Legal news from Wednesday, June 22, 2005
21:06 EDT

[JURIST] The independent Panel on the Nonprofit Sector [official website] released a report [PDF] Wednesday recommending that Congress require charities to develop stricter policies on the disclosure of financial information by retaining external independent accountants, reveal more details on executive compensation, and complete government information returns. The panel also suggested [read more]

20:06 EDT

[JURIST] Four countries seeking permanent representation [JURIST report] on the UN Security Council [official website] - Japan, Brazil, India, and Germany - said Wednesday at a foreign ministry meeting in Brussels that they would request a July vote on their Security Council reform resolution [draft, PDF]. The countries, known collectively [read more]

19:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Colombian Congress passed a bill Wednesday which gives lesser punishments to paramilitary leaders who disarm, admit their crimes, compensate victims, and return stolen goods. The bill, announced last week [JURIST report], was approved after Colombian President Alvaro Uribe [official website in Spanish] made it more stringent after a [read more]

18:06 EDT

[JURIST] A young boy who claimed that Lionel Tate [Wikpedia profile] robbed a pizza delivery man at gunpoint [CNN report] in May "took back" his story Wednesday, which could mean freedom again for Tate, once the youngest American to receive a life prison sentence [Court TV report; Amnesty International legal [read more]

18:06 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Wednesday's corporations and securities law news, the SEC [official website] has announced that its five-member panel will vote again on a controversial rule requiring mutual funds to be overseen by independent chairmen. The announcement comes after a federal appeals court ruled that the SEC had not adequately investigated [read more]

17:06 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Wednesday's states brief, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has upheld the state's slot-machine gambling law [text]. While rejecting some parts of the law, the court found that the process used by the legislature to enact the law was constitutional. Attorneys argued over constitutional provisions that say a bill cannot [read more]

16:06 EDT

[JURIST] A Pentagon report released Wednesday detailed troubling relgious insensitivity at the US Air Force Academy [official website], but found no overt acts of religious discrimination. The Department of Defense investigated the constitutionality of certain religious practices [JURIST report] and reports of religious intolerance [JURIST report] at the elite Colorado [read more]

16:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Peruvian government on Wednesday condemned a Peru Supreme Court decision to drop allegations that former President Alberto Fujimori [Wikipedia profile; personal website] used forged signatures to register for the 2000 elections. The Peruvian Congress has a list of charges [JURIST report] against Fujimori, and is seeking to extradite [read more]

