for peacefully petitioning the government." Rice was referring [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] The California Supreme Court upheld state sentencing guidelines [opinion, PDF] on Monday, ruling that allowing judges to impose a discretionary range of sentences for various crimes did not give them too much power. The ruling follows the recent US Supreme Court holding in US v. Booker [JURIST report], which [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] The International Whaling Commission [official website] voted 29-23 against lifting its ban on commercial whaling Tuesday at its 2005 annual meeting [agenda]. Japan had recently threatened to leave the organization [JURIST report] if it didn't allow for some sort of sanctioned whaling. The ban has been in place since [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] Moroccan Abdelghani Mzoudi [Wikipedia profile], acquitted by a Hamburg court in February on charges of helping the September 11 hijackers, flew home Tuesday to avoid deportation. Hamburg city officials had given Mzoudi two weeks to leave the country, or face arrest or deportation after the June 9 confirmation of [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] Michael Schiavo buried the cremated remains of his late wife Terri Schiavo [JURIST news archive] Monday at Sylvan Abbey Memorial Park [funerary website] in Clearwater, Florida. He had previously said he would bury her remains in his family plot in Pennsylvania [JURIST report]. Schiavo's parents were not notified of [read more]

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