16:06 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Wednesday's international brief, the South African National Assembly [official website] has approved the highly controversial national Children's Bill [PDF text], nine years after its first introduction. The bill, which will be presented to the National Council of Provinces [official website] for approval next before being submitted to President [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas [BBC profile] asked his government's Justice Minister Wednesday to set aside verdicts by the much-criticized state security courts [Amnesty International press release]. Human rights groups have said the courts, set up under Yasser Arafat in 1995, were too quick, violated due process and handed down [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Spanish Senate voted 131-119 Wednesday against a bill that would legalize gay marriage. The bill had already passed the lower house of parliament [JURIST report], but faced fierce opposition from the Catholic Church and conservative groups [AP report]. The bill is still likely to pass [Scotsman report], however, [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US House of Representatives Wedneday afternoon approved a proposed constitutional amendment [text] that would make it a crime to desecrate the American flag by a vote of 286-130 [roll call], eight more votes then necessary for the two-thirds required. The measure will now go to the Senate, where [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] Fearing damage to historic sites, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) [official site] has called for action against illegal digs and looting in Iraq. Director-general Koichiro Matsuura [official profile] said archeological sites as well as museums [BBC News report] are being damaged by thefts of items. [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] After meeting with lawyers from both sides earlier today [JURIST report], US District Judge Karon Bowdre ordered a juror replaced in the fraud trial of former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy [JURIST news archive], citing health reasons that interrupted deliberations. The replacement and Bowdre's instruction to the jury that they [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] A panel of Italian judges on Wednesday convicted 10 former Nazi SS soldiers in absentia for their roles in the 1944 massacre of over 500 Tuscan villagers [Wikipedia entry]. The 10 men all received life sentences after the three-judge panel deliberated for seven hours. Italian authorities began their investigation [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] Germany's Federal Administrative Court [official website in German; Wikipedia entry] ruled Wednesday that a German army officer who refused to follow orders because he thought they would aid the US-led war in Iraq could not be forced to comply with orders that ran counter to his conscience. The soldier, [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] With the likely retirement of US Chief Justice William Rehnquist [profile] in the coming weeks, senior White House officials are cutting down their list of candidates and interviewing the final contending federal appeals court judges to replace him. The short list includes Judge J. Michael Luttig [Wikipedia profile], Judge [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] A grand jury in Washington, DC has indicted two men for the February 12 killing of Dorothy Stang [Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur profile], an American nun who was working in Brazil as an environmentalist. A landowner allegedly offered the two $20,000 for the killing, and faces separate [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] With the jury still unable to reach a verdict [JURIST report] and former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy [JURIST news archive] unwilling to cut a deal [JURIST report] in his trial for accounting fraud, US District Judge Karon Bowdre summoned lawyers from both sides for a closed-door meeting Wednesday. Jurors [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] Diplomats from various Western nations have been permitted to examine conditions at Ethiopia's largest jail for the hundreds of protestors arrested after the disputed May 15 election [JURIST report] erupted into demonstrations and violence [JURIST report]. Officials from Ireland, Switzerland and the US visited the facilities Wednesday and a [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] A Sunni spokesman said Wednesday that a list of names submitted for the fifteen full committee seats on the drafting committee for the new Iraqi constitution [JURIST news archive] had been approved by the Shi'ite and Kurd politicians, despite earlier reports that the appointments had hit a snag when [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] A member of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party [party website] said in a speech Wednesday that the International Military Tribunal for the Far East [Wikipedia profile] established after World War II may have unjustly tried and convicted Japanese war criminals. Lawmaker Masahiro Morioka [official website, in Japanese] previously enraged [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] The first ten men to be tried in Sudan [JURIST news archive] for atrocities committed in the volatile Darfur region [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] all pleaded not guilty Tuesday. The men, associated with the government-allied political group called the Popular Defense Forces, face charges [JURIST report] of rape [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Russian Foreign Ministry [official website, in English] said Wednesday that Russia would be unable to submit an amended border treaty [JURIST report] with Estonia to the Russian parliament because amendments inserted by Estonia were an "unambiguously negative assessment in Russian society" [press release]. The changes made include indirect [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction [official website] told a House subcommittee hearing focused on the US handling of the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI) [official website] on Tuesday that evidence relating to finances used for reconstruction has been handed over to the US Attorney [official profile] for [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] A lawyer for the first Kuwaiti inmate to be freed [JURIST report] from the Guantanamo Bay detention center [JTF Guantanamo official website] argued before a Kuwait City tribunal Wednesday that his client should not be tried in Kuwaiti court and complained he was only given a summary of US [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] Jassim al-Issawi, a Sunni Muslim Iraqi judge whose name was at one point on the list to serve on a parliamentary committee to draft Iraq's new constitution [JURIST news archive] was killed by gunmen in Baghdad on Wednesday. Al-Issawi, who was later dropped from the committee, also served as [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] Eight men accused of recruiting people to carry out suicide bombings in Iraq have been jailed in Spain following several days of questioning, officials of the National Court [court website, in Spanish] announced Tuesday. Spanish Judge Fernando Grande-Malarska freed 3 other men, who were also part of the group [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] Documents released [linked list] by a US congressional panel Tuesday show that the UN Security Council was aware that Saddam Hussein was violating UN sanctions, but was so split that many breaches went unchecked. Among the breaches were maintaining diplomatic ties to other nations, encouraging other nations to start [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] Citing recent attacks, Israel announced Wednesday it has resumed a policy of "targeted assassinations" of Islamic Jihad militants, abandoned in February as part of a ceasefire deal. The policy has proved controversial, with critics disputing its legality [EJIL article] and questioning whether such killings are committed in self-defense, whether [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] France's Justice Ministry [official website] announced Wednesday that it would appeal the "lenient" sentences imposed on French peacekeeping soldiers convicted Tuesday [JURIST report] by a Paris military court of robbing an Ivory Coast bank while supporting a UN peacekeeping operation in the area. Eight of the soldiers were sentenced [read more]

07:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US House of Representatives [official website] is scheduled to vote Wednesday on HJ Res. 10 [text of resolution], a proposed constitutional amendment to criminalize the desecration of the American flag. If it passes in the House, it will go to the Senate for approval, then must be ratified [read more]

